Truth And Beauty – Legion Of Honor Exhibition – Review

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Last week I made the best gift to myself what artist can do to the artist (besides buying the favorite paints and brushes of course). I’ve visited a new exhibition Truth & Beauty at Legion Of Honor museum in San Francisco. 

The exploration of both, truly beautiful art and seeing the beauty of truthful comparison of two different centuries in portraiture presentation was really priceless. 

The organizers called this exhibition The Pre-Raphaelites And The Old Masters. But as well they can just call it Learn From Old Masters and they will be absolutely right.

The exhibition presented portraits and religious themes from the 15th century European Artists, and the mid 19th end of 19th century masterpieces.

Here is a great example, Sandro Botticelli, Idealized Portrait of a Lady from 1475:
and 1878 oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Proserpine:
or  Self-Portrait by Raphael from 1506:

And amazingly well done painting of Henry Wentworth Monk by William Holman Hunt that he created in 1858:


The beauty through the centuries was reflecting in these two portraits as well.
The oil painting by same Sandro Botticelli, the Portrait of a Lady Known as Smeralda Bandinelli, 1470-80. This painting was previously owned by the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He believed that Botticelli used the same model for his painting of Venus:

Later in his career Dante Gabriel Rossetti himself used his wife as a model for many of his paintings, such as a beautiful diptych for example Beata Beatrix, that he painted in 1871-72:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti drew a parallel in this composition between the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s despair at the death of his beloved Beatrice and Rossetti’s own grief at the death of his muse, lover, and wife, Elizabeth Siddal. 

I also adored the 19th century painters Kate Bunce:

Saint Cicilia , 1901 by Kate Bunce
..and another woman artist Marie Spartali Stillman with her symbolic and stunning artwork Love’s Messenger, 1885:


.. portraits by William Holman Hunt:

Bianca, painted 1868-69
and one of his wife, Edith:

The Birthday, 1868

One of my favorite sections of the exhibition was where some amazing watercolors were presented.

In the books print form:

As well as well preserved artworks in watercolor such as an example Cesare Mariannecci’s copies of Old Masters.

Just take a look at his Copy after “The Delphic Silbyl” by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Rome. Mariannecci painted it in 1867 and it is now masterpiece on its own:

Other two copies by him of Botticelli, Birth Of Venus & La Primavera.

Note that the artworks that Mariannecci painted from huge oil paintings of Botticelli are just approximately 20″x16″ in size. The precision of a watercolor brush stroke is outstanding. His artworks, the  copy, became certainly a great example of devotion, love to the art, and admirable craftsmanship. If I could I would “camp” there next to these paintings for a week looking constantly at them and possibly make my own copies of the copies in watercolor 🙂

The exhibition left a very soft peaceful feeling on my Artist’s Soul. I saw that the art yet developing through the centuries for sure, has one timeless quality, The Beauty. In our contemporary days it is truly hard sometimes to stop and admire a simple flower, a beauty of everyday life. But the gift of being able that, be in the moment, and have ability to capture it in our hearts is truly, undeniably, PRICELESS!! 

Here a few more artwork that I admired at this exhibition, Truth & Beauty:

Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1862 by William Holman Hunt

Oure Ladye of Good Children, 1866 by Ford Madox Brown

“Leisure Hours” , 1864 by John Everett Millais

The Lady Of Shalott, 1888-1905 by William Holman Hunt

Cheers from 





Similar Articles:

Seduction Of Europe – Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review

Watercolor Flowers Close Up – Flowers To Art Inspiration



Licensing Contract for Art Interior Decor

ballerina, forest, Home Decor, interior, Irina, map, Painting, paintings, silhouette, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour, Wayfair, world
wall art
A Licensing company proposed to sell my art in several venues with two year contract. 
They selected more than two hundred pieces from my Watercolor Silhouettes and Bicycles  Galleries to deliver beautiful  canvas prints, decals, and framed art to the Art Collectors all around the country with Free Shipping for over $49.00 purchases. The prices for the artworks are pretty competitive too.

I love the clean and precise presentation of my art on their website:

Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!



