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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My New Book Available Now!

My New Year present for the readers!
New book is available on-line now. It is in the internet shop in Finland called Ruslania. The book is in 2 languages - all texts are in English and Russian. New book contains 24 interviews with artists around the Globe and the new feature is their step-by-step demonstrations.

Read the interviews and tips with:
Yuko Nagayama (Japan)
John Salminen (USA)
Tan Suzchian (Malaysia)
Orhan Gurel (Turkey)
Pablo Ruben (Spain)
Ilya Ibryaev (Russia)
Sterling Edwards (USA)
Ulughbek Mukhamendov (Uzbekistan)
Direk Kingnok (Thailand)
Chien Chung-Wei (Taiwan)
Laurin McCracken (USA)
Linda Doll (USA)
Lok Kerk Hwang (Maylaisia)
Michal Jasiewicz (Poland)
La Fe (Thailand)
Igor Sava (Italy)
Kathleen Conover (USA)
Jasmine Huang Hsiao-Hui (Taiwan)
Endre Penivac (Serbia)
Joe F. Dowden (UK)
Prafull Sawant (India)
Liang Gang (China)
Evgeniy Doubitskiy (Russia)
Angus McEwan (Scotland)

Link to order the book:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nanning Happy Melody Exhibition, China

There will be more photos. Just need time to sort out!

 Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet

Zhan Shaoshan, Stanislaw Zoladz, Andy Evansen, 
Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet and Konstantin Sterkhov.
There must be Liu Yi and John Salminen nearby.

My Shenzhen Meeting

This time I couldn`t make it to join the artists at the Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial opening. But I had a chance to see the organizer and curator Zhou Tianya 3 weeks before the opening ceremony. It was exactly when he got 2 different options of the winner`s prize statue and I could participate in making the final choice!

Zhou Tianya is happy about the statues. Which one will be chosen one?

Zhou Tianya and myself. Projects talking.

Pasqualino Fracasso showing my painting at the Shenzhen Biennial.

Urszula Wilk`s Painting in Public Place

Wroclaw, Poland. This is how Poland greets the winner of Shenzhen Biennial Urszula Wilk! I wish every country would be so proud of it`s artists to let all people see their painting works in public places!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Invaluable Auction

There's an auction for African-American art and watercolors going on, and perhaps someone would be interested. Anyway there are 2 watercolor paintings in lots there.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial 2015-2016

Learn more about the Shenzhen Watercolour Biennial at

The 250 paintings showcased in the 2015 Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition attest to the vitality and range of the convention, transparent watercolor on paper, as well as to its reinvention: the addition of opaque paint, as well as acrylic on surfaces layered, encrusted, sometimes even abraded. The resulting innovation renders depth of field not only an illusion but a radiant actuality. Ranging in theme—from the contradictions of the rural tradition as it collides with the density of urban life—to the complexities of our (international) experience of confinement: the interior space of the home, the office, the city, the subway, the mind—this exhibition is a mirror of our time.
All the works display mastery of craft as well as invention. Some pictures address and pay homage to the history of Chinese watercolor painting; manyoverturn our expectations of that tradition. Others are surprising in another way, as they reveal, with grace, wit, and sometimes, anguish, idiosyncratic perceptions and unsettling emotions. Many—from Asia as well as from Europe, Australia, America, etc.—yoke the Eastern and Western traditions—substituting Western for Asian motifs and vice versa, as the artists play (in the absolute best sense of that word) with the great gifts of the past. So consummately well executed was the work submitted that my fellow jurors and I had to make agonizing (and sometimes good-naturedly contentious) decisions. Every work in this exhibition is worthy of a prize.
What an extraordinary opportunity for artists who were invited to enter two works without paying a fee and then will have the honor of having work framed, installed, and viewed in a gorgeous venue in a gorgeous city. The call to bring artists from around the world together follows from Zhou Tianya’s far-reachingvision, unwavering commitment, and indefatigable effort. Thanks to him, his talented coworkers, and the support of Chinese officials, this exhibition is a triumph. It celebrates watercolor, of course—the legacy of past generations welcoming the next, and it gives credence to that most amorphous and vaporous emotion: hope.
Artists come together in a spirit of joy, generosity, and good will; the image transcends the differences and difficulties of culture and language. As the 2015 Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition reminds us, the finest works of art have always and will always enter our hearts, where they expand our understanding—whatever our daily lives are like, whatever language we speak, wherever we live.
Maureen Bloomfield,Juror,Editor in chief of The Artist’s Magazine

