Three Fallen Leaves – Autumn Trio

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watercolor paintings
I am welcoming Fall with a new composition that is created with my watercolor leaves painted in realistic technique. 
And even though in California the season is not as pronounced now as it is on East Coast or Mid West; it is still so nice to see some trees turning colors and bringing so much joy to the artist’s eye.
In these three paintings of Autumn leaves I tried to capture not only the beauty of the leaves themselves; but, as well as the sunshine that allowed the gorgeous shadows to make the paintings more interesting and alive. 

More art is on 

Sunrise Sunset

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sun through the trees
Three recent paintings were added into a newly created gallery “Sunrise Sunset”.
This time, when painting these three landscapes I wanted to stick to a vertical format instead of the “landscape” one.
I think, when the scenery cut into an elongated painting vertically, it allows viewer to add his or her imagination on what could be on the left or right.
The top painting of the Sunset Through The Trees was an inspiration from my friend’s photograph. Her family traveled Midwest and she took a picture of a gorgeous view of a vanishing day through the trees’ shadows. The silhouettes of the trees like a frame of this artwork, and each section in between like a separate painting that tells the story.

Next painting that I called Bright Sunset has a good mix of yellow and purple that reveal a juicy red… This semi-realistic, semi-abstract painting has a good diagonal composition that competes with the horizon lines and the lines of the wavy waters:

watercolor painting
The third painting has somewhat mellow wash of the colors. It is the beginning of the day, a Nature’s awakening. It is a gentle Sunrise At The Lake. 
A little rustic boat is parked next to the shore. Perhaps a couple of friends or lovers were enjoying a night on isolated island of this still, peaceful lake. Who knows .. I paint a hint; and, the story can be continued by a viewer’s imagination:
At The Lake

Abstract Florals

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red yellow brown design
From the realistic floral (in recent post) I moved to semi-abstract ones. 
I was in search of organic lines that might imply the flowers or leaves; but, meanwhile remain the lines allowing the colors and composition speak for themselves.

I started with warmer color.
And a chosen medium for these designs was acrylic paint. It is water based color; but, the good part, it allowed me to place nice and juicy brush strokes that had some kind of body (thick, visible, and distinguished).

And that how the top design was born. One can see there a flower, some leaves, even a seed pods full of life and color.

Then I moved to a flamboyant leaves that can be an implication of the flickering game of light in a fireplace: 
red yellow home decor

acrylic abstract

yellow red brown design
After warming up my heart and getting a good warm-up with my brush, I moved to a cooler color and this whimsical forest was created: 
blue green acrylic art
 Then even cooler colors came up (ultramarine and purple). They helped me to pour the waves and wind into these abstract floral designs:
organic painting
It was interesting to switch from realism to the abstract, from watercolor to acrylic. Once in a while every artist should try this; to me it helped to “abstract” from what I was doing before and tickle my imagination. 

Painting California Poppies

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orange painting
California Poppies (scientific name Eschscholzia Californica) sometimes are called a Cup of Gold. They are official California state flowers.

I found this small golden field when going one day to Blake Garden in Berkeley Hills for a plain-air session. I was so occupied painting another field of Red Poppies that I only had a few minutes to run around the park and take some photos. In contrary to the poppies that I painted that day (see painting below), these orange cuties were volunteers. They just spread around the park glowing and bringing light and cheer.
poppy painting
(previous post is here, and the prints are available here)
As I recall, it was a little meadow with the Red and Pink poppies hiding in the forest like garden.

The red ones were planted by people. 

The orange ones were probably brought by birds and wind. 

They decided to locate themselves wherever was comfortable: on a pathway that brought the artists to a marvelous view of the San Francisco Bay
I painted an artist there who came to paint California Poppies; so, that there is more to the story. When the viewer comes to the painting, the fist thing he/she sees are the poppies: bright, orange, big. Yet with more careful observation, you can notice that somebody else is there admiring the orange flowers at the Bay. 

In the last couple of years I painted quite a few of those orange flowers. But the painting above is probably the largest one 
(original painting California Poppies is 23″x17″ on Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor paper) 
 and it has a story

Here are just a few of those “Golden Pots”:

framed art

fine art
open floral
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Watercolor Rose Painting

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pink roses
I am celebrating a Rose Petals Day today. And even though I found out that an official Rose Day is somewhere in February, on my blog it is here and now :0)..

Why do I love roses? I think for their multiple generous petals, which at the first glance are looking alike yet not the same. Each petal is unique when, after all, unites into a gorgeous flower. 

Why else? Hm…I also like these flowers for the challenge. When the artist paints a rose, she has to put herself in some meditation stage, painting one petal after another.. and, again, never forget about stepping away and see the whole flower. 

When painting this rose, I almost got lost in the petals, in their beauty, and their abstracted realism.

Just take a look at the fragments of the same rose, isn’t it a lovely abstract suggested in the turn of petals?


petal study
Celebrate a Rose Day with me. I pulled all my recent roses and combined them in a PhotoShop “bouquet” for you :0)
rose garden
Original painting Rose (above all) is Watercolor on 20″x16″ 300lb Cold Pressed Paper

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

Watercolor Tulips – Bay Area Flowers – San Francisco

Fine Art, Flowers, garden, Golden Gate Park, Painting, poppies, realism in watercolor, red, San Francisco, Sztukowski, tulips, Watercolor, watercolour, yellow
A couple of years ago the Tulip Garden in San Francisco Golden Gate Park was “on fire” with red and yellow tulips and poppies. 

