San Francisco Bay Area Watercolor Painting

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Editorial watercolour landscape artist illustrator
Yesterday, when I painted this sketch of San Francisco Bay shore from Martinez point of view to Benicia, CA; I was thinking that I was very lucky to paint this area el Plein-Air style so many times. 

Plein-Air painting does not allow to sit and paint too long. An artist has to be fast and free with the brush strokes. It teaches to find main point and to “forget” some details.

In this sketch I achieved all el Plein-Air points: spontaneous approach, fresh color theme, and free outlines. 

Cheers from

Irina Sztukowski. Solo Art Show

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I am glad to announce a few new additions to my Solo Art Show that is held in the Art Room of a famous Martinez restaurant Courtyard – Copper Skillet.
More than a dozen of paintings, ranging from florals to classic still lifes and landscapes are on display. 

Stop by, enjoy breakfast or lunch and have a great time! 
811 Ferry Street Martinez, CA 94553 

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
time! 
811 Ferry Street Martinez, California.

Briones Park – The Gate To the Ranch – Impressionistic Landscape

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An old gate to an archery range in Briones Park, Martinez, CA. This sweet rural landscape in the heart of the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area) was painted on 100% Cotton handmade paper. 

I liked the feeling and texture of the paper, how it absorbed the water and paint.  The rough edges give somewhat vintage look. 
I placed the painting on the hard surface and took a photo to emphasize the edges. They look great on a canvas print as if the canvas made of solid rock: 
But if the same print paint on paper and frame it would not need matting as the rocky surface would become and improvised mat: 

Out For A Walk & Back To The Studio

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It was nice to step out of the studio last Saturday for a plein-air fun. The day was warm and allowed a couple of hours to paint. My husband and I go to the Martinez Marina quite often for a walk, never for painting. But there are so many things that can attract the Artist’s eye. 
The wild life and vegetation in this park are protected by the state. Once we saw a deer, another time wild turkeys; and the birds such egrets, ducks, and gees seem to be permanent residents there. 
 It is a very nice area with shallow creeks, small pond, three wooden bridges, and narrow trails along the shore. From this side of Martinez you can see San Pablo Bay, beautiful hills, Benicia-Matinez Bridge, and the city of Benicia.   
After painting I came back home to my new cozy studio and finished the artwork giving it a few highlights and touches. 
Speaking of my studio: the remodeling is competed. Hooray!!! Just a couple of week ago we ordered the last but not least component, large spacious cabinets. And voila! Now I have NO EXCUSE but paint great art :0)
Here is a few pictures of my work space:
We placed the couch creating a reading area. It will also allow me to host an occasional company. The antique trunk is serving as the coffee table:
Two artist-tables are 15 feet long and can be tilted if needed: 
One of the tables is lower than the other. It allows me to place a large piece of art and paint standing if necessary: 
Floor-to-ceiling white cabinets are so humongous that I can rent them to other artists as living space if my art business goes sour ;0).. The huge help are the skinny shelves for the watercolor paper and finished art. No other cabinets could fit my 20″x32″ artworks.
And a cozy fireplace will serve as a warm meditation spot in the Winter time:  
………………………………………………………………
Original artwork Breezy Day At The Marina is 10″:x14″ Watercolor on 300lb Arches Cold Pressed
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Face-ing the Art Show

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Six of my paintings were accepted into the Art Show Faces by Art & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County . I am glad I could pull them together as some were in private collections. 
My sister Masha Batkova took these photos and proposed that as soon the show’s called Faces, my face should be next to each painting :0)

The art show is at Art Passages Gallery, which is located in historical downtown Martinez, 651 Pine Street, open until February 4th, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am  – 5:00 pm
Everyone is Welcome!!!


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

Framing Day and Art Studio Update

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These two paintings and eight others got accepted into the Art Show at Art Passages Gallery in downtown Martinez, California (I’ll post the details after the paintings are hung and the reception date is announced).
 Today was a NO-ART day for me. I worked 8 full hours cutting mats and framing the art pieces until my fingernails got soar and my neck was stiff. But oh well, what wouldn’t you do for the Arts, even framing does not scare the Artist ;0).
The work-in-progress studio is looking so clean. New tiles are gorgeous. And my brushes are desperate to splash some paint on the new floor:
Although, I got kinda cozy already in my temp-studio in the living room corner:
(But don’t pick at the paintings on the desk! They are not finished yet)