Friday, October 31, 2008


The apartment was vacant, and as soon as the Fish figured it out they decided to move in

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Would not be a good Snail

Just thinking about carrying everything I own on my back makes my head spin.

Since we moved into our new apartment a year and a half ago, I was trying to make it as homey as possible. And that includes painting on walls and growing basilica on the windowsill.

Yesterday I made a visit to Ikea, got another few things that I just had to have, and then came home with a sudden urge to change something. SO...I moved a bookcase:) Now I have my very own corner of the bedroom, that can be called MY STUDIO. I have all my supplies organized, I have the reference books that I need at hand, and most importantly I have an almost clear table, to work on.

Another benefit of that is that the paintings on the wall in my kids room are visible again. We had to block them during our last room rearrangement (Anna sleeps in a big bed now, and a big bed takes so much more room!) Andrei and Anna have been complaining that they can't see the knight and the princess anymore. And that made me so happy . NO, not the fact that they were upset, but rather the fact that they missed my Artwork. So the princess and the knight, and the cat for that matter are back. The final touches with chalk are done by Anna.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moon Huggers and Custom Illustrations

I just finished working on a custom sequence of 5 images I did, illustrating a song that someone wrote for their son. And you probably have already guessed that it is about the Moon.
Custom work is the most challenging for me in turns of fitting the idea that someone has into an image I grow inside my head. But what I have noticed is that the harder the custom work is, the more growth happens afterwords. So I enjoy a good challenge once in while:) And besides, some customers (like the one I did this order for) are just a pleasure to work with! So cheers and THANK YOU to all of you, that bring your ideas to me and make me grow !!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Movie Monday 3

This one is just great!!! Whimsy, modern medicine, love and an amazing ending!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today I will tell a story...

Cheshire cat

About how the Cheshire Cat learned to play the piano, and how I almost quit painting and an Internet miracle to top it off.

About 2 years ago I was going through some kind of quarter-life-crisis (if there is a thing like that, I think there has to be) and all kinds of crazy ideas about changing my career were passing by.
I was a stay at home Mom with a mediocre BS in Fine Art, I was painting for myself , but there was no way I could see this turning into a more or less serious occupation. My husband kept telling me that I should find some artistic group to hang out with, but it was very hard with a cranky 2 year old boy on hands all the time. So I turned to the Internet, once again. It has never failed me before:) It did not fail this time either. I found a site that had open gallery for Artists , just to show off the works and to leave comments. Started posting, getting feedback, and all of a sudden I felt that I am doing SOMETHING and people are seeing it. For all of you Artistic folk, you know how important that is! To know that your work is seen:) And then I joined a Mommy forum to talk about good kiddy books and organic diapers and ways to reward and punish your little bundle of joy/frustration...And then Julia came along:)
And not only did she come along, she started buying my works. She was my first serious collector, and eventually became a dear friend of mine. Julia had the most amazing ideas for custom pieces, and they sort of clicked with me. A Cheshire cat playing the piano?! Perfect, I can already see him. A family walking their cat in Central Park at night? OOOO...delicious:) And I would instantly get the picture in my head. She has excellent imagination and a very harmonious sense of color, which you can see the best in her knitted works. Here is my daughter Anna wearing of them and loving it:) And I must tell you she is a very picky girly girl (have no idea where she gets it from!)

This is how I see Julia :)) Actually this is a combination of how I see her and how she sees herself

To make a long story short, I did not become a nurse, or radiologist, or X ray technician. And the idea that I could seems ridiculous today, but I was seriously considering it;) Luckily for the unsuspecting future patients of mine, I think I am much better off with a paint brush in my hand
P.S. And for the grand finale an exclusive showing of a couple of pages in a book I did as a gift for Julia's son , the-always-beautifully-smiling little Gabi

Friday, October 24, 2008

IF: Repair

Some things are beyond repair. Like this crack in the wall , the wall separating the real world from the imaginary one. It is good, and it is bad, since such cracks in reality can bring miracles and cause horrible happenstances.

Does it need repair? I am not sure. May be it creates the balance of magic in our daily life.

