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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Michal Jasiewicz

How did you start painting with watercolor? 
I have painted since childhood. My parents have encouraged overall perception of nature during many cross-country trips. Also, my father, as an architect, taught me a lot about 
drawing and basic painting skills. The serious painting started during my architectural studies in Krakow - about 10 years ago.

Michal Jasiewicz, 68x52

Do you perceive the painting through architecture?
Do you mind if architecture as a profession influences my painting? 
Yes and no. As far as workflow is concerned, there are many possible approaches which I have tried. One of them is working on a picture in the same way as working on an architectural design: planning every single stage and trying to control every aspect of my work. But for the time being, I prefer a looser painting style. It must be fun. This is the essence of watercolour. Of course, architecture can help a lot in the field of perspective and correlation between different forms and shapes. Even in classical landscape paintings without any buildings it is very important to find good-balanced composition and be aware of the way in which our sight ‘penetrates’ the picture. It is crucial to perceive the picture as a collection of abstract elements which not only create an illusion of reality but are also in harmony with each other and form a coherent composition. That’s what architectural studies are about.

Michal Jasiewicz

Who is your highest authority in watercolor media?
There are many sources of inspiration, both historical and contemporary painters, but it is 
difficult to say who is the highest authority. Each of them may be great in a particular aspect and be a model for me at a given moment. Everyday on the Net I come across something amazingly painted and an artist of whom I have never heard so far. In this respect the Web is a mine of inspiration. And yes, I admire Alvaro:]

Michal Jasiewicz

Where does your aesthetics come from?
That’s a very tough question. As I have already mentioned, my overall perception of the 
world was deeply affected by the early age trips and observations made by my parents who were very sensitive to the beauty of the world and mechanisms governing it. I was born in a very picturesque region and have always devoted a lot of time to observing it. Besides, obviously the way I define reality evolves all the time: I change some part of my lookout on reality consciously, other parts unconsciously, but, still, it is a continuous process.

Michal Jasiewicz, 33x45

How long do you work on a painting?
Usually 1-4 hrs. I even complete big formats in a one, few-hour session. Occasionally I resume some parts next day, but in most cases it does not seem to be the best idea:]

Michal Jasiewicz

What is of more significance for you – color or tonal value? 
I find the tonal value as a correlation between applied colors. It is very important to have a good recognition of the lightest and darkest areas in your scene before starting to paint and be aware of the way in which way the light falling on the scene determines the hierarchy of elements. This is the key to achieving the sense of reality: what is lighter and what is darker. That’s it. But it all boils down to applying the right colour in the right place.

Michal Jasiewicz, 34x51

What is your attitude to masking and opaque materials in watercolor?
I keep off from any dogmas and uncompromising claims. I occasionally use both masking and opaque colors for small details as well. In some cases a small touch of white gouache could work better than masking because of its spontaneous nature. Some of my friends say that using all that stuff contradicts the idea and kills the watercolour effect but for me it is more important to obtain a good painting rather than the ‘pure watercolour’ label.

Michal Jasiewicz, 35x55
How do you manage so many commitments as an artist, designer and architect? 
Piece of cake. The problem is that I’m also a father:]. Here the hard part begins. Anyway, I try not to burden my family with my painting too much.

Michal Jasiewicz, 35x52

What is more important for you in painting works – preciseness or imagination?
It’s not easy to determine. It depends on the theme. But generally imagination is necessary to obtain paintings, not a reproduction of reality

Michal Jasiewicz

What is the significance of watercolor media for you?
Well, some unpredictability, spontaneity - it’s difficult to say precisely. For me, in a good 
watercolour the joy of creation and a fascination with the subject must be seen. Even when it requires attention and concentration. But this could be said about any technique.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

III Invitational Exhibition of International Contemporary Watermedia Masters in Nanjing

A certificate of a participant.

Nanjing Red Carpet

Konstantin Sterkhov, "Master", 73x53 cm

Newest by Robert Wade

Robert Wade for Golfclub, 80x150 cm

The same work without frame.

Absolutely Stunning! Camilo Huescar

Camilo Huescar

Camilo Huescar

New Discoverings for Me

Andrey Zadorin, 50x70, 1999

Bjorn Bernstrom

Christian Couteau

Direk Kingnok. A Scene Of Happy Time. 30x45

Flint William Russell

Geoffrey Wynne

Jiaur Rahman

Helga Berger

Liu Maoshan

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Robert Wade - Turning Career Point

Robert Wade said:
So here are the three images that turned my art career around, they hang in a spot where I pass them several times every day. Ii always say a thousand silent thanks to these people who will never know what an influence they have been in my life!

Robert Wade

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Atanas Matsoureff in Moscow

Oct., 26-28 in Moscow
Watercolor workshop with Atanas Matsoureff 

Right after New York one of the best realist painters of the time in coming to Moscow. He will share his experience of painting with a model (his principle is never to use a photo), he will tell about his priorities in watercolor. Also he will demonstrate the difference in approach on painting various textures as glass, water, metal and wood.

Atanas Matsoureff

Here is a link/ in Russian with the details of the master-class

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Watercolor Sale / only 3 days

Not long till we enter 2013. I reviewed the paintings I got at the moment at my studio and made up my mind to get rid of some painting (good ones) to make more space for new ideas and their realization. Here are some painting I suggest could have a new home these days.

