Sunflower Drama

art for kitchen, Home Decor, painting of sunflower, realism, still life with sunflowers, Sunflower, sunflower art, sunflowers, sunflowers in the vase, Watercolor
watercolor by Irina Sztukowski
Quite a drama happened in my backyard; and, I want to share here.

 I was determined to paint lots of sunflowers this season. With this in mind, I planted two rows of sunflowers next to the shed. They started looking promising and cute in a couple of weeks of intensive watering:

However, my dreams to paint live sunflowers did not match plans of Mr Squirrel that came to the back yard. Yes, yes, the squirrel just like the one in this drawing by the artist Masha Batkova.. 

Here is her Little Hungry Thief:
Drawing by Maria Batkova 
This animal (small in size, but with the BIG appetite) crawled on each and every sunflower and ate the tops of the flowers…

Completely!!  

One of the sunflower he knocked down to use as the step; and, therefore, this one survived. 

I saved it and cherished watching it opening in my dining room:
But idea to create did not leave my mind. It even became stronger; and, I decided to “make a lemonade” when “life gave me a lemon” …

I grabbed all necessary tools and created Italian Cafe scene for the collage Sunflowers For Two (see above)

Then I placed the sunflowers into a blue vase and the still life The Bunch Of Sunflowers was born. I’ve even decorated the Sunflowers of mine with the rustic canvas background and created a festive 3D artwork collage called Sunflowers Bouquet.

Watercolor by the artist Irina Sztukowski
watercolor collage Irina Sztukowski

And at last but not least, I managed to place a bunch of watercolor sunflowers into the basket and send it on a bicycle to a vintage style country scene:
watercolor by the artist Irina Sztukowski

Watercolor painting design Basket Full Of Sunflowers

Basically, I’ve learned a very important lesson in my artistic life:
If life give you a Squirrel, Make some Sunflower Bouquets 
:0)
www.artirina.com


Sunflowers Rising – An Unusual Commission

art commission, commission, commission the painting, floral, heart, Painting, Sunflower, sunflowers, sunflowers painting, symbol, ultramarine, Watercolor, yellow
yellow blue watercolor
I’ve received an interesting commission request recently; an unusual one for sure.
One of my clients asked to paint sunflowers for her. Nothing unusual yet. I have painted sunflowers many times and my customer was sure I can handle the job. She liked the bunch of sunflowers that I have painted before:
Realism Impressionism In Watercolor
My client asked if I can finish already started painting of sunflowers. Her late father-in-law was a wonderful watercolor artist and died before finishing this artwork. 
His name was Palmer Stinson. He entered a world of watercolors when he turned 70; and he painted for more than a decade producing gorgeous landscapes, floral paintings, and still life artworks. He also loved to paint Sunflowers. Palmer started a series of sunflower paintings and had chance to complete two large pieces. 
The last one he started; but, late years and illness did not allow him to paint; and he had to stop before age 88. 
I have to admit, the request to finish one artist’s work was surprising and a little bit scary. But I was also curious how I will handle it. I had to work in collaboration with the artist’s spirit.
The Sunflowers were already drawn on a paper and the artist was able to place a couple of washes for the flowers:
I had to cover the work that was already done and mask the flowers and leaves for a background wash:

I chose bright ultramarine blue for the background, and started from small sections going up:

The last section of the blue background was tougher than I thought. The section was large and I had to go carefully around each petal (even they were preserved by masking liquid) as I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful artist’s work on sunflowers:
After the background was completed, I have started painting sunflowers’ leaves and stems:

watercolor
Then I placed the veins on the leaves and texture on the sunflowers’ centers.
The artwork was completed:
completed artwork
I did enjoy painting this artwork, working in collaboration with the artist that passed away; yet he was there in his artwork. 
One evening, when I just finished painting the first few ultramarine blue sections, a thought crossed my mind:

“What if there is a message that artist wanted to place into this artwork. I wonder if he was thinking to place some kind of symbol there; maybe… a heart”

Imagine my surprise, when I came back to the work-inprogress to continue painting, I saw an obvious heart, in one of the leaf. 
And not even one heart I noticed but two were there! 

And I have not noticed them before:
Conscious or subconscious ? Who knows! 
The message has been received
:0)



Impressionistic Sunflowers

bright, impressionism, Impressionism in Watercolor, impressionistic, Sunflower, sunflowers, Watercolor, yellow
impressionistic floral design
Today I moved my brush from extreme realism to extreme impressionism. The victims of my experiment were those lovely sunflowers. 

The secret of impressionistic watercolors is to move the brush quickly, fearlessly, and with great deal of confidence. The trick is to remember that it is not an oil painting, and watercolor tend to mix/blend together, especially when wet paint is applied into wet. 

So, I had to be extremely careful, but still quick and fearless.

Results are above. I like the contrast and spontaneous feeling of this painting. 

Happy Birthday – Again?!!

birthday, card, cards, designs, floral, flower, Flowers, Happy, orchid, Sunflower, Watercolor, watercolor cards
Happy Birthday
It is becoming a good tradition now to give myself a Gift of Art every year. 
This year in the month of my Birthday, I created Happy Birthday designs with the flowers from my virtual garden, most of them are the images of the paintings that were already sold. And now, they get a new, also very Happy, appearance in my Happy Birthday designs.

For example these lovely Sunflowers:
 I thought that blue and green background with yellow highlights will give them a good contrast:  

floral design   watercolor


 The gentle purple of the orchid called for lilac and purple shades:

Happy BD watercolor
Rich royal blue helped the Poppies and Purple Iris to be “framed” in a simple, yet romantic design:

Happy Birthday   Happy Birthday
As well as those Impressionistic Water Lilies, which are “floating” in the blue, water-like, surrounding:
watercolor design
 Juicy pink made my Hibiscus and the Rose with the Dew Drops even more gentle:

Happy Birthday Card   Happy
And a sweet miniature Tulips on the window were just a right size for this vintage feeling Birthday card:

Watercolor cards
Overall, I shell say, I went overboard with my Happy Birthday designs this year as I created dozens of floral Birthday cards.
 But what a great gift to myself!! 
Besides, I surely had lots of fun!
 :0)

More designs are in my Cards Gallery here