San Francisco Bay Area Watercolor Painting

Benicia, editorial, hills, illustration, Martinez, ocean, rocky shore, San Francisco Bay Area, sea, seascape, sketch, Watercolor, watercolour
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

Abstract Ocean

abstract, abstract water, abstraction, blue, decor, decorative, interior design, ocean, purple, sea, Sztukowski, water, waters, waves
Purple abstraction

In these two artworks, which are part of my new Abstract Ocean Collection; I am sailing my artist’s imagination into exploring the ocean colors, and dramatic composition with moving waters.

The first canvas print contains the purple range of colors. The waters are rough. The waves are expressive and random.

Unlike the second abstract painting, which has the softer colors from sky blue to deep ultramarine. This artwork contains more structure. The waves are moving in a certain direction. Yet, the blue blue ocean is still quite chubby and animated:

Blue Abstraction
www.artirina.com

Stormy Seascape Vintage Style

British School, De Young Museum, impressionism, landscape, mountains, ocean, old masters, realism, rocky, sailboat, San Francisco, sea, seascape, shore, style, Watercolor, William Turner
Ocean watercolor painting Old Masters style
In eager anticipation of a future trip to see William Turner‘s exhibition, that is taking place this Summer at the De Yong Museum in San Francisco; I’ve decided to create my own vintage style seascape painting:


In this artwork I followed not only good traditions of Old Masters of the British School; but also allowed myself to apply some fast brushstrokes in Impressionistic style.

Pretty much whole painting was completed in a dry brush technique when I used a very hard bristles (two size brushes), creating layer after layer to achieve the deep sea rough waters, the rocky mountains, and dramatic skies.

A lonely sailboat heading back to the harbor to escape the upcoming storm, The shore mountains are still lit by the sun in some places, but very soon, all will turn dark from the shadows of the clouds and those powerful ocean waves.

An interesting mysterious story:
When I finished the painting, I noticed a smiley face in the clouds. I left it there, thinking, “it is probably William Turner, looking at my art and saying: Good Job Irina!! Well Done!!”
🙂



www.artirina.com

California Landscapes – Point Arena Lighthouse

beach, California, grass, historical, Irina's art, landscape, lighthouse, ocean, Pacific Ocean, Point Arena, rocks, sea, seascape, shore, summer, Sztukowski, Watercolor
California Landscape

When painting this gorgeous landscape I had to practically “built”
the rocks layer by layer. It took me a couple of hours to achieve the texture
of the rocky cliff with its washes, cracks, grass, and clays. I was doing it
patiently with passion, thinking that Mother Nature did the same her way but it
took a few million years :0)
Here are a few interesting facts:
The Point Arena Lighthouse is situated on the closest point
of land to the Hawaiian Islands in the Continental United States. The point is
surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean which keeps the area cool. This Lighthouse
is set in one of the most spectacular and peaceful surroundings on the northern
California coast. The Point Arena tower is the only Pacific West coast
lighthouse of significant height that you can climb to the top! Access to the
lantern room provides a panoramic view of the rugged California coast and of
the ocean.
A Little bit of history:
The first lighthouse at this site was constructed in 1870.
The brick-and-mortar tower included ornate iron balcony supports and a large
Keeper residence with enough space to house several families. In April 1906, a
devastating earthquake struck the Light Station. The Keeper’s residence and
Lighthouse were damaged so severely that they had to be demolished.
The new lighthouse began operation in 1908, nearly 18 months
after the quake. It stands 115 feet (35 m) tall, and featured a 1st Order
Fresnel Lens, over six feet in diameter and weighing more than six tons. The
lens was made up of 666 hand-ground glass prisms all focused toward three sets
of double bullseyes. It was these bullseyes that gave the Point Arena
Lighthouse its unique “light signature” of two flashes every six
seconds. This incredible optic, that held an appraised value of over $3.5
million, was set in solid brass framework, and was built in France. Prior to
the introduction of electricity, the lens was rotated by a clockwork mechanism.
The Keepers, or “wickies” as they were called, had to hand crank a
160-pound weight up the center shaft of the lighthouse every 75 minutes to keep
the lens turning. Light was produced by a “Funks” hydraulic oil lamp,
that needed to be refueled every four hours, and whose wicks would have to be
trimmed regularly. Later, two 1,000 watt electric lamps were installed to
replace the oil lamp, and a 1⁄8 horsepower electric motor was installed to replace
the clockworks.
Nowadays (since 1984) nonprofit organization called the
Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers takes care of this place providing diligent
historic preservation of this beautiful place.
(info:courtesy to wiki and pointarenalighthouse.com/)




www.artirina.com 

Twenty Shades Of Blue – Blue Blue Water

California, Golden Gate Bridge, impressionism, lake, ocean, realism, realism in watercolor, San Francisco Bay, sea, Sztukowski, water, watercolors, waters
Recently, looking at my painting of Oregon shore, I was asking myself how many times I’ve painted the water, waters of an ocean, lakes, sea or river? 
And even though the answer was MANY.. I was curious to see the difference in the shades of blue; the blue blue water.