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Sea Meets Sky I. 52x72 cm/22x30', 2006
480 $ (before 980)

Konstantin Sterkhov. Stone & Wood. 53x50 cm/ 22x21', 2010
400 $ (before 800)

Konstantin Sterkhov. Love. 52x72 cm / 22x30', 2011
500 $ (before 1100)

Konstantin Sterkhov. Pions. 44x64 cm / 19x27', 2011
400 $ (before 700)

One more good news - the price include shipping!
Contact me

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Winners of the Shanghai Bienniel

There are 8 overseas award winners of the Shanghai Bienniel

Anna Ivanova Russia
Andrew Kish III USA
Alexander Kryushyn Ukarine
Dean Mitchell USA
Ross Paterson Australia
David Poxon UK
Charles Reid USA
Joseph Zbukvic Australia


Some of the submitted and awarded images I have found:

Anna Ivanova

Andrew Kish II

David Poxon

Ross Paterson

Page from Art of Watercolour

I hope to find out more soon...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Random and Skillful

Juankar Cardesin




Slava Prischedko

Sergey Alekseev


Xavier Swolfs Interview

You are the co-founder of the Belgium Watercolor Institute and of the European Confederation of Watercolor Societies. What was the idea to create these two organizations?
Together with three other watercolourists I founded the Belgian Watercolour Society in 1978. ECWS has been founded on the initiative of this society on March 14, 1998. The ECWS is an artistic, cultural and free association of watercolour societies without any economic objective. The aims of the ECWS are to internationally promote the art of watercolour painting, to foster cooperation among national and regional watercolour societies and to promote the artistic activities of its member-societies. In the framework of the ECWS, activities (such as: international exhibitions, workshops, meetings, the publication of catalogues or books and any other projects wich further the aims of the ECWS) are organized on a regular basis. We are very proud to see that this umbrella association is steadily growing and that artistic associations from nine European countries participate in the annual exhibitions. In 2011 we participated in the international watercolour exhibition in Turku (Finland) and in 2012 we will be partners in Genova (Italy).

Xavier Swolfs. Belgium Landscape.

What do you think of the place of watercolor medium in contemporary art?
Watercolour is one of the hardest media to learn and control. Although it is an independent genre of painting, oil paintings have a higher prestige value and you seldom see a watercolour exhibition in the musea.

Xavier Swolfs

Is there a difference in watercolor approach and aesthetics in Europe and US?
The European watercolour has its own tradition and individuality. In the different European countries you see a different use of colour and choise of object. In Eastern Europe there is a more graphical way of painting. In the US Watercolor painting had outstanding practitioners as Andrew Wyeth. I consider him as one of the greatest watercolourists. American watercolor is often technically perfect but it is tightly controlled and lacks any spontaneity.

Xavier Swolfs

How could you describe your working process: as planned or spontaneous?
I like spontaneous painting. Once I have an idea of what it has to be, I m free to let loose with the paint and let the unique, spontaneous qualities of watercolor take over. In my paintings abstraction and figuration smoothly synthesize.

Xavier Swolfs 

Your art works give a lot of space for imagination. Do you have a vision of the result to achieve when you start painting?
The main and most crucial aspect is to see the painting in your head before you wet the brush. This does not mean the painting is over-thought or the visualization is rigid. You need to know the concept, the basic flow and design. You have to see the areas clearly in your mind in terms of light and dark. Knowing where those highlights are and how the light will play on your subject is crucial. It is important to maintain the transparency and management of white.

Xavier Swolfs

Can you correct your painting if something goes wrong? 
Yes, I can. You can correct certain ‘mistakes’ by wetting the paper, letting it dry and putting a new layer over it.

Xavier Swolfs

How do you prepare the paper for your work (fixing, wetting, ect)? 
Preparing the paper is a waste of time. When you use a sheet of 600 gr. there is no need of any special treatment. The texture of the paper depends on the work one wants to carry out. I use the wet in wet technique and simply wet the paper with a large brush and paint into the dampness.

Xavier Swolfs

Your color mixtures are complicated and soft. Can you say something about your color approach?
One of the most important aspects in watercolor painting is the sense of color. I think I have the inborn talent of discerning colors because I never studied any coor theory. My favourite color is blue. Color mixing isn't complicated if you think first about what color you want to end up with. For me luminosity is the single most distinguishing attribute of a well executed transparent watercolor painting.

Xavier Swolfs

What is more important for you: color or texture?
Both are very important. All watercolor paper is not equal because of the different qualities The wide range of weights and surface textures of paper gives me an opportunity to explore different effects simply by using different papers. My favourites are Fabriano 600 gr. and Arches 600 gr.

Xavier Swolfs

Do you have a criteria that your work is complete?
My work is never complete ! It is always a challenge. The wet-into-wet technique is an exciting method of painting because it can produce unpredictable results. The nature of watercolor, its unpredictability, its sensuousness, the textures it seems to make and its luminosity are some of the most important criteria.

Xavier Swolfs

Can you give an advice to young watercolor artists ?
Watercolor painting has the reputation of being quite demanding. For me it is very important that a watercolorist knows how to draw. The connection between drawing and geometric shapes and measurements simply cannot be denied. To become a good watercolorist,  it takes time , patience, perseverance and much experimenting.But if you succeed, watercolor can be magic!