Art Connections

Pacific Sunset, 16x20, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki (Lando Gallery, Edmonton, AB)


I recently had a pleasure of hearing back from a few art lovers who gracefully shared photos showing my art displayed in their homes. This a wonderful reminder for artists how our creations touch lives of people we may never get to meet.

Although art enters a marketplace and gets passed on by a transaction of sale, it is unlike any other kind of product. Art that leaves the studio becomes an active part of someone's life. It inspires, relaxes, reminds, enchants.

Art interacts over space and time.

Take the Golden Sunset painting for example.


Golden Sunset (sold), original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

It was inspired by many trips to the Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

It's easy to fall in love with this place, its network of forest trails and beautiful rocks where one can spend hours gazing at the ocean, admiring the view of nearby islands. For me, this scene embodies the journey my husband and I made from Serbia to this amazing place on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. In 1994 we took a leap of faith and traveled thousands of kilometers to the most beautiful place on earth. That's what I think of when I look at this image.

For the art-loving family who now looks at it every day, it means something else.


Golden Sunset in its permanent home

It reminds them of growing up in this gorgeous area, having picknicks with friends, taking long walks with their dog. Our memories are different, yet our sentiment is the same.

It's about people cherishing experiences with their loved ones and feeling connected to the land.

Here are a few more pics sent in by the generous collectors to inspire us all to create, appreciate, and add art to our homes.


Golden and Orange Larch perched  in a beautiful spot


Mountain High welcoming visitors 


Little Zig Zag Falls helping its owners relax 


As I work on new sketches and paintings, I can't help wonder whose lives they might touch one day.



Whitewater, 12x16, work in progress study for a larger piece, now on the easel

All my best,

Tatjana

Five Easy Steps

Winter Trail, 20x24, original painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



Some of you know that in addition to painting, I also write short stories. In the past couple of months, I've felt a bit blocked and I decided to take a five-day online class to get the words and sentences flowing again. In this excellent course, aspiring writers are nudged to write a short story each day, taking various approaches. Each suggested approach consists of a few well-defined steps.

This reminded me of the value of "steps" in the creative process in general. The internet is inundated with articles of the type "Five Easy Steps to <fill in the blank>." There is a good reason for their popularity - they are easy to grasp and they incite action. 

The notion relies on two premises:

1. Creativity is a process rather than a product.

2. We can accomplish many things we didn't know we could if we break up the activity into a few well-explained steps.


I found this helpful because, when things get muddled, blocked, or just plain scary, it's because I've been obsessing about what I want to create, rather than focusing on how to do it. Every once in a while, I somehow manage to forget that for me, the best part of creativity is the "how" - working out the steps. What do I want to do first, second, third, etcetera? Steadily taking those steps and watching the magic unfold on the canvas is what gives me joy.

There must be a million ways to make a painting, and for years, my intention has been to learn, try, and hopefully invent, as many of them as I can.

Here is an example. You can use it to paint a landscape, a portrait, a still life, or an abstract. Take your pick what you want to paint, but consider these five steps:

1. Cover the canvas with a cadmium yellow imprimatura mixed with a lot of medium, and wipe off some of it with a rag.

2. Use the largest palette knife you have to block in dark shapes with dioxazine purple color.

3. Switch to a large flat brush and block in the medium-value shapes using red oxide, cerulean blue, and medium neutral gray.

4. Get a medium-size filbert brush and add lights using titanium buff and pale pink.

5. Add some caligraphy marks with a rigger brush, a chopstick, and the tip of a nail.


I totally made this up. Still, don't you feel like going through these steps just to see what would turn out?  I do. There's something about steps that's hard to resist.

So, make up your own five steps and dive in. Try something you don't usually do. Have fun!

If you'd like to share, send me an email, or respond to this post, or post it on the Facebook. I'd love to see something fun and creative.

Happy painting!

Tatjana

The Groove

Back on Track, 8x8, original acrylic sketch by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



For many of us, winter holidays are an opportunity to re-connect with family and friends, to reset and re-start what we are doing, to experience a new beginning. This is supposed to be refreshing and inspiring, but there is also a side-effect. Amidst all the celebrations, I tend to lose my groove.

I love my groove. It's a good groove - making art, experimenting, studying, dreaming up new work. What's not to like about it?

In fact, I like it much more than all the holidays and celebrations in the world, and I am not sure that I need any re-starting and refreshing at all. These things are distractions that stand between me and my art, making me squirrelly and grumpy.

I am not a holiday Scrooge. I can do it for a day or two, but when it stretches over a week, it messes up my groove.

It's already the third week of January and I am finally back in my studio, happy as a clam. I got back to work in small steps and with a lot of play.

The piece above is 8x8 inches and it was a joy to make. I jumped into it without any planning whatsoever, used pigments at hand, blocked in wildly without drawing, played with brushstrokes to my heart's content. It felt great!

I hope that you haven't lost your groove over the holidays, but if you did, do what you need to to get back into it.

Make your art!

Tatjana