Monday, December 16, 2013

Sport of life

The new sports painting of M.R. Is almost finished and I will be auctioning it off soon! I began it before he won an award, so the good luck is definitely there!

On the other hand, I'm having more trouble with the portrait of M. The dark red background is challenging, and though I like the Matisse like colours in the face, the blue collar shirt is not working!  I will have to ask him to wear a white shirt at the next portrait session, when he comes back from Florida!

Almost everyone is leaving Montreal for the holidays.  It was hard to get to the studio with all the snow yesterday.  I will try today, and hope they cleaned the snow from the parking lot!  There is a lot of work to be done before the little Christmas party!  I have to finish my beautiful cloud the woman trapped or turned out to be a "trompe d'oeil" on it's own, because of the geometry in the background!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Effort of movement vs involuntary movement

As long as we are alive, there is movement that the brush or spatula can convey in paint.  Sometimes if I look at one of my paintings, it seems to be actually breathing.  I think that is because, as I paint the model, I record the slight oscillations of light and minuscule changes in position that result from breathing.  So the paintings are always in motion, wether it's an athlete or a sleeping beauty!  I am working on both right now, but will not be able to download any photos, simply because the process would take too long without the right I will wait till my next show to display them.  For now, only the few who visit my studio can see them.

I realize that working with pallet knives allows me a greater richness of colour than with brushes.  The brush is best for long and uninterrupted strokes describing form, while the pallet knife is for building physical substance.

For portraits from life, I use more brushes, but when I work from photos, the spatula is best.  Tomorrow, I will continue J's portrait and so far am using only brushwork.  He told me his favourite colour is red, so I've made the background a beautiful ruby red using a translucent layers of acrylics....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Photo of me working

Finally, I downloaded a photo!  I figured out how to do it with the new system and from the iPad. I have to download them to another site first, and only then can I download them to the blog.  I decided against downloading just the paintings alone, so this is one of me working on an acrylic; lake with flowers and mountains, painting.  It is a melange of my past and recent memories of B.C., Greece, and Quebec!

                                                                                   Marina Gavanski Zissis

What a Summer!

The Summer is over and the only good thing about it was the Survival part.  So many haven't survived, out of myriad reasons.  I hope the Karma will be better this autumn.  The new painting I wrote about was completed in August.  I can't post it before the book is finished, for copyright reasons, but it's beautiful!  I took most of September off oil paintings, and worked on a few sunny watercolours. I even started on one with the September moon. Somehow oil painting and hot sunny days don't mix...unless you can jump into a pool or the sea and clean up!
In case anyone is reading this and wondering why there are no photos, it's because this clever artist hasn't figured out how to do it from an iPad yet!  Will definitely need to consult with a more tech savvy friend.  Till then, I leave my blog with soft colours in my thoughts.
Soft colours of autumn have arrived,
Replacing the scented ones of roses.

Monday, April 22, 2013

New painting to begin today!

This is the first  post regarding the new painting but am having a hard time posting from the iPad. It is posting from right to left and the space is filling up in that direction.   I don't know how it will look on the post but the radio energy is very strong so I will wait to get to a regular computer.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Montreal chair from Baltimore or somewhere in the U.S.

I don't even know where Baltimore is. And where is Philadelphia, by the way, if the chair happens to be from there?  And how about Phoenix or wherever the chair was found by Internet?  Very nice packaging of a special bamboo chair just for for me!  And it's a beautiful chair with short legs.  I wonder if I got any of the American cities of the chair's origin right! It doesn't matter because the chair is probably not from the U.S. at all.  I feel that it is from a country such as Sri Lanka, but that is my intuition working overtime. 

I am sure that today they had a few jumps in stocks and blood pressure in the glass palace. It was a very interesting visit and discovery for me!  I would love to have that red, organic, womb-like couch!

I sketched the chair in my studio just to mark the day and to follow the ancient Greek artists axiom of drawing at least one line a day!  I almost feel like the chair is from a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. I grew up with fairy tales and he was one of my favourite authors, but so sad!  Will the story of the chair be a sad or happy one?