Seashells Seascapes And Artist’s Inspirations

artist, illustrator, impressionism, interview, paintings, plein air, realism, seascape, seashells, shells, Watercolor
I was approached by a Great Britain college student who explored my art for a research paper. It is great that young generation is interested in realistic watercolor paintings. This particular person was interested in my Seashells and Seascapes paintings.

I answered a few questions for this little interview; and, I am happy to share them here.



1. How did you start to make these paintings? What got you into it?

Seashells and beach treasures always fascinated my artist’s soul. Since the childhood I would be sketching my findings at the beach. My dad told me that each seashell holds a sound of the sea; and, as a kid I would be placing the large seashells, listening for a long time, imagining where it came from. At home, we had a large collection of seashells, which friends of the family brought from all over the world. Needless to say, my favorite book those days was Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid fairy-tale. My favorite jewelry was a little string of pearls that my grandma gave me. 

2. What do these pieces say/express about you?

Later on in life, I was fascinated with Old Masters Dutch Still Life paintings and Renaissance realism. I’ve research the symbolism of seashells, pearls and water in paintings. I found out that the seashells represented the world of exploration, power and wealth, scientific discovery, and brief passing of time on the planet Earth. Opened seashell suggested vanitas overtones of the brevity of life, or could be interpreted as having erotic implications. And a different shell might represent each continent as visual tribute to the exploratory travel and scientific discoveries of the day. I also learned that Pearls symbolize prosperity and vanity, wisdom and Imperial authority. Both pearls and water have long been symbols of purity and femininity. I started painting seashells, pearls and seascape artworks challenging myself to realism in watercolor when learning from oil masterpieces. I think, all this fascination and thorough research express my love to the history of art, painting techniques, and endless desire to succeed. 

3. What motivated you to create your pieces?

My motivation in creating seashells and other beach treasures paintings was to present not only beauty of Nature but the realistic approach in watercolor that can brings together history and contemporary times, classic oils versus fluid properties of only century and half old medium.

4. Describe your creative process?

When painting still life with shells and pearls, I carefully research the subject. I usually have my models right in front of me. I make a sketch. I take a few photographs. Then I draw detailed drawing but very lightly that the pencil does not overwhelm future watercolor transparency. I never use white (opaque) paint; I leave the white of paper shine through. Sometimes, for the background I use sea salt to make the water and color “curl” and “spread” in unpredictable ways. 
When I create semi-realistic decorative paintings with seashells and water, I marry realistic approach with abstraction. The watercolor is an amazing medium, it can do it all. 
When painting seascapes I follow two types of techniques. One is spontaneous Impressionistic style painting En-Plein-Air, e.g. painting in Nature at the spot. Or, I paint from memory and multiple photographs that I take on my travels. The studio paintings turn out usually more detailed as I invest more time not being tied up by weather condition and sun moving fast.

5. What are the messages/feelings are you trying to get across or expect people to have when interacting with your artwork?

I convey my love to the Nature, timeless beauty of the seashells, pearls, and water into my artworks with a strong desire for my Art Collectors feel my fascination of what the World can offer. A small finding from the beach, a seascape painting inspired by a walk along the shore with my husband, documenting the beauty in my art are priceless. I feel that no treasure of the World can be compared with these simple things. 



Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!



Botanical Flowers Drawings and Paintings – Coloring Book Journey

book, botanical flowers, coloring book, drawing, floral, flower, ink, Masha Batkova, paintings
Creating a book, even a black and white coloring one, is a tedious process. One has to learn a lot of interesting things along the way such publishing structure, various computer programs to bring the art into electronic form and to bring a book to life. 
As the book that I am working on with the artist  Maria Batkova is about botanical flowers, we’ve researched antique botanical paintings in the library archive. 
We are testing every piece of art that we create, coloring it with pencils, watercolors, and markers; and, even framing the pieces to see how they will look in the home interior decor. 


Today, I found an interesting video from Getty Museum educational channel. It is how in old days the manuscripts were made. Very interesting process. I feel so relieved now that I have computer and all the luxuries of 21st Century.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=nuNfdHNTv9o

 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!