This is a very old illustration of mine, when I just was figuring out what watercolors are all about.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Making Treasuries is not easy

I have been on Etsy for almost a year. I never managed to get a treasury, even though I could make a pretty good one.
Today as I was going through my morning routine, which now includes twitter I heard someone say that there is an Treasury spot opening soon. So I ran to Etsy, and indeed withing a minute or so I had an opening at the bottom of the page asking me to enter the Treasury Title. Boy, was I ready? NO! But I decided to go with the flow, and made up something sounding like Whimsy in the Air. The key was NOT to refresh the page, while waiting. Thank you twitter, I would not have know that otherwise. And then, I just went through my favorites (and I do happen to like whimsical creatures of all shape and form) and fill it out.
So here it is--my first Etsy Treasury! Cheers to all the featured Artists, may be we will make a good first showing:)

Please leave a comment if you like it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I found my perfect companion for the winter

I've got hatty birds, hatty cats, Mad Hatters...and now I've completed it with a hat for me:)
It seems to have been just waiting there for me, the last 3 days I was passing it by and thinking that I need to stop and try it on. But I am always running, to school, from school, to the pool, to jujitsu, arr...Most of the time I have to run, not to walk.

Finally I slowed down, stopped,and walked into the fancy boutique (feeling slightly uneasy about myself, I was not wearing my best clothes at the moment, and the lady owner probably does not get too many customers wearing different colored socks.What?:) I was late, again.)

To make the long story short--I bought it. I love it. I think I look like one of my paintings :) I hope I do not look too funny, but even if I do--oh well!

Let the winter come--I am ready, ready for some Mad Tea parties.

What do you think? Isn't it just perfect?:) Now I am the Hatty Artist!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wind

I was very surprised how hard it is to find a good image of the wind!
I am doing a custom illustration of a children's song, that involves the moon, the wind and a mother with child. In my mind the wind is this cheeky fellow , blowing his head away, with big nose, and big lips. Did I image him, or did I see him somewhere?
My attempts to google this image were useless. So I had to come up with something without any references. Which is also fun, but a bit harder to do.
I will keep looking, and if any of you have any ideas where to look, it would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, I introduce to you The Wind. (available in my shop now)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Movie Monday 2

For all of you cat owners:) A sad life of a cat with kids

Friday, October 17, 2008

IF: Late

Late evening walk in central park. A custom family portrait, that I did for a friend of mine. I hope I will write a story about her, and how I almost became a nurse:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a bit frustrated

Does anyone know how to get rid of these ugly white borders on the left and the right?
I can not figure it out :( is it "side bar" or is it "margin"?
any advice would be MUCH appreciated

Work in progress

A new batch came out last night. I recently went to a bookstore with my kids and bought a few books from my all time favorite publisher А-БА-БА-ГА-ЛА-МА-ГА, and just looking thou those books always makes me want to paint. And mind you, paint something good:)

I do now know if I have accomplished it, but at least I tried. The hardest thing for me now , is to concentrate. I get only good 2 hours a day when I can work without distraction, and that is not much, because even if I sit down at my work table it takes at least an hour to clear the head from all kinds of useless thoughts. So I get 1 hour out of 24 to create. However, I try to use as much of it as I can. My goal is not to loose my drive, and in a couple of years when the kids are in school and I will have more time to myself to embark on a crazy-paint-all-the-time journey.

Would not it be wonderful to paint like this? I am mezmerized by this artist

Monday, October 13, 2008

Movie Monday

same animator Mikhail Aldashin
this one is about humanity , and surprisingly with a happy end

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Replanishing my paint and inspiration

Today I splurged, and bought a new box of watercolors. After trying many different brands and types of watercolor I have settled on Yarka. No, it's not only because they are made in Russia, although that adds to their charm. Somehow the texture and the opacity of the paint itself seem to me superior to the others. Also they are honey based:) and my cats always love to drink the watercolor water, while I paint.

So now I have new paints, a few new pencils (I prefer Ebony) --the only thing is that I need some time without the kids and some phone calls ,and jumpy thoughts and irritating ideas to do the laundry and wash the dishes. I will have to block out the rest of the world and concentrate on the inside .

This is my inspiration board. Can you find 3, no , 4 Etsy Artists that I admire?