Water for me has some personal almost human qualities. The colors depend on the time of the the day, the light, the shadows; and, of course, the artist’s mood, time put into painting, and  professional choice of the color.

And here are just a few waters painted in the different places at different times. It is interesting to see these fragments in one post close to each other, with almost no surrounding background/foreground interruptions 
(if curious to see the full painting, just click on the image or the name of the artwork).

Fine Art realism
 Slowly building, soon ready to crush waves next to the shore in Boys And The Ocean painting:
Fine Art realism
 Deep blue waters of the ocean during the sunny in Capitola, California.  Two Umbrellas At The Beach painting:
Two Umbrellas at The Beach
and a very same day just a few hours later.
Capitola California artwork
Here is a foggy morning with wild emerald green waves in Carmel By The Sea, California:
Impressionism
and the same day, when Sun appeared, it made the water shine 
California Fine Art
Almost unbelievable Thalo and Ultramarine blue water in the painting A Coupe And The Sea:
Water painting

Ready to storm yet still not dangerous waters in A Girl And The Ocean artwork: 
Romantic artwork
And, much more alarming waves of the waters when the girl “grows up”, and comes to visit ocean again.
realistic artwork
Calm reflections in the mirror-like Winter waters of Lake Tahoe painting:
realistic seascape artwork

From Ultramarine to Turquoise  blue in Monterey Shore sketch:
water painting shore

Quiet monumental waters of Norway Fjord:  
realism in watercolor
I have to admit, painting the waters next to the Golden Gate Bridge seems to be my favorite thing now. 
Here are the waves near Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco Bay from Fort Point point of view:
California San Francisco Bay
Realism in watercolors
Point Bonita has different point of view to Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Lifted up fog just revealed graceful sailboats:  
California art
Soothing waters of the Bay reflecting the Golden Gate Bridge, is quite rare event: 
Realism in watercolors
Fine Art
Impressionistic green reflections of impressionistic waters in Water Lilies painting: 
impressionism in watercolors
And speaking of Impressionism, the Fall Reflections certainly colored those waters in Red, Yellow, Green, and Orange: 
Wet-on-wet artwork
If I were a poet I would write a poem devoted to Water; but, I am the Artist and I will keep painting Miss Water in all her shades of blue
:0)


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

A Couple And The Sea

after wedding, artist that takes commission, baby, Baltic Sea, coming, commission art, commissions, family portraits, newly wed, ocean, realism in watercolor, sailboat, sea
a couple in water
A newly wed couple at the sea.. I wanted to paint them in bright colors and a great contrast to emphasize the beginning of the family life: bright and cloudless (at least at the beginning ;).. 

They are looking at the sailboat far on the horizon. 

I wanted to have a sailboat in the painting as a symbol of light, full of adventurous future..
watercolor water
I painted the couple from the photograph, and I know that those days when photo was taken, the two went to the Baltic Sea for the vacation, warm weather allowed them to get their feet wet and have some time for just themselves. And by the way, the wife just broke a great news to her husband; it was a baby coming on board. 

Great new beginning, new life, new family, and … 
a new painting :0)
He and She


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

Seashell Collection – A Great Beginning

beach house, bestseller, coral, decor, design, Home Decor, interior, Irina, ocean, pearl, realism in watercolor, sand, sea, sea shell, seashell, Sztukowski, water drops
watercolor art
This decorative collage with seashells, pearls, seaweed, and sea stars was a follow-up on my new collection painted on handmade paper. 
One of my students wanted to learn how to paint realistic water drops. I had a cool idea to teach while painting myself; but, not only plain water drops. As I like to challenge myself, I’ve set up a whole scene with my seashells collection, surrounded with pearls and water drops:

It was fun to paint not from photograph, but live, creating a composition on this lovely handmade paper. 
Here are the four first examples of the outcome. The paper has uneven edges, which makes it look authentically handmade. When scanning the artworks on my computer I placed a rough canvas behind to emphasize the edges of the paper:

realism in watercolor
(click on image or HERE to see the details)
I created the sand-like background using a toothbrush technique, when you load the watercolor on a toothbrush and then brush your finger (carefully!!) across the bristles creating uneven yet very cool texture:
water drops in watercolor
(click on image or HERE to see the details)
I had the sea stars, pearls and shells in my collection. But I had to find the seaweed online to see how to paint it:
Watercolor Realism
(click on image or HERE to see the details)
In this painting (below) it was a real challenge. When I pulled the masking liquid from the paper (where the shell is), the glue of the liquid pulled the first tiny layer of the paper for me… Thanks to handmade product! At first, I thought I’ve ruined my artwork. But when I started painting the seashell itself, the roughness of the paper actually helped to create the cool natural seashell body texture:
(click on image or HERE to see the details)
And that how my Seashell collection started. Huge thanks to my friend who gave me those cute seashells more than 5 years ago.