I love tulips, every single stage of those flowers: the buds, a slightly opened mystery, and Boom! full bloom when the flowers expose their intricate beauty..

In this painting, the part of my Bay Area Flowers series, I tried to capture each stage.  
The original Tulip Garden in San Francisco painting is 27″x21″ watercolor on Hot Pressed 140lb Arches Paper.

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

My Impressionistic Autumn

autumn, fall, impressionism, Konstantin, leaf, orange, Painting, realism in watercolor, red, river, seasons, Sztukowski, trees, Vasiliev, water
As the Fall knocking the door already, I got in the Autumn mood and grabbed my brush. Here I want to share a couple of Impressionistic style paintings.
The first one is actually a segment of a larger painting:
Click on the image to see Zoom-up
This is the view from the window of my Fall painting where I mix a still life with the landscape. The still life will be very realistic, detailed; yet, the landscape is mostly done in wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry… just like The Nature welcomes us with Autumn rains and dry gusty winds. I’ll be posting the final result in the next post.
Another painting was an inspiration and experimentation. And it is always a story coming around:
See this painting and its variations in my New Gallery Seasons
My artist-friend Vera Lysenko and I love the art of one wonderful Russian painter Konstantin Vasiliev whose short but extremely productive life produced more than 400 gorgeous paintings. Vera and I were discussing his painting about Fall; and, she asked me to paint a piece similar in expression for her. And even though Vasiliev was following more realistic symbolism shell I say; I decided to paint Fall forest in Impressionistic format using new for me techniques. First I painted all wet on wet with splashes of yellow, orange, and sepia. Then, I grabbed the brush and started splattering the “leaves” all over the artwork (the surrounding area also suffered for art: my computer display, desk, floor. Oh Well!). And when the painting was completed, I covered it with the thin layer of Acrylic Polymer that my friend can place it on a wall without framing (I fixed the painting with Auquarelle Fixative before applying the polymer). All of that made a very decorative colorful ready-to-give gift.
That’s how one realistic artist and one wonderful friend can trigger an impressionistic idea in another artist.
I found a short movie-presentation of Vasiliev art, if you are interested click below: you will have a delighted visual and musical experience:
For more beautiful Art works please click 
watercolors flowers eiffel tower portraits
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Muy Caliente! Pineapple Habanero – Jam Labels Project

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Detailed Image is HERE
My Jam Labels project is developing into very interesting and a creative venue. Not only my customer makes delicious sweet jams, she also mixes a sweet with a heat. And here is the great wild example, pineapple habanero. When I received her request to paint that spicy family my mind was wondering how to accomplish this unusual combination, how to place papers next to the pineapple in the way they compliment each other. 
I cut my pineapple and left its beautiful leaves for the contrast. The habanero peppers were placed on both sides to give a stability to the composition. Their tails are up in the air as if whole painting is smiling. I swear when I painted this piece my mouth was watering just from thinking of flavor, sweetness and richness of this combination.
 And the good part to work on such projects such Jam Labels is that my customer provided me with the sample. And oh yeah: It was delicious! 
Muy Caliente!!!
And here is one of the labels:
8″x10″ Watercolor on Arches 140lb Cold Pressed
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Christmas Angel

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A little Christmas Angel spreads his wings ready to go on our Christmas Tree. My sister and I are decorating it this year. When we were kids we could not even imagine to have an Angel as a decoration. Soviet Union times prohibited all sort of things that imply religion. Even Santa was called Father Frost in order to avoid any religious meanings.

But we did make wishes on the New Year eve. The deal was to make as many wishes as you can while clock strikes 12. I had one wish per second. And now, in the Holiday Spirit I really wish for pretty much one thing (besides World Peace and Health for my Family and Friends and myself of course). I wish that my right arm would never fail and my eyes will be strong and sharp to paint more art.
8″x10″ Winsor & Newton Watercolor on 140 Cold Pressed Fabriano
Photo Reference – Masha Batkova

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

It’s Time for Coffee

carafe, coffee, farmers market, fruits, Irina's watercolors, pear painting, pears, red, Still Life, yellow
Two of my favorite things: Coffee and Pears. Not that I drink coffee eating pears every day, in most of the cases the coffee wins. And I loved to challenge myself with the pear painting as these fruits have some kind of magic in their shapes. There is no perfect pear yet they are all so incredibly interesting.


At the beginning I’ve painted them all yellow, green and slight red. The skin was perfectly glowing from inside. I’ve even made a photo reference, when all of the sudden I’ve noticed that there is something wrong there: the pears looked to me more waxie than real. Yes, I forgot to place the little “imperfections” on them: the dots that characterize the pears so well. After few touches these Ladies came to life, all dotted, all freckled and smiley..
The photo reference came from my sister; the pears she bought at Russian Farmers Market and she used an old carafe that we had for years in our family to set up this beautiful still life for me.
8″x10 Waterecolor on Arches 140 Cold Pressed, Winsor & Newton watercolors