Tag Archives: inspiration

Creative Exchange

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Since I started one more line of activity in June 2017 which grew naturally out of my general focus, conducting and organizing versatile art workshops and events became one of the main doings. And I have been putting much thinking into where exactly I want to take enthusiasts attending my classes during the creative journey in arts and crafts, how I can help to unravel their creative self, what results I would like to see in their works…

Sure enough the last thing I would want to see, as a teacher, is a copy-paste of my work. And yet,  how often all we can see in many art workshop reports is just an array of multiple works looking exactly the same as a sample work presented by the teacher at the class, copyist painting classes excluded.

Of course, newcomers to Arts and Crafts stand on the shoulders of the teachers and instructors, so to say. In learning process imitation plays an important role. And by imitation I mean not just simply copying. Imitation happens when someone sees something that inspires them, inspires them enough to want to do something just as great. 

However, quite often even with the passage of time, some people just establish imitativeness as a basis for self-expression, keeping repeating the same patterns,color schemes and ideas once learnt at a class. And this deja vu has been manifesting itself so often lately, making it hard to tell whether it is the teacher’s work, or students overuse ideas from a recently taken workshop…

As a teacher, I’d rather see ideas shared at the classes being transferred onto a new level, revised and reworked, rather than seeing plain replicas of my own works, no matter how flattering imitation can feel at times…

I also believe the more you see, the more you get exposed to versatile creative approaches, the more unusual creative ideas you come up with in your own works. So, for the program of creative classes at my gallery I invite artists from whom I get inspiration myself, who masterfully demonstrate versatile approaches in their work. And I keep the work on the conditions for creative exchange.

This coming July I am expecting my friend artist Natalia Logachova to come visit and introduce local enthusiasts to several techniques she is using in her art work.

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These are impressions from my last visit to Natalia’s studio. So I caught her working and took some photos on her permission. Sketches:

I so enjoy visiting art studios! This is one of my favourite works by Natalia…

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So many things that I love are there in this studio!

I was lucky to catch Natalia painting on silk. She will demonstrate her virtuosic silk-painting technique at one of her master-shows at the gallery at the end of July.

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She will also make a demonstration in palette knife painting, as well as dry pastel.

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Natalia’s series of demonstrations will be followed by workshops series in all three  techniques. Please, stay tuned for more news to come and follow us on FB!

 

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Flourishing butterbur Beavers woke up Full moon in three days

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In this magical time of the year when Nature unveils itself, the most conspicuous recent traces of change around my usual routes just turned into a Haiku style blank verse and appeared as a title of this post.

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Everything in nature resting during the winter, got charged up to come out as the earth is waking up in spring. Flowering Butterbur stock (Petasites vulgaris) gives the river bank a bit of a look of a Martian landscape. Butterbur extract may prevent migraine headaches, they say. Doctors do not know exactly how butterbur prevents migraines, they say. And this, in addition to many medicinal properties of this plant. 

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Spring is all about light. Everything around is opening up and shaking free from winter dormancy. Especially beavers! Beavers do not hibernate, but are less active during winter.

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Obviously beavers are embracing the freedom of spring after a long winter. On my spring exploratory excursion, I encountered a well-built beaver lodge, one I hadn’t known about before.

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Beavers’ ability to change the landscape is second only to humans. their favorite foods include water lily tubers, apples and the leaves and green bark (cambium) from aspen and other fast-growing trees. Tree cutting is part of nature’s cycle, and beaver pruning stimulates willows, cottonwood and aspen to regrow bushier than ever the next spring. 

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Again  we become part of the process of re-creation that is occurring during the season of Springtime! And speaking of being a part of creative process, I just happened to meet these amazing people deeply fascinated by poetry in Haiku style. Haiku poetry was originally developed by Japanese poets. I have been always admiring brevity and imagistic language in haiku which makes you feel connected to nature. Haikus are often inspired by nature, a moment of beauty, or poignant experience… And on the other hand, writing haiku provides a new way to look at the world… 

I am so proud that the first issue of Haiku Port Quarterly 1/2018  was published with my participation.  And on the other hand, writing haiku provides a new way to look at the world… 

 

Flourishing butterbur

Beavers woke up

Full moon in three days

 

 

 


And Spring sank into the mist on the Fishing Shore…

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What color is the off-season on the sea strand?

img_5989Sometimes it happens so that one fine day you come to the seaside and suddenly fall out of time as you stand on a foggy shore while sea waters are drowsily swaying over the sand.