I’ve also looked at my previous watercolors with seashells (last post is here). And created one more collage with those shells:

painting sea shells
Somebody might say, oh she is crazy about those seashells! And I’d say YES. More than that: I didn’t stop on painting those shells and creating collages. I’ve even got myself more gorgeous shells online: some seashells from Philippines, Mexico and India. So, there are more seashells paintings to come!

I guess I still have that Little Girl inside me that loves the ocean, fresh breeze, while walking on the beach and searching for the shells:
watercolor painting
(click on image or HERE to see the details)
My seashell collection is growing so much now, that I had to create a special gallery on FineArtAmerica, which I called 
 (click HERE to see it)

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

She Still Sells Sea Shells…

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Click on Image to see the details
While ago I published a post She Sells Sea Shells… And today one more sea shell is created and gone. I talked about symbolism of the sea shells and pearls before. I just wanted to say, that it appears my customers love this subject very much, and I believe it is due to a symbol of eternity and love besides the wealth and beauty :0)
And here are the other shells that recently found their homes:

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All original pieces were painted in 5″x7″ size with watercolor
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

To The Lighthouse – Point Reyes, California

California, Deer, Good Morning America, lighthouse, ocean, original painting, Point Reyes, realism in watercolor, rocks, sea, shore, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Click HERE to see detailed image
Painting outside requires a lot of things. One of them is to drive sometimes to the “lands end” .. This happened to me last weekend when my sister and I joined CWA at our monthly plein-air meeting. The selected location for that weekend was Point Reyes, one and a half hours away  historical place on a shore. A gorgeous place! As the matter of fact ABC program Good Morning America named it one of the 10 most beautiful places in America. And I need to add: The Foggiest. When we drove to the Lighthouse the fog was covering the hills as a blanket. We even didn’t notice a deer until it came close enough to the road; and, if you can see the buck cared less of people presence. He was staying gracefully and posing for a picture. 
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre (287.44 km2) park; and, I believe its heart is in the place where they built the Lighthouse: on the rocks, in the fog, wind, and only 52 degrees F (around 11C). brrrrrr… but still beautiful! Although, we only lasted a couple hours and had to go home to finish the paintings. 

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Original Watercolor Paintings:

Point Reyes Lighthouse 10″x14″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper
Deer In The Fog 9″x12″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper

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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

Standing By The Sea

artist that take commission, Carolyne Swayze, commission, commission art, Dramatic Sky, girl, girl watching ocean, illustration, ocean, rocks, sailboat, sailing ship, sea, Standing by the sea, Watercolor, waves
See the detail Image HERE
This painting was an inspiration after reading a beautiful poem Standing By The Sea by Carolyne Swayze. The author approached me with the request to illustrate the poem; and, the moment I read it, I knew what I wanted and how I wanted it to be painted.
 The poem was speaking to me in a very personal way. I’ve remembered my Grandmother who died at the end of year 2000, right before I came to America. It was so hard to let her go. She was my true soul mate ( in more Universal than romantic way). Living long but very hard life, she made herself becoming my great example; and, even now, writing this note I feel her peaceful presence in my memory (yet for some reason the tears are ready to come out)
I am sure that the poem would find a place in the hearts of the readers.
In my painting the boat is sailing into the Future, but the girl has her own Future and needs to find her own way. Her hand touches the heart and her heart is aligned with the ship at the horizon. The clouds on the left are darker and dramatic, when the clouds on the right are melting away lit by a Sun.
The poem speaks for itself:
Standing By The Sea
One day as I stood by the sea,
a sailing ship did sail towards me.
What beauty I thought,
what splendor, what grace,
when all at once my heart did race,
for as it neared, at a leisurely
pace,
I saw a figure with my mother’s face.
I called to her with all my might,
she turned and smiled, then sailed
out of sight.
For one eternal moment I stood and
stared,
before falling to my knees in
motherless despair.
At just that moment I heard a sound,
through teary eyes, I looked around,
to see an Angel, hovering over the
ground.
The Angel spoke in hallowed voice,
“Rejoice, dear child, for on
this day
a trip to Glory is underway,
and when she reaches the arriving
shore,
she’ll greet loved ones gone on
before.
So lament no more,”  the
Angel scried,
“For God’s Kingdom awaits her on
the other side.”
© Copyright 1997 Carolyne Swayze
All rights reserved. 
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Original Artwork is 16″x12″ on 300 lb Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

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