(in no particular order Lisa Hurwitz ,Rima (intothehermitage), Elsita, Dilkabear, Natalya Sots)

Friday, October 10, 2008

IF: Strings

Can you tell I was into Chagall for many years?:) This is a piece that I will never sell. It is an epoch that I was going through at the time, the blues, the Snow Show, the horses. I have a few pieces with these themes. Plus this is the first piece where the scarfed "no mouth" people appeared, which started to frequent my art more and more. There is something about these guys, that is hard to put into word. They have big eyes, but yet no mouth.Hmm...actually my fish do not have mouths either. Looking, yet staying silent. Let the music replace the words. At least the horses like it.
and on a more serious note: why is violin called a violin? wiki take it from here

The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings usually tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello.
A violin is sometimes informally called a fiddle, regardless of the type of music played on it. The word "violin" comes from the Middle Latin word vitula, meaning "stringed instrument";[1] this word is also believed to be the source of the Germanic "fiddle".[2] The violin, while it has ancient origins, acquired most of its modern characteristics in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th century.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Matryoshka revelation

Ever since I was little I have seen them, played with them, broke them...One of the favorite things little kids love to do (and it is actually recommended in books on parenting in Russia) is to give these nesting dolls to kids, so they can grasp the concept of small , larger, the largest. So they can put them into each other, and figure out which one goes where. A brilliant toy if you think about it, very safe and beautiful,a puzzle in itself. Those of you who have kids know, how around the age of 1-2 they love to play with containers placing them inside each other. Usually kitchen wear is their favorite;) But back to matryoshkas, they serve the purpose beautifully.

I painted one yesterday. Just because. It is a very easy and appealing concept to play with, colors, shapes, and after having done one picture I realize that there is really much more to it, I think I will keep working on them.
And then for the first time in my life I did some research of the subject. And how surprised I was to find out that this symbol of Russia is really not Russian , but came from Japan in the late 1890s. A Buddhist doll with a round face was brought as a gift to a Russian monk, and he decided to make a doll of his own. Only a female one. And a different artist painted it--and that's how it all started.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've discovered Youtube:)

rather how to add video's to the blog

This is a wonderful animation by Mikhail Aldashin "The Other Side". Life, Love, death and destiny in the life of a worm.
Beautifully animated, amazing drawing and some thought provoking content.
Is there really no "other side"?
My husband brought in a ladybug yeasterday , by accident from outside. My cat ate it within minutes. I wonder if it felt the same as the worm

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Slava's SNOW SHOW is back in NYC

We went for the first time 4 years ago. I fell in love at the first sight, the music, the lights, the pantomime alltogether grabbed me somewhere deep inside and would not let go. I bought the soundtrack (which never happens ), I listened to it time after time..and painted like crazy. After a long break in making Art--the Snow Show opened some door inside of me and I could not stop the flow of images. The music brought those images to life and I had to put them on paper.

It has been 4 years since than. The door that was opened is still open:) And I am very grateful to the creator of this magical show for that. I am taking my son to see it this time.

This is taken from the Snow Shows original webpage , the words of the author Slava Polunin

What Is My Kind of Theatre?or The Theatre I Love
- It is a kind of wedding cavalcade,where I try to marry everyone to everyone;
- It is a theatre of ritual magicand festive pageantry,constructed on the basis of images and movements,games and fantasies,that are the common creation of the audience and the people of the theatre;
- It is a theatre which inexorably growsfrom dreams and tales;
- It is a theatre of hopes and dreams,full of longing and loneliness,losses and disillusionment;
- It is a theatre which always changes,which breaths spontaneous improvisationand cares scrupulously for tradition;
- It is in the vein of contemporarymulti-layered synthesis,on the boundary of life and art;
- It is a theatre that works in an epic-intimate alloyof tragedy and comedy,of absurdity and naivity,of cruelty and gentleness;
- It is a theatre which escapesdefinition and the unequivocalunderstanding of its actions,as from attemptsto usurp its freedom.
Slava Polunin

Monday, October 6, 2008

Black and White Birds

what do you think of these?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Somebody else is into Teapots (teacups, and tea parties for that matter)

A beautiful treasury by ImagineStudio, that I am in . And a few of my all time favorite artists as well, like natalyasots( Hi Natasha!!!!)

I love to be in treasuries, and I love teapots (some day I will show off my collection and invite all of you for a virtual tea party)
Please smile and wave if you like it:)))))

Friday, October 3, 2008

What to do on an Autumn Rainy vacation?

Pick mushrooms, feed seagulls, watch sunsets, pet horses, walk in the dunes, see the stars in your lovers eyes, watch the kids play in the sand, play chess, drink tea with lots of sugar, collect autumn leaves, and sketch , sketch, sketch....

IF: Sugary

Mice like sugary jam as their winter holiday meal


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