Update effective 04/20/18
Coloring Book Link:


Seduction Of Europe – Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review

art, art history, Casanova, exhibition, Legion Of Honor, old masters, paintings, Seduction Of Europe

Roses Under The Sun framed artwork by Irina Sztukowski . Link to the print is HERE

  

Flowers And Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to the canvas print is HERE
Blue Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to print is HERE

An interesting combination of objects and subjects came to my mind when exploring a new exhibition Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe that is now presented in Legion Of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I thought about combined beauty of Flowers, Gold, Nude, and Music. The exhibition has many more subjects mix there. 

Per organizers:
In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire. He charmed—and was charmed by—every level of European society, from scoundrels to kings.Casanova went everywhere, knew everyone, and wrote it all down. His twelve-volume autobiography—The Story of My Life—provides an unrivaled account of eighteenth-century society. Casanova was famously a womanizer and a cheat. He broke promises, perpetrated frauds, and skipped out on creditors. Many of his sexual exploits were scandalous and criminal in his own time, and, for different reasons, would be considered reprehensible today. But he was also a multitalented and multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society, endowed with a surprisingly modern candor and capacity for self-invention. Many of the trends in our own society—from our obsession with celebrity culture to the confessions we make on social media—find precedents in Casanova’s writings and experiences.

I loved exploring the art of 18th Century with its range from hyper realism to an obvious impressionistic approach for boudoir love scenes. 

Here are a few examples of city scapes from the beginning of the century:
Giovanni Antonio Canal, The Grand Canal from Campo San Vio, 1730-35

Bernardo Bellotto, View Of Dresden 1747

a fragment close up view of gorgeous oil painting:
A part of exhibition was devoted to portrait paintings of famous people of that time
Anton Rafael Mengs, Self Portrait 1776

Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, 1757





A large part, as the Casanova’s famous name was associated with theater, love, and adventure was devoted to love scenes that were kept in bedrooms for an aesthetics and pleasure:




Jean-Marc Nattier, Talia, Muse Of Comedy 1739:





Jean Baptiste Le Prince, Fear, 1769:

Luis Jean Fransois Lagrenee, Mars And Venus, Allegory Of Peace, 1770:

The artworks of passion and love:
But my favorite of all from this exhibition was Rococo large paintings that depicted scene from ancient Roman literature.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica:
Rococo style, style in interior design, the decorative arts, painting, architecture, and sculpture that originated in Paris in the early 18th century but was soon adopted throughout France and later in other countries, principally Germany and Austria. It is characterized by lightness, elegance, and an exuberant use of curving, natural forms in ornamentation. The word Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, which denoted the shell-covered rock work that was used to decorate artificial grottoes.

François Boucher (September 29, 1703 – May 30, 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.

Six Methological paintings by François Boucher, 1769:

  
With its gorgeous details:


I also was pleasantly surprised to find a few artworks painted with watercolors by Muller and Parr at this exhibition. 


 Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

   

Watercolor Flowers Close Up – Flowers To Art Inspiration

art, artist, De Young Museum, exhibition, flower, Flowers To Art, illustrator, museum, paintings, Watercolor, watercolors, watercolour
Close Up Paintings of Watercolor Flowers
Watercolor Flowers Close Up Paintings by the artist Irina Sztukowski 
The inspiration to create a special gallery with watercolor Flowers Close Up came after visiting an exceptionally beautiful exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. The organizers of the exhibition placed gorgeous ikebana compositions next to the pieces of art. These wonderful still life creations correlated with the artworks by color, mood, expression. I loved it to my bones; and, it certainly inspired me to paint more flowers with my medium of choice, watercolors.

Here is a sneak peak to the expo. It was only there for four short days, and I want as many people as could be to see this stunning artful show

   
Cheers from 

Live To Create!!!

Watercolor Painting Of Orange – Artful Vitamins Series

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Painting half orange
Watercolor Painting of Cut Orange by the artist Irina Sztukowski

 Original was SOLD
Prints are available HERE


When I painted these oranges my biggest challenge was those little veins and the highlights on the cut. The main idea was to make everything without a drop of white paint; just by leaving white of the paper.
My favorite part was the orange flower in the corner. I really wanted it to glow and give a good contrast to the orange color.

