Sunday, December 27, 2015

Light in the City

Street Festival, watercolor 40 x 30 cm

The restaurant patio, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
I have been awaiting these several days, free of tasks and stress. I'm glad we kept our schedule clean, with the only goal of doing nothing. It worked. I got the peace of mind I need to paint and have been doing that every day since Friday. I hope that everybody had the Christmas that they wanted!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Austrian village

Austrian Village, watercolor 54 x 32 cm
I have been planning to paint this scene for years, but was somewhat afraid of the complex cluster of houses in the village. Today I decided to just try it very quickly, only painting the main things and shapes and I am very happy with the result. It took me less that 80 minutes, including blow-drying the washes a number of times.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fruit basket

Fruit Basket, watercolor 54 x 42 cm
Have you noticed how the works of other artists make you notice things and scenes that seemed ordinary before. When I looked at this basket on my table, I thought of a painting that Judy did some time ago. Then I noticed the beautiful light and shadow patterns over the checkered tablecloth. And I couldn't resist...
First wash of the painting
I painted this opposite to  the normal watercolor technique - from light to dark. I started with the shadows and then added the light colors.

I remember how intimidated I used to be when painting on a large piece of paper. Now I like it, it makes me feel more inspired and excited.

Inferno, acrylic on canvas board, 30 x 23 cm
And this is just a playful experiment with pouring acrylics over a canvas-board. The result looks like a reflection of the atmosphere at the office in the last year :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

More sea scapes

Minimalist Seascape 4, oil on canvas board, 20 x 15 cm
This subject proved appropriate for trying new media, so I finally opened the box of water-soluble oil paints, which I've had for two years. Good I did, as they were starting to dry in the tubes.
Oils feel quite different. You have to use so much paint and it is hard to layer it without wiping the paint underneath. It is hard to apply the rule of thinner paint over thicker layer, if you want a fluid background. I don't know if I would have the patience to wait for days for the oil to dry before I can do the next stage... Well, that's in general. The little seascape above I did in one layer, with carefully adding the white surf and the seaweeds on the sand with the palette knife.

And the same subject in watercolor - just a simple wet-on-wet wash
Minimalist seascape 3, watercolor wash, 54 x 42 cm

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Minimalist seascapes

Seascape 1, acrylic on canvas board, 30 x 23 cm

Seascape 2, acrylic on  stretched canvas, 50 x  40 cm (n/a)
My first attempts with acrylics. So far no big surprises. It is easy to make smooth color transitions, similar to the wet-on-wet watercolor washes. Paints dry fast so no risk of fussing and fiddling. And no need to preserve the white for the crashing waves. I am not sure I know what I am doing, but I've been enjoying it, and that's what matters.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Girl with hat

Girl with hat, watercolor 23 x 30 cm

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A woman's face

Portrait of a woman, watercolor 23 x 30 cm
This is just a face from a magazine, not anyone I know. I wasn't trying to achieve resemblance, just focused on the washes that can bring up the features and was enjoying the process. This had an almost therapeutic effect on me, helped divert my thoughts from the nagging replaying of unpleasant situations. Creativity brings positive thoughts. So, friends, do go for it!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Toronto City Hall

Old City Hall, watercolor 40 x 30 cm

New City Hall, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
Two more views from Toronto - the old and the new city hall - two buildings with completely different styles. These are very geometric and required a lot of precision and attention. Not the type of subjects that promote a free style. I feel like painting something more lose, in more forgiving shapes next time...

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Toronto Streetcar 1, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
Toronto Streetcar 2, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
Toronto Streetcar 3, watercolor 30 x 40 cm
Despite having turned into a typical north american metropolis, with a dense downtown packed with high-raises, there are still some things that give Toronto character. One of these things are the red streetcars. They make a good painting subject, both with their color and the classic look. Have to paint them now, before the city decides to replace them with modern aerodynamic vehicles.