Fishing boats and nets are dreaming on the coast and waiting on the next time when they take the sea.

img_5988 It seems as if a sudden descent of fog, like a spell, froze over these toilers the moment they were stepping out of the sea as the shift completed.

img_5987 Hopes, expectations, dreams, plans, all having been put off to give place to the mist limbo that spilled over the coast. As you enter the territory your sense of time kind of gets lost. This mist is like another dimension in which your ordinary reality exists only as reflection in a drop of a foggy dew.

img_5981 You are no longer sure what brought you here, or what you were about to do next. All reasons now are no more than faint echoes from afar.

img_5984 Then at some point all usual senses merge, letting in an overall feeling of spiritual comfort and harmony. And you feel like entering the unknown terrain. This is the moment when inspiration takes over your mind… However, it is quite possible that this is just an effect on your mind you are getting from the negatively charged ions in the air, after all.

img_5940 This way or another, color scheme suggested by the fog inevitably appears on my next up-cycled pieces, something you can put on and wear your memories of the Spring mist on the Fishing Shore close to your heart…

Once in a while you just feel urged to break away from spatial-temporal routine to find yourself in a place where there is none, where one can ruminate with no distraction. For me stepping into the mist on the Fishing Shore will be entering one of those places. Because the mist is not here to confuse and disorient, it rather gives an opportunity to sink through the confusion and gain clarity. Follow your arrow and you’ll get there.

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The Red Willow of the Equinox

The spring equinox is the best time to start something new. Our sacred sun has returned to bring new beginnings and balance.  This time used to be considered the new year in many parts of Europe until the middle of the 18th century. And what other peculiar facts can we find about spring equinox?

Millennia ago the Lakota people of the U.S. Midwest noticed that every spring, the sun rises in the constellation known as the Dried Willow. Those stars look like nubs on the branch, and the branch represents the red willow. The inner bark of that red willow is the main ingredient used to make tobacco for the equinoctial Sacred Pipe ceremony, which is meant to rekindle the sacred fire of life on Earth…

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The equinox is a day with light and dark of nearly equal length, with the Sun rising precisely in the east and setting precisely in the west. Equinox literally means “equal night.”

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The spring and fall equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

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Spring is the time of the year when the cycle of life, death, and rebirth is complete. The light and the darkness meet at equal footing…

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An ancient method of tracing the Sun’s meanderings through the sky involves using light and shadow to paint particular images…

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That day upon a portion of useful information, I went watching Nature’s equinox installations on a stormy sea shore and collecting fragments and bits to create a new beginning for something beautiful.

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Finding treasures of this equinox – drops of solidified sunshine on the beach – is so inspiring!

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Memory, Mystery and Magic… Amber is a window to the past. The most attractive quality of amber is that it possesses very old energy. With this old energy comes the acquired wisdom of the earth.

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Amber belongs to a small class of organic gems, neither a crystal nor a mineral, but a biological product of nature, a protective resin that oozed from living trees in dense, prehistoric forests and fossilized over millions of years. Sap is the liquid and Resin is the solid parts of the life essence of a tree. This Life Essence carries the trees Immune system, nutrients and healing properties like blood circulating throughout the body of the tree.

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Amber was used medicinally for thousands of years for headaches, heartaches, and pains of all kinds. Amber is a mixture of hydrocarbons, composed of several tree resins (mostly of an extinct Pine genus, or in some areas extinct Hymenaea species), plant materials, a volatile oil and succinic acid.

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My friend Mara can turn “Gold of the Sea” into intricate talismans of beauty, protection and renewal.

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Meanwhile, on the beach Nature kept playing with light and shade creating incredible structures of ice and willow branches on the sand.

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And when all equinox legends and myths read, “catch” of the day collected, I got down to translating elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.

“And suddenly you know… It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

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