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

Watercolor Food Illustrations – Delicious Bowls With Veggies And Grains

artist, bowl, couscous, food illustrations, foods, illustration, illustrator, kale, lentil, Painting, paintings, quinoa, realism, realistic, Watercolor, watercolour
watercolour lentil wooden bowl realistic painting
Realistic Watercolor Food Illustration by the artist illustrator Irina Sztukowski
I am blessed by amount of commissioned artworks that I had to paint for this project.
Delicious and healthy wooden bowls of steamed veggies and different grains and beans are speaking for themselves. 
Above artwork is of Lentil Bowl with bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini pieces, all painted in watercolor in realistic technique. 

I love painting food. It is my new diet so to speak: instead of eating, I am painting. Okay, I am eating it too 🙂  

Here is another tasty addition to my art collection of watercolor food illustrations portfolio. Such popular these days Quinoa grains with snow peas, eggplant, bell peppers, and garbanzo beans:
wooden bowl of quinoa painting in watercolour
Realistic Watercolor Food Illustration by the artist illustrator Irina Sztukowski

I also loved painting Couscous bowl with tasty veggies, corn, and beans:
painting of Couscous in wooden bowl by artist Irina Sztukowski
Realistic Watercolor Food Illustration by the artist illustrator Irina Sztukowski
But my favorite one was to paint so popular these days Kale Salad with carrots and garbanzo beans:
painting of Kale salad with veggies in watercolor realism
Realistic Watercolor Food Illustration by the artist illustrator Irina Sztukowski
  
More watercolor food illustrations in my Gallery:


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Colorful World – Watercolor Map

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Map of the World in Colorful Theme in watecolour
World Map in Watercolor
I am presenting a new colorful World, 
The combinations of different colors are endless and will certainly fit any interior decor would it be classic or modern, warm or on a cool side; cozy, inviting, engaging:
Map of the World in watercolor Abstract
World Map in Watercolor in interior decor
Interior Decor with World Map Abstract Painting
Interior Decor World Map in Blue 

Abstract Map Of The World Painting in interior
Beige And Yellow Map Of The World Abstract Painting by Irina Sztukowski 
Map Of The World Watercolour silhouette in interior pink
World Map in Pink Watercolor by Irina Sztukowski. Interior Decor Idea
Dozens of new artworks with World Map are in the New Gallery:
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Month Of August Bestselling Paintings

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art that sells watercolor paintings
I would like to share here what kind of paintings from my website www.artirina.com were selling in August. I was curious to discover that there were some distinguished themes from customers of different locations that loved purchasing artworks. Maybe it is influence of the Summer and sunshine, but the paintings that my Art Collectors loved and purchased in August can be surely divided into a four or five subject matters; and most of them are kind of sun-shiny :).

Sun Francisco scenes were quite popular, as well as Bay Area in general:
watercolor art realism
watercolour ocean landscapes
I was glad to see that Floral Art from my Gallery was very popular among the month of August Bestsellers:
watercolor art with flowers Sunflowers Poppies Roses
It seems that Sunflowers Art was surely dominating. Maybe it is because those gorgeous flowers are started to be seen in the fields in the month of August. 

The next group of bestselling art I wanted to talk about is the one that I call Delicious. Art Collectors from different states picked up my fruits and berries from my garden Gallery:
watercolor realism lemon cherries art
Travel series were also popular. My customers were traveling from San Francisco Bay Area, to Russia and to Italy:
World watercolors illustrations
And I am surely glad that art for children was also quite popular in the month of August, especially my series of Wizard Of Oz paintings. I am so glad that they will decorate some child’s room and bring light and happy feelings into the interior:
artist and illustrator watercolour artworks
Many thanks to my Art Collectors who bought the art. Here are just a few locations where my art traveled in the month of August:

Ponca City, OK; 
Alexandria, VA; 
Sarasota, FL;
 San Francisco, CA;
 Ottawa, ON Canada; 
Waterville, ME;
 Sacramento, CA; 
Gerrards Criss, Bucks,UK;
 Rydal, PA;
 Newport Beach, CA;
Hermitage, TN;
Floyds Knobs, IN;
Blackwood, NJ;
Aurora, CO;
Wellington, FL;
Jersey City; NJ

Thank you for making my art bestselling art! :0)

Cheers from