Best of Show - Urszula Wilk (Poland)

Zhou Tianya,CAA.AWS.NWS.
Curator and Organizer of the Shenzhen Watercolor Biennial

• What made you decide to put together such an event?
ZHOU:I have been active in the international watercolor in the past seven years and attended the world's leading international watercolor exhibitions and events. I have a full understanding of different watercolor art features, arts and cultural policies and organizations of exhibitions in the world. All that makes me deeply feel that the China watercolor seems to be in a self-loop system, independent of the outside world. China has the world's largest population of watercolorists. In my opinion, the overall level (especially realistic style watercolor art) is a leader in the world. But, because of differences in language and culture, few Chinese artists go abroad and foreign painters seldom enter China. That leads me to build a fair exchange platform for watercolor artists in the world in my city, to " bringing in watercolors of the world into China and sending Chinese watercolors out to the world" This is not only a growing demand, but also an urgent mission.

• What was your favorite part of the exhibition/awards ceremony?
My favorite part is the style diversification in this exhibition. Many Chinese artistic media, critics and I share the same view: This watercolor exhibition cannot boast that it has the highest level in China, but definitely has the most diverse styles. China watercolor takes realistic style as the mainstream, lacking the diversification as in the United States. I think this is the biggest drawback of China watercolor. This exhibition undoubtedly broadens the horizons of China watercolorists and enthusiasts to meet the thirst for diversification. This is also a key factor in this success which beyond my expectation.

• What did you learn that you weren't expecting to learn?
I am an artist first, secondly an organizer. As an artist, through organizing a contest, I learned how to participate in contest better. While organizing this important international event, I contacted a lot of different people, including artists, officials, jurors, audience etc from around the world. I also learned different views and insights on the art from them, I spent time and labor on this event, but more important and unexpected is that I harvested friendship from around the world.

Istanbul Excellence Award Sponsored by Can Berktas - Xi Guo (China/USA)

Honorable Mention Award - Chien Chung Wei (Taiwan)

Best of Show - Urszula Wilk (Poland)
Gold Medal Award - Ying Jinfei (China)
Asian Museum of Watercolor Art Grand Award - Hou Wei (China)
Silver Medal Award - Aleksandr Shumtsov                     (Russia)
Bronze Medal Award - Chen Fan (China)
Excellence Award - Angela Barbalace (USA)
Excellence Award- Cai Jian (China)
Excellence Award - Polina Egorushkina (Russia)
Excellence Award - Fu Bin (China)
Excellence Award - Hu Baoxin (China)
Excellence Award - Ji Gairong (China)
Excellence Award - Jie Yuanfang (China)
Excellence Award - Wang Qinlei (China)
Excellence Award - Ye Guoqiang (China)
Excellence Award - Ye Lianghua (China)
Istanbul Excellence Award Sponsored by Can Berktas - Xi Guo (China/USA)
JJC Industrier Watecolor of
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Waterxolors Award - John Salminen (USA)
Baohong Watercolor Paper Award Sponsored by Shi Liming - Yin Xiaokun (China)
St.Petersburg  White Night Watercolor Award
Sponsored by Artistic Paints Plant"Nevskaya - Huang Zhigang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Elaine Daily-Birnbanum (USA)
Honorable Mention Award - Chien Chung Wei (Taiwan)
Honorable Mention Award - Kathleen Conover (USA)
Honorable Mention Award - Dragana Pajkovic Dodig (Serbia)
Honorable Mention Award - Min Sihan (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Hani Mirzaei  (Iran)
Honorable Mention Award –  Su Junquan (China)
Honorable Mention Award – Tan Gang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Yang Yongjiang (China)
Honorable Mention Award - Klaudia Zawada (Poland)

Honorable Mention Award - Kathleen Conover (USA)

JJC Industrier Watecolor of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Waterxolors Award - John Salminen (USA)

Zhou Tianya - the organizer and curator of the Biennial

Can Berktash and Silver Medal Award - Aleksandr Shumtsov 

Bronze Medal Award - Chen Fan (China)

Contact Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition
Office address:Luohu Cultural Center, 2009 Taibai Road,Shenzhen City,Guangdong Prov., 518019 China

Nicholas Simmons Artist Memorial

Nick was a huge giver of his time and talent, give a little back!

