Heart To Heart

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These few hearts are my preparation batch for CWA Outreach Lesson that my colleague and I performed for Clayton Elementary School. Fourteen fearless Brownie Girl-scouts grabbed their brushes and moved to the unknown. 

We taught kids how to apply wet-on-wet, painted with invisible wax candle to reserve the whites, and how to make a creative art by using only three colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue. 

The art of the kids was amazing. As always, we were stunned by imagination of a young brain. Each painting was unique, fresh, enchanting. 

Here are just a few paintings of that gorgeous kaleidoscope:
My Original Art “Two Hearts for Valentine’s” is 14″x10″ on 300lb Cold Pressed Arches 

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Solo Exhibition

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realism in watercolor
In the latest CWA Newsletter
Irina Sztukowski’s new painting “In The Garden,” as well as seven
other paintings with landscapes and flowers, are presented in  the Solo Exhibition 
in the Art Room of a famous Martinez Courtyard Copper
Skillet restaurant. The exhibited paintings are completed in realistic
manner with variety of techniques from wet-on-wet to detailed dry
brush applications. 
Stop by, enjoy breakfast or lunch and have a great
811 Ferry Street Martinez, California.

Find A Cat in Benicia – Plein-Air Painting Session

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building mountains shore watercolor
Benicia is a small town in Northern California. It is only 15 minutes from where I leave. Cozy streets with restaurants, gift shops, and a beautiful San Francisco Bay shore attract a lot of artists. CWA plein-air artists group had the same idea: to come, to see, to paint. 
We made an attempt to come here last year, but October rain chased us away. This year the weather couldn’t be better. 
I was sitting on the shore and panting a visitors center with its palm trees. The building covered pretty much all the bay beauty; but you can still see Mountain Diablo, sparkles on a water, and even a fisherman in his little boat. 

If you look closely, you also will find a few birds and….a….. cat! I am not telling you where it is. You will need to look for it :0)

A little bit of Benicia’s history:
In spite of the fact that now it is a tiny little town, back in 19th century, for more than a year, Benicia was serving as California Capital in 1853. 
In 1860 there was an area dedicated to US Army Arsenal, an armory place. Historical building are still bringing joy to the visitors: The Clock Tower, The Camel Barn (yes, yes, they used to have stables with camels for transportation).
Being a major connector in transportation business back in 1860s, now Benicia is a quiet lovely place to visit for  fun and for arts. It has regular art exhibitions and art openings in its Galleries, promotes arts through Open Studio events, provides many art classes for children and adults. And needless to say, it is a great place to visit for a plein-air painting session.

All artists from CWA had fun painting different places in Benicia that day:
plein-air Benicia
Original painting “Benicia, California” is 12″x16″ Watercolor on 140lb 100% cotton Arches
For more paintings with California Landscapes please visit my Gallery California here:

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point – San Francisco Plein-Air Day

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Fort Point California San Francisco
Last Saturday plain-air paint day started with a chilly breeze at Fort Point. But due to a cold weather there were not a spec of fog or mist in San Francisco; and, the Golden Gate Bridge was glowing in its full glory. 

Our CWA artists group was enjoying painting in such touristic area.

 Everyone created their masterpiece in a matter of hours:
Golden Gate Bridge paintings
Some artists were painting outside hiding behind Fort Point‘s old brick walls. My sister and I painted inside the car with open windows. Why not; I’ve learned this trick from reading biography of Georgia O’Keeffe who sometimes painted in her car going plein-air in the desert.

Golden Bridge View
Credits for beautiful photos to Maria Batkova

Original Painting Golden Gate Bridge is 16″x12″ on 140lb Arches Cold Pressed paper
More Plein-Air Paintings are HERE

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

PACO Impulse Gallery Art Show

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Still Life art
Two of my
paintings Light, Love, Lemon and Point Reyes Lighthouse were accepted
into a juried show at PACO Impulse Gallery, Pittsburgh California. Last
Saturday, March 23 there was a grand reception. With more than 50 beautiful art works,
jazz music, great curious public that enjoyed this art show the spirit of
watercolor thrived and each painting was glowing with the light and love.


This show
was also quite memorable for me as it was the first art show in America where my sister
Maria Batkova was showing two of her lovely art pieces, 
still life Cream-N-Sugar
and a portrait My Dad’s 60th Birthday.

The art
show will be running through April 20th.

Here is the
information about Impulse Gallery:

The Impulse Gallery is entered at Railroad Avenue, in the last block
before the marina. The door is second storefront past the California Theater
and across from the New Mecca Cafe. The gallery is entered by walking through
the front area to the rear of the building.
Address: 329 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg, Ca
Gallery Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8a.m. – 5

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Be Careful What You Wish For

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While I see a lot of people are making New Year resolutions these days, I personally wanted to look back to my 2012 and see how it influences my new year plans. 
When I became a member of CWA-California Watercolor Association last June, I had a strong feeling that this relationship will be more than just paying annual fees. And my intuition did not fail: after the first workshop with Brownie Troop through CWA, I was offered to become a co-director for Outreach Program in 2013. I gladly accepted this position. And even though it will take a lot of organizing, coordinating, working with volunteers, etc. I still hope that I will have chance to teach kids and seniors (the main point of Outreach Program) this year.
Besides exhibition in San Francisco Cafe Coco, I was also offered to have a solo exhibition in the Art Room of the famous Martinez restaurant Copper Skillet Courtyard (by the way our favorite place for Sunday breakfast :0)..I chose to place 18 paintings for this show.
Some of them are flowers and still lifes:
Some are landscapes:
I am excited. The show is on until the 1st of February. Come and enjoy breakfast or lunch at 811 Ferry Street  Martinez, CA 94553. Make sure you check out the Art Room there.
Yesterday I’ve received another exciting call. Contra Costa Art Commission is setting up group show in Art Passages this month and my paintings got accepted. Yey!! (I’ll place the details later on)
Meantime I am in the process of working on two different commissions for two different customers and started working on two series of works: one will contain large paintings and another miniatures. I’d rather not to release the details yet; but I can tell you right now my head is already spinning. Considering that fact that I am going to be a part time student this semester starting January 14th, life is going to be a wild ride for the next three-four month. But that what I wanted, isn’t it :0) 
Today I was playing with a few abstracts that I’ve painted back in December. I was experimenting with the Plastic Wrap technique. It was quite fun. The paint is applied generously, next plastic wrap is crinkled on a top and after the paint dries, the plastic is lifted up revealing unpredictable interesting pattern. 
I was craving somewhat winter colors at first; and, I came up with “Frosted Window” series:
Then, I explored opposite colors and created Frosted Fire to keep my Artist Soul warm. Here is my imaginary Fireplace:
I am looking forward to a new busy but wonderful year! 
No resolutions, no regrets! 
Lots of plans and wishes though 
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Crab Cove in Alameda, California – Plein-Air Painting

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(to see the details click HERE)
The hazy cool morning in Alameda Crab Cove grew later into a lovely sunny day; but in my painting I wanted to pick up the beginning of the day when the bird is thinking of its breakfast, the tide is getting lower, and the wind surfers on the background just started setting up their sails for an active weekend fun.
And here the report from my fellow artists and their arts. It was great to be with the group of them to discuss our art works, laugh, share, and inspire each other:
12″x16″ Watercolor on 300lb Cold Pressed Arches
More Plein-air paintings are HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul