Sunday, 22 May 2016

My Painting Holiday in Cornwall

My husband gave me a Cornish Landscape painting course as a special gift for my birthday. My dream has come true. 
I really love Cornwall. I have been there twice before, but this time it was different. I worked for 4 days, 6 hours a day, painting and drawing, mostly in extreme conditions, in the wind. It was brilliant! 

Our tutor was Maggie O'Brien, a teacher at the Newlyn School of Art and a great painter of wild landscapes. There were 9 of us on the course and the atmosphere was very supportive, with much freedom left to us. Maggie is a brilliant teacher and fun to be with. And, what is important, she was a good match for me and for what I wanted to achieve.

I just wanted to have fun while painting, to loosen up. Going on locations to paint can be tough. But I found out that this way of working suits me. There is no time to be precious, you have to work quickly, without judgement. You just get on with it. 
Here are some examples of my oil on board work. Some of them are finished and some need more detail.

On the last day we worked in the studio in the Newlyn School of Art.

These two little paintings made me very happy:

I have a feeling that my relationship with Cornwall is just beginning. I cannot wait to go back there and paint again.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I wish you a very relaxing time during the Christmas Holidays. I hope you will be happy, warm and cosy, with your family and friends around you. My family is scattered all over the world, but we will have friends with us.

The year is coming to a close soon and it always puts me in a reflective mood.
I let you in on a little secret. Every year, on the last day of the year, I write about the year that just passed and about the year ahead. I dream and I write down  on paper my desires and hopes for the new year. It makes it somehow more real. There is some truth in the power of positive thinking. When I write, I use the past tense, like it has already happened. This is the trick.

Last year I wrote that I have an art studio in the garden and I am preparing for a solo exhibition in a Museum. Both things became reality in 2015! My warm and cosy studio stands in the garden behind our house (with a 6 meters long glass wall facing North - perfect for painting) and my solo exhibition is coming up in September 2016 in the Nature Museum in Jelenia Gora, Poland.

I hope your dreams will also come true in 2016.
Thank you so much for being a part of my year 2015. I really appreciate it.

Best wishes

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Art and Craft Cooperative in Charlottesville, Virginia

A few months ago I went to spend some time with my family in Virginia, and as usual I visited one of my favorite shops, Charlottesville Arts Cooperative Gallery, located in the centre of beautiful Charlottesville.

I have been researching business models of Artists Cooperative for some time, and this is one of the best examples.

The gallery shows products of up to 60 artists and makers. As a cooperative, they work together to operate the store, helping keep their art affordable. Twice a month each artist or maker has a selling duty in the shop. The cooperative is managed by a small group of people and they employ a part time bookkeeper.

Each member of the cooperative designs and makes the display for their own section of the gallery. Here are some of the examples:

And here is my favorite display:

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to learn more about Charlottesville Arts Cooperative check their website here.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Building an art studio in the garden

My new art studio in the garden has finally arrived! 
Here are some photos documenting the building process. 
It took 3 weeks to produce the segments of the studio and 3 days to install it. The studio size is 6m x 3.5m (21m square) and 2.5m high. It feels amazing!

If you are interested in details of the company who built my studio, please contact me or comment on this post. I will be happy to recommend it to you. They are in England.



Thursday, 2 April 2015

Death and Transition exhibition update

'The Geographer' triptych is now finished (see my previous post) and the preparations for the 'Death and Transition' exhibition are almost finished. This is a group exhibition of South London Women Artists which I am co-curating with Melissa Budasz and Ilinca Cantacuzino.

Here is the poster for the exhibition, I hope that many of you who are in London will come to see it. It looks like it's going to be a very exciting and thought provoking art show, involving all art media.

I am still working on the catalogue and will be sending it to the printers just after Easter.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!



Monday, 23 February 2015

Death and Transition exhibition - work in progress

The idea of the Death and Transition exhibition emerged when some of us from South London Women Artists group were chatting during the invigilation of another SLWA exhibition. 
We reflected on how the focus of life changes when our parents are getting old and vulnerable, or when people close to us go through a challenging illness. Several of us were in this situation and we thought it would be a good idea to address the concept of Death with an art exhibition. We also agreed that the Transition element in Death is very important: Death is not final, we are on the journey in which Death is just another station. In the end we are alone, each with our spiritual journey to go through. We might have different beliefs and cultural backgrounds, but Death unites us all, makes us all equal. 

We, the curators, invited the artists to take their own approach in expressing the concept of Death. We might treat it on a very personal, intimate level or go for a more abstract, universal expression. Death is as individual as it is universal and it is interesting so see what this means to different artists.

Personally, I assumed that my contribution to the exhibition will be one big, abstract painting. But something else emerged: a triptych of 3 very small mixed media pictures, titled ‘The Geographer’. The Geographer in question is my father who died in 1997, aged 69. He was a professor at the University of Lodz, in the department of Cartography. My father and I were very close. As a teenager, I remember spending many evening hours working on my photographs in the University’s dark room, while he was catching up on checking his students’ work.

During the war, when he was just 16 years old, he was taken to Germany and put in the work camp. He escaped and walked all the way back home, to a little village in central Poland. It took him many weeks. My brave father, a teenager, walked at night and slept during the day, always hidden from view, often in cemeteries. The place of the dead, the cemetery, gave him safety and comfort. 

I inherited many old maps from my father’s collection. In the ‘The Geographer’ triptych I used the fragments of an old German war time map of the area we come from, where the names of Polish villages are accompanied by German names. My work is still in progress. With it I hope to express that Death did not separate us. My father is still with me and he will always be in my heart.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

What is Urban?

For me Urban means a variety of people living in close proximity. Different cultures, different colors, different expressions and attitudes - but somehow, in all this diversity, people belonging to one Urban place.

London is the ultimate Urban. It embraces the whole range of different people from all over the world. It is like the whole world in a capsule. And in its variety it is beautiful.

After living in London for 24 years, I no longer feel that I belong to any specific nationality. I am a Londoner, a universal being.

So Urban also means transcending the individual identity and forming a more global attitude.