Still Life With Sunflowers

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Old Masters Realism Style
Above is completed still life with Sunflowers, lemons, and
apples. I painted this still life following certain rules of composition,
playing with colors and shapes.

Old Masters paintings, and in particular still life, always
fascinated me. The details, techniques, the composition and perspective usually
show a great deal of skill and many years of hard work learning and practicing.

I also fell in love with the fact that at the first glance
simple objects placed on the canvas or paper get their own meaning, telling their
own story, sometimes leaving the viewer wonder and imagine.
For example, in seventeenths century Dutch still life the
Sunflowers were symbolizing faithfulness, divine love, and devotion.
Fruits, let’s say a peeled lemon, were like life, attractive to look at, but
bitter to taste. Apples, especially with a bite, would return us to a
biblical story. Knife might suggest a transience of human life; but, together
with some seafood, it would change the meaning towards the reproducing implication. 
And so on and on.

I placed the flowers and fruits not only because they are so
pretty; but, also to show a combination of different colors, the gifts from
Fall. My knife in the composition plays an important role as a transformation pointer. It connects one part of the still life (the one with apples and
bottle) to a part with Sunflowers. I suggested that I cut the lemon with this
knife before placing it on the plate.
Meantime the objects that are holding the fruits and flowers,
each of them have a great history themselves:

– Metal vase with Sunflowers was an inheritance of my
husband’s grandparents
– Elongated plate for cut lemon was given to me by my
friend. It is a part of 1921 Bavarian set.
– The cutting board is made of salvaged 1800 century wood
– The ceramic bowl with apples is also special. I made it
from clay 4 years ago.

It is interesting how simple objects of a still life
painting can tell a lot; yet, just sitting there in the painting and looking
pretty! 
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For more still life paintings visit my gallery:
Still Life



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

Painting Glass With Watercolor

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transparent paintings
While I am in between of painting and drawing in my studio an din the class, I thought I’ll answer one of my artist-friend’s question: 

How to paint glass in watercolor?
A small collection above shows several fragments of a few different glass surfaces from my paintings.

Unlike non-transparent, non reflecting objects where the rules of shapes and values applied almost precisely, glass surface has it’s own so to speak character. 

I call it ABSTRACTION. Yes, when painting glass the artist should abstract his mind from the subject and see the glass as the cluster of shapes, colors, reflections, and abstract forms.. 

I remember from my childhood how fascinating it was to look into Kaleidoscope at the unpredictable shapes of the small glass pieces reflected in the mirror… 

…and now, when I paint, I can see how blue and white lines, for example (below):
can create a shape of carved glass and a round vase:
still life
The sparkles in geometrical abstracts here:
can represent the crystal wine glass in this painting:
dew drops
Warm and cold grays with brown in this abstract fragment: 
all of a sudden, becomes a vase on the dining table:
realism in watercolors
But if the table is covered with tablecloth (see zoom-in fragment below): 
the glass vase would absorb the surrounding pattern and warm greens of the flower stems:
Glass Vase Tablecloth
And what if the glass is colored, not just transparent?
then, it will absorb the background through its own color.. just like in this green glass bottle:
Realistic Painting
Or, as in the case when glass is blue.. the blue usually is pretty strong, It almost does not allow the other colors in.. almost:
Can you resolve the puzzle and identify which from the above blue segments belongs to which blue vase below? :0)
Sunny morning still life
Shadows
Glass Vase Painting
One of my favorite discoveries when painting glass, was this collection of rainbows:
I found it in the glass rocks. Each of them was reflecting the world around and sifting it through its own shape and its own color:
Realistic Painting
When I paint glass, I always discover surprising shapes and colors combinations. Sometimes a simple stroke of a brush can identify the glass on the paper, and sometimes it takes much longer time to paint all the reflection, all the “abstract” forms.

Here are just a few more paintings that include the glass:
Honey Bee
Still Life
Fall Still Life
All of the above paintings that are presented in this post are small, approximately 10″x8″, painted on 140lb Cold Pressed watercolor paper. Most of them are sold, but my customers are still appreciating reproductions of them in prints and canvases through Fine Art America… Maybe because of painted glass? :0)


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






Freshly Painted Window – The Rose and Glass Rocks

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Click on Image to See the Details
In my studio remodeling, I was responsible only for two things: to keep the dogs out and to paint the windows. And I did. But Artists is always the Artist and as soon the paint dried I’ve set up this Still Live and started painting. The painting is now completed. What I love here is the perspective. The front glass rocks are reaching the rose’s size yet, we all know, they are just half inch or so long. It is all due to perspective we can perceive the realism of the space.
And my task of keeping the dogs out was really successful one, yet I was definitely supervised when painting the windows :0)
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The original painting Rose and Glass Rocks is 10″x13″ on Arches Watercolor Paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Rose In The Blue Vase

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Irina Sztukowski

I painted this beautiful rose in a blue vase back in 2009. The original found home in the private collection in Virginia. And I placed the print in my Art Shop on Etsy today. I am so happy that people are interested in buying prints from original watercolors. This gives opportunity to the art to go around and bring joy to not just one person. Today I sold the piece and the piece is ready to to to NY state.
I am thinking that we should not be skeptical about making and selling the copies of our art. With an effort on our part the prints, cards, posters can give a second life to the piece that was already sold or is not for sale.

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