Now I must focus on the must be finished before the 25th of May! The chair needs a cushion. I sat on it and made my own pose...if only the ghost of Velasquez could have seen!

I will have a few special visitors to the studio in the next few days and's as though the studio is taking on a life of its own...every person that enters leaves their energy, and these energies combined create a story...a story of Montreal, going faster and faster! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Portraits again!

I think that at one time I had sworn off portraits so that I could concentrate on the big paintings...and here I am doing them again.  As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same!  I've done so many portraits in the past, friends, family, famous people, soon to be famous people, etc....and now I'm back at it again.  I guess I never really stopped....even my big paintings are portraits...The one of M is giving me the biggest challenge because of her subtleness which hides an inner I should capture that as a glow...because the fire would be too strong, yet the expressionistic edge of the orange and blue mixture are necessary to the painting. Must work on it tomorrow.  Yesterday, I erased everything I did in a fit of insecurity, before anyone could see  it.  Now, even I wish to have looked at it for a bit before deciding to smudge it out.  That is the thing with oils...a new layer can be completely lifted if it is still wet.  In this case, there is still some left, and by tomorrow everything will be dry, (because of the medium), and ready for a new layer.

The portrait of Mr. B. is finished and I added some writing which defines him.  I took all of V's advice, as to make him seem kindlier...less feigned arrogance...more sparkle in the eyes..., so now, kindliness is the first expression that comes to mind when viewing it, at least that's what S said. K thought that he looks preoccupied, but in a good way!  Ah portraits! face holds a thousand expressions, and I search and find the one which tells them all!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Still in Montreal

I have to take back what I said about painting, even lightly....even though I've noticed that for some people it's like cooking, for me it has always been like walking a tightrope.

My portrait of M is me crawling a tightrope....It's taking so long.The new one of Mr. B is black and white and I am getting some really nice expression there...
For the new black and white woman trans painting, I need to find the right models..the stretch of the body and imagination...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Colors of a Portrait...DNA of color

I have been thinking hard about the best colors to use for a portrait and realised that there are no best for is all in the combination and the application.  When I apply colors with a spatula , it stays exactly the same as when it is mixed on the palette.  Lately, I've been liking that....layering the pure mixtures one over the other. Painting is a bit like cooking...colors are the spices...that is putting it lightly:)

I have noticed that each person has a completely different color combination, and that is why I save all the two are the same. It is like the DNA of this case the colors would be the DNA.  So painting is more like science.  Everything is science, even inspiration!

The one thing I have to find is the perfect final varnish that will protect the oils or the mix-medias and give them the shine some people love.  But I sometimes like to leave them unvarnished, with the matte, natural look.  Why does an artist have to think of everything...I wish someone else would varnish the paintings.

I love working on a deep green really brings out flesh tones like in the new portrait of BGB....Here I am trying to do paperwork and thinking of painting.  Everything is piling up...the day is watercolors are coming soon....but there are chores at hand!

I'm using the American spelling of color in this since it makes the spellcheck happy:)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

After Show Euphoria

When a show goes well, there is a feeling of euphoria that makes us forget the fatigue!
I wasn't the only one tired.  The production team was also tired and everyone has to take some time off!  The Colours of a Woman show in Ottawa definitely went well and now I am getting back to the routine and all the obligations of every day life.

The turnout was great and people loved the paintings!  There is a writeup in Embassy Magazine that I haven't read yet, by the lovely reporter, S.  I saw the photograph with the Cosmic Dance of Fire painting and it looks good. I can't wait to get G's photos to post on the site!

So, BiH in Ottawa, especially with H.E., BGB, has shown that it is a great supporter of
culture and the Arts in the diaspora!

It's really good to do a big show like this and get recognition such as I did...all the hard work pays off and is worth while!

My next painting is already forming...I will need the right models, though.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Colours of a Woman - Couleurs de Femme

Today the final choice of paintings had been made.  The "savant", Z, helped me a lot.  There is a Serbian saying "takav je rodjen".  Some people are just born gifted!  I guess it's the same in every language...."born that way".  I am much calmer now that the choice of paintings for the art opus has been made.  But there is still an enormous amount of work and I still haven't finished M's portrait!

