Backyard Art


Botanical Beach, 30x40, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

Botanical Beach, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, 30×40 is one of my three pieces to be featured in the West Coast Homeland art exhibit in the Beaumont Gallery in Vancouver, June 13-2. The opening reception is on June 15, 7-10pm. The address is 316 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver. You are invited! 


The summer has finally arrived in my neck of the woods and with it, the art activities gravitate toward the outdoors. There are plenty of things to paint just outside my studio.





Red Rhodos, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I call it Backyard Art, and you don't need a backyard to do it. It consists of sketching things around your home. Any home and neighborhood have something of interest for an artist's eye.

Here are a few sketches I've done there over years, in various styles and techniques. As you can see, I am drawn to interesting organic patterns, as well as shadows and sunlit foliage.




The focus is on enjoying the process, the good weather, and all the humble little things of beauty which have no ambition of competing for attention in art galleries.

A very special thank you goes to my hubby for making our garden beautiful and abundant with a great subject matter for sketching. My sketches of flowers are always his favorites.



The hanging baskets and potted flowers are compliments of my plant-loving husband Sinisa


Here is an example of a daylily painting which my hubby and I painted together a few years ago.



Daylily, original painting by Sinisa and Tatjana



If you have an art lover in your family who might appreciate being encouraged to pick up a brush, Backyard Art is a great place to start. You can even turn an afternoon of Backyard Art into a family or neighborhood event.

Enjoy the summer, your home, your loved ones, and of course, art!

Tatjana

Small to Large


Arbutus and Brambles, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


I've been happily sketching small compositions in the past few weeks, so the next logical step was to look at them with a critical eye and decide which ones wanted to become larger studio paintings.

Some scenes feel great in a small format. I think of them as little jewels and let them be. But there are some which beg to grow. I visualize them on a large canvas, and if what I "see" excites me, why not make it happen?

I included here three examples of small sketches and their work in progress big sisters. In two cases I even changed the composition ratio from rectangle to square. The foreground needs a bit more work, but I like the direction it's taking so far. It's as if the beach has more breathing space.



Arbutus Beach, 30x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki


The first thing to remember when going big is to use appropriately sized brushes. But even more important is to decide on the painting process.

There are two ways one can approach painting a larger version of a smaller piece.

One way is to replicate the smaller image using a grid, constructing the composition using the geometry of Dynamic Symmetry, or copying the image in some other way. I use replication when I have a particular idea which I want to explore. For example, I may replicate the composition but vary the color temperatures, change certain element of the composition, or introduce a new material. This approach is great for making a series of works, but that's not what I did this time.



Cabin Lake, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Cabin Lake, Cypress, 30x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



The other way, which is what I did with these pieces, is to paint larger paintings from scratch, using the smaller pieces just as visual references. This approach allows for great gestural brushstrokes and organic development of the painting, just like making a brand new piece.



Salt Spring Island, 11x14, acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Salt Spring Island, 24x30, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Either way is valid. Try them both, or stick to one, but whatever you do, keep making art!

Tatjana