Friday, November 28, 2008

IF Baloon

Flying horses
Tamers of the wild flying horses travel in their hand made air balloon and play the Magic Flute. The flying horses can not resist Mozart. Once you have their attention and they feel they can trust you you can start feeding them rose petals. You have to pay special attention that the petals are not too dry, or that there are no lady bugs on them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My new batch of Art Pendants has arrived!

I am very excited, since the old ones sold out RIGHT BEFORE the Holiday Season. I was not sure if I could get the new ones in time. But they are here:) And they are beautiful! I can say that without being bashful, since I do not make the actual pendant:) I am thrilled that the shoestringgallery does such a beautiful job for me!
Lots of different ones, and all of them are ready to find their new homes.
I personally will keep one of these for myself,
I already have one I like to wear, and I got a special multi-layer necklace for it. Here you can see it, the head had to be cut off though, since the facial expression would ruin the shot :) I am not very photogenic

We are on our Thanksgiving trip in Maryland. All of us, including the cat, who turned out to be a great travel companion.
My brother is coming back from college for his first "come back" Thanksgiving, and I am very excited to see him. So I am off to pack, drop things of at the post office and register our new car. We will be driving our brand new Scion XB, which is a rather funky looking car, or should I say unusual looking? But it goes well with my new hat, so I like it;)
Have a lovely weekend all of you! And I will be back with a more informative post next week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Movie Monday 7

Dedicated to my dear husband:)
We had a truly awsome date yeasterday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

IF: Opinion

It is a well known opinion that babies need lots of love, sleep and fresh air. And this mermaid was determined to take good care of her little one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am being Santa

Yes, it's this time of the year again. Wishes are being written down, miracles are expected and dreams about the Holidays are swirling around in my kids heads.

The older one (will be 5 on Dec. 23) has a very defined wish list, so being Santa for him is not too hard. He is still into knights and castles, Roman soldiers and good books (which makes me really proud)
The younger one 2.5 years old is just approaching the phase when girlish pink stuff seems more and more attractive. And you should see those pinks! Most of them are the horrible shade of the medicine you use for your upset stomach. I do admit that pink can be beautiful, but somehow it is not the kind that you usually see. So I am on the conquest to fight the excessive princesses and try to give her a slightly broader perspective to life. Which makes finding gifts not that easy.
So I will settle for some puzzles and games I think. And a toy bed for her stuffed animals.

And then there are always books....Toys and children's books are personal favorites of my to look for. I enjoy a good hunt for a great illustrator, an original puzzle or something that is well made and pleasing to the eye.

Last night I was making my list. THE LIST. And these are a few of my favorites that I have come across.

I find the books very well drawn, the colors are fantastic, and the elephants (especially the grey ones) have fantastic faces:) The story itself leaves a bit to be desired, but it is still good. I thoroughly enjoy looking at these books.

The book above is not the one I purchased for my kids, but the illustrator is the same Valeri Gorbachev. I remember him since the days I was little, he draws very unique looking bunnies and wolfs. So when I saw one of those critters on the shelf of Barnes and Noble the other day I had a very strong flashback. I am very glad to see that he has made a wonderful career here in the States. Books from our childhood do stay extra special throughout the whole life, it's been more than 20 years since I saw his illustrations:) Yet I remember them as clear as can be.

The one above has amazingly great watercolor washes ! Such delicate yet strong line work, I should rather say absence of the lines and the watercolors at their best. Also you can see the fox, which I liked so much that put into one of my last watercolors. The book is written by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantschev

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Making bits and pieces dance together

When I feel especially down, and unable to paint or draw I turn to my all time magic resource--sculpting. Well, sculpting is actually too big of a word to describe what I do, it's more like doodling with clay.
Somehow polymer clay is the medium that lets me doodle without too much thinking, and allows me to create characters that I like and that instantly boosts the creative potential, and I can paint again:) That's my cycle of boosting the creativity.
Also about a year ago I have discovered collages. Not that I did not know about them before, but that language of visual expression was foreign to me.
Step by step.
First I rediscovered Sergei Parajanov a master of cynomatography who also created amazing symphonies of color.

Parajanov collageParajanov collage And then there is always flickr. Flickr--full of wonderful pieces of Art that make me spend minutes and hours just browsing and admiring what can be done.

I absolutely adore the work of Sarah Lechner, the weaver of textile collage magic
Sarah Lechner image

And another Artist who never seizes to amaze me by her ability to use regular images cut out of magazines to create a surreal and Salvador Dali like world--Olga Golanov
So, what do I do with all this inspiration that I get?

Well, my collages are far far far from any of the above. They are still clumzy and very simple, but the truth is--I enjoy making them more than anything else. I savor making these, and leave this to the days when I do not feel like doing "serious" work:)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Movie Monday 6

Getting into the Holiday Spirit. My personal favorite, a Nativity animation that is both very naive and extremely deep, like the story itself. And for all of you music lovers a great way to combine Bach with animation. This animation gave me a new understanding of how music can become visible.
Sory folks for not having it all together from the beginning. For some reason I thought it went untill the end, but it only had the first half.
Part 1

Part 2

Friday, November 14, 2008

IF: Pretend

When the Cellist was playing outside the whole family would gather at the window and for a minute they could pretend that there is no war
an illustration to the story called "The Cello of Mr. O" unfortunately I could not find the name of the author

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've been Tagged!

Thank you justine and Cat Mallard for remembering me!

the rules are tell 7 little known things about yourself then tag 7 others (be sure and link everyone!)