Mr. Z also bought a small painting which suits him well, the man in motion that he is.

I am glad that the new painting if S is finished!  I love to use earth toned crayons with gesso, or any toned charcoal, crayons.  Mixed with gesso, I can get a lot of depth and can work quickly.  Painting is like many recipes!  It helps to have a good memory, which I don't. 

So much of my work is done subconsciously, but I am starting to take more of a practical approach lately.  I use a different pallette for each painting and name it, so that when I get back to the painting, I know exactly which colors I used.  It's interesting,... I noticed that I never use the same group of colors!  Each paintings has it's own set of colors, kind of like a genetic code!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Colors of a Woman and Colours of a Woman, my Art Show

I had no idea that my spelling of colors was American and that the Canadian spelling is colours!  I guess it's because I went to grade school in the States and that is where I learned my first colors just comes naturally to me, just as colours come naturally to me:) 

Today I started on the portrait of M.  I hope it will be ready for my Colours of a Woman exhibition in Ottawa.  There is so much work going into this exhibition, that it's unbelievable....but as MN has to suffer for our art....I guess that if I didn't know the meaning of suffering, I would be doing something else.

In any case The colours of a woman...couleurs de femme, will take us on a journey from my days in Sarajevo, to my days in another city, to  student days..... to today, my beautiful, cold, Montreal days.

There is no stopping of days, and I write this 37 minutes before another day:)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Planning the Show for International Women's Day

I remember when I was a student in Belgrade, being stopped on the street and offered flowers from strangers on International Women's Day.
 The holiday is catching up in Canada and I will be having my show in Ottawa to celebrate it!  It will be organized by the Embassy of Bosnia and Hercegovina, who are doing the honor of recognizing me as one of theirs and as one of Canada's  leading artists.
Actually, I feel quite Cosmopolitan.  As M concluded, after having heard my life story....I am a Cosmopolitan, like him!
But roots are roots, and I was born in Sarajevo... and Bosnia exists in her present form,...ever changing, just as a woman is everchanging...and we can make her even more beautiful while she lasts in this form!  Of course there is the Hercegovina....I think that is the masculine part!

The important thing is to chose the right paintings of the many, which reflect the reality and truth and which will be understood and appreciated. 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Still January

This month has flown by and I still haven't finished my 2 floral portraits of V and N.  The new painting of S is going very well and I don't think that I will add any color to it.  I know the title already and hope it will be ready for the show, if there is a show.  I feel a strange silence....wintery, strange, siberian, serbian, silence.  Even the painting speaks of silence,... I imagined it to be peace. Is peace silent?  I will see tomorrow.  Now it's time to say goodbye to January and St. Jovan and St. Sava.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Heeding the Paintings

I noticed a long time ago that the paintings seem to carry premonitions, messages,  It sometimes becomes evident to me later on.  Now, I like to paint a painting before I embark on a new journey,... it shows me the shapes and colors of the path and of the outcome.  I had no idea that even the flowers did that...It's probably my subconscious working through the art mediums.  I feel that I have to add more glowing orange to the background of the exotic flowers, but only enough to retain the warmth of the background.  I will also add a bit of red madder to the flowers themselves to soften them.  I have to find the name of those flowers.  The title must have the word, memory, in it.  Funny, how titles change and can be many at the same time.  A painting can have layers of meaning, beginning with the subjective and sometines blending with the universal. 
I was happy to meet Z in my studio.  Z seems to understand a lot about art...very perceptive and intelligent, even inspiring!  I am already thinking of a portrait composition...Have to do some research on bears and bulls.  So far I have painted a cat, quite by chance, and sketched a dog and some horses. I've always wanted to do something with animals and people on the same little time for all the ideas...Tomorrow I will begin a new painting of S. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Montreal Winter Light

When it's sunny in the studio, it doesn't matter how cold it is outside....there is a beautiful winter light that penetrates and makes one feel they are in another place....all the plants make it feel tropical.
This week I have been painting the exotic flowers I got for my deep greens reds and all adds to the tropical feel.