These three paintings are survivors. They were each in a different state of completion when the basement, where my studio is, flooded. For a while water was spraying all over them. Surprisingly, watercolors proved quite resilient, and after carefully drying them I managed to save them and complete them all.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Light on the path

The bicycle path 1, watercolor 20 x 22 cm
This is a country bicycle path, where we cycled on the weekend. Apparently, it was the light that captured my imagination in this view.

The bicycle path 2, watercolor 20 x 22 cm

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Bougainvillea, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
It took me many attempts to find a way to paint this beautiful plant in a not too concrete style. It is not an easy one to simplify.
Bougainvillea makes me think of the white-washed Mediterranean villages. It spells warmth, serenity and beauty all in one. So, I could not resist the temptation to buy a small potted plant this spring, knowing all too well that it cannot survive the Canadian winter. Will it tolerate the air in the house? Remains to be seen...
bougainvillea studies

Bougainvillea 2, watercolor 40 x 30 cm

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Toronto's skyline 20 years ago, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
This summer marks twenty years since my husband and I came to Canada. I will always remember the first scary days, when I felt like we have landed on Mars and there was no way back. Now, twenty years later, this is definitely my home.
And here is how this home has changed too. The top view is the city skyline back then, as seen from the port. Below is how it looks now. In the last few years high-rises have been growing like mushrooms in downtown. Everything changes...

Toronto's skyline - now, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
Here is another version of the Flatiron building from the previous post. This one is done almost entirely with ultramarine, brown madder and raw sienna. I also changed slightly the composition and did it more loosely.
Toronto's Flatiron building 2, watercolor, 40 x 52 cm (n/a)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Toronto's Flatiron building

Toronto's Flatiron Building, watercolor 40 x 52 cm
One of Toronto's iconic landmarks, still looking the way it did 120 years ago, although now surrounded by a forest of high-rises. Its real name is the Gooderham building, after the name of it's original owner. Flatiron is a description of its shape. There are a number of those in North America and around the world. Toronto's is one of the earlier examples and is quite prominent and attractive in its setting.

Toronto's Flatiron building, charcoal sketch

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sketches from my vacation

Windmills in Bodrum, watercolor 24 x 17 cm
Here are a few small watercolours and sketches I made while I was spending time with family in Bulgaria. A few of them are from a week-long vacation in Turkey. It was a nice break. Unfortunately, too short, as all vacations...

In the bay of Bodrum, watercolor 24 x 17 cm
The bay of Bodrum, watercolor sketch
The Bodrum castle, watercolor 24 x 17 cm

Wild flowers, watercolor 23 x 30 cm
Bulgarian mountain view, watercolor 30 x 23 cm
Sunset, watercolor 27 x 17 cm
Vitosha, watercolor sketch

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I did these washes some time ago, and no,  they are not a reflection of my state of mind :) I haven't had the energy and drive to do much painting lately. I have had almost no time for bogging too, so I apologise to all my blogger friends for neglecting their posts. I am fine physically and hopefully, this is just a period that will pass. Keep painting! I'll try to join you soon...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

By the sea

Sunrise over the sea, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
This sunrise turned out a little rigid and "plastic". One almost expects to see a few Cupids behind the clouds ;) I was trying to depict that edge of light around the clouds when the sun lights them from the back. I think the light came out well, and my brushes are happy that they finally got to do some work.

By the sea, watercolor sketch
I did this sketch on location a month ago. Isn't it a happy scene?!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Free and happy

Orchids, watercolor 28 x 38 cm
Orchids, watercolor 28 x 33 cm
I painted these directly with brushes, with no pencil drawing. Being unrestricted is such a nice feeling ...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Roses and Tulips

Roses and tulips, watercolor 28 x 33 cm

Teacup and flowers, watercolor 28 x 38 cm

Teacup and flowers, charcoal sketch

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More from Venice

Venice, watercolor 38 x 28 cm

Afternoon in Venice, watercolor 28 x 38 cm

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Murano and Venice

Murano, watercolor 38 x 28 cm

Venice, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Venice, charcoal sketch