Now off to a rather difficult task to think of 7 things about me that might be interesting enough :)(brain wheels turning and squeaking in faint attempts to produce some quality content)

1. I used to pick and plant acorns in our family garden. My parents were very surprised and rather unhappy when all those trees started to sprout in most unappropriated places. Below I am caught in the act (2 years old)

2. I met my husband on the Internet, while writing a paper in college during my senior year. I was very tired and frustrated and decided to do something different to relax the brain:) This is the first picture of me, he saw:)))) I did loose lots of weight since than:))) And yes, I painted those huge oil pieces that you see in the background. My style has changed as well . A lot.:)

3. My son is named after Andrei Rublev.

4. I burn everything I cook. I have a very special relationship with Fire, and even though we love each other dearly, it does make cooking rather difficult.

5. I am a Godmother to a 28 year old young man who lives in Austria, and a 7 year old girl that lives in Brooklyn.

6. I wanted to be a tiger tamer when I was little, as well as a veterinarian, teacher and artist.

7. I always make the same cake for New Years. It does not envolve baking and I learned to make it when I was 14. Everyone loves it:) The picture shows me making it back in Ukraine, I am 16, my best friend who lives in Poland took it. I am wearing a T shirt that was donated to our local church by american missionaries--and I thought I looked really cool in it LOL

And I am tagging






Distressing Delilah



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ink drawings and good books

I have had a very productive day today. The kids were at Grandma's all day, and from 9 am till 4 pm I had TIME. Time to do whatever I felt needed doing! The luxury of having time to yourself, I savored every minute of it.

First I finished several watercolors that I had been working on.
One is another take on princesses and knights, and will be for sale either as a print or as an original in my shop (I have not decided which way it will be)
Another is a song illustration for a friend of mine, that I was asked to do. Actually I was given the whole album to listen, and had an option of illustrating one of the songs. They were all good, but not many had strong visual images in them. The strongest one was a song about a couple , where the woman dreamed for them to be cats, sit on roofs, spill ink on owners poems, drink water from puddles etc. But later on she forgot all about it and became this typical boring housewife. Sad. But often times true.

And while I was doing it, I wanted to have some ink drawing references, so one of my ALL TIME favorite books about a great animator Nordstein came to mind. I will be showing off his animation soon, but so far here are a couple of drawings from that book. His wife did them. He was the director, she was the animator. Wonderful lively line, composition and free style that I admire.
Also from that same book a photo of their family. I love looking at it. I have always dreamt to have artistic parents. Did not happen:) our house was always spotless and very cozy, but not artistic at all. This photo represents something that I envisioned as an alternative reality, while growing up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Movie Monday 5

If everything was paper, and we could shape our life as origami folders...

Friday, November 7, 2008

IF: Wise

I wise owl, a chest full of fairy tales, a not-so-bad wolf, a fairy that lives in a teapot, a cat that has an enchanting smile, even though he is not Cheshire...A bunch of creatures that keep me company while I paint.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Tea Party

A while ago I promised to host a virtual Tea Party for all my Blog Friends.
I think it is a good day to do it today. It seems that all of America is celebrating the results of the elections. I am not into politics, and the most support our president got from my almost 5 year old son, who seemed to genuinely care about the process and kept me updated.

So on this slightly chilly New York morning, I would like to offer a cup of warm tea to all the ones that stop by my blog today. Sit down and grab a cup that you like the best. You can also pick the teapot you like...I personally prefer green tea with jasmine, but I also have some chamomile tea, and black tea with strawberry jam. All of them are freshly brewed and ready to be enjoyed.

I personally adore the pottery by the MonsterOpMaat, this cup resembles one of the animations that I had here--worms and love:)

And one day when I am rich and famous I will get myself one of these

In our Slavic tradition, tea is a symbol of being hospitable. Tea is offered to anyone who stops by your house. For more than 250 years, the samovar has occupied an honoured place in Russian homes as the centrepiece of the table, around which life revolved. It remains most stable attribute of domestic coziness. Step by step a peculiar ritual of tea-drinking emerged and was adopted in every Russian homes. Drinking tea from the samovar was a way of life. I need one of those as well, told you I can not be a snail:)
Here in US, tea is viewed more like a "girly" thing. Little girls traditionally have tea parties, and until recently I did not realize it. My little girl is growing up with a mix of the two, she has tea parties with our cat when the boys are away and I am doing my computer work. So please, join in!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Movie Monday 4

Another great creation by Ivan Maximov.
Rainy day, a girl dreaming, a boy with a grey flower , SOME GREAT MUSIC!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Little things count, or counting the little things

Those of you who are married, especially for many years know that make us happiest and irritate us the most are the little things that happen...
Several weeks ago we had dinner with some good friends of ours and the parents of one of them came along. As I was watching that couple who have been together for almost 40 years, since high school I believe, I realized that there is such an unspeakable warmth between them!
No traces of irritation, aggravation or those small sharp words that could have added up over the years. A little smile here and there, a small pat on the shoulder, a quick caring question. That's what I want to have 35 years from now.
Little things, little paintings, little surprises, little miracles.
You know what was one of the best gifts, I received from my husband during the past 7 years we were together? Several magnets for the refrigerator. Yes, I have gotten many beautiful things from him, but this one stands out. Why? Because it was a surprise, because they were beautiful, and because they made me feel very special on that day, I felt like the woman in the cave receiving the skin of a tiger :)
I used to be very upset that I cannot paint a HUGE painting, like in the old days. An oil giant,t hat would take up half the wall...I am past this feeling, and to tell you the truth, I love painting ACEOs (tiny watercolors, that take up not too much time, but end up looking like a finished creation). They are my main artistic endeavor at this point in life. Just because I have tiny bits of time to work, I have tiny moment of inspiration, I make tiny little colorful bits that travel all over the world.
Here are a couple of my latest minis.


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