NAWA- North American Watercolor Artists would like to honor and remember our recently departed member and dear friend NICHOLAS SIMMONS with a fund to benefit his daughter Larissa Simmons' future college expenses.

Please feel free to contribute any amount.
This fund will go directly to Larissa Simmons in a Trust.
Nick's contribution to art as a painter, instructor, lecturer, and juror was powerful, swift, and electric.
Artists and students from all over the world were inspired by his unique and fresh approach to painting and teaching.
He was also an accomplished musician in classical guitar, loving husband, and a dedicated and devoted father.
He touched many lives and will be missed but never forgotten.
Thank you Nick for all you did in the world of watercolor with your art, laughter, character, and vision.
Thomas Schaller, Kathleen Alexander, Mark Mehaffey, Keiko Tanabe, and Carol Carter

Friday, September 25, 2015

Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian Watercolor

Dmitry Zhizhin

Denis Petrulenkov

Alexander Karpan

Igor Moseichuk

Sergey Kurbatov

Leo Kaplan (Germany)

Olga Litvinenko

Olga Shakleina

Sergey Temerev

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Farewell Nick Simmons

It is the saddest news that we got yesterday. Great artist and our friend passed away. He was only 47. I don`t have any details but the thing is - he is no more! Farewell Nicholas Simmons. You will be loved and remembered by many friends and art lovers!

Her is my old interview with him from 2011... Sad, so sad...

Nicholas Simmons

Nicholas Simmons

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Coincidental V

My series Coincidental emerged after my annual trip to The Medieval Fest in Turku, Finland. Some years ago I was sitting at the CafeArt at the river Aura bank. I was sitting with my Capuccino watching the other side of the river and people sitting in a summer cafe. I was facsinated by the effect of stable groups of people at the middle ground and an effect of moving forground when people passing by. Usually it happen the other way round when we have stable objects in front and something blured in the back. I though of it as a good way to break this conditioning and to shift the focus from front to the back. Also I thought that I should cut the front figures to show that they are coincidentally in the frame of the viewer, next moment they would be out of sight...

Konstantin Sterkhov. Coincidental V. 43x74 cm

I used the paper Saunders Waterford, 425 g rough by St.Cuthberts Mill (UK), paints Daniel Smith - my signature palette and my signature brushes Roubloff.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Master Z in St. Petersburg

Was great to meet master Z in our city this summer. Master made a beautiful and exclusive sketch in my Album Of Masters (I promis to tell more about it later when the collection is richer). It was fascinating to see how the master whose paintings of other parts of the world are so famouse is depicting my own city`s sights! Sharing for you here...

 Joseph Z at the river Neva.

 Joseph has just painted Kazanskiy Cathedral in St. Petersburg

Z with my book featuring him (out of stock now)

Visit Joseph Zbukvic web site

Lian Gang Interview

Some extracts from interview of Lian Gang (China) for my new book "Masters Of Watercolor. From East To West"

Do you consider your painting style western or traditional Chinese?
First, watercolor derived from England. Watercolor paintings tools, materials, and its aesthetic value are quite different from traditional Chinese painting media.
My watercolor paintings are Western style with its Oriental art flavor. Since I grow up with Chinese cultural influence, my paintings contain a lots of elements reflect Chinese aesthetic value. This cultural background affects my watercolor.
I also emphasize Contemporary looks in my watercolor paintings. I try to find harmony between my paintings and modern space and environment. This is quite consistent with Western aesthetic trend. That is why my watercolor is Western style with Chinese elements.

Lian Gang

What is the difference between traditional Gohua and Western watercolor?
This second question is a very interesting question. Traditional Chinese ink painting(Guohua) and Western watercolor are all belong to water medium art. Other than all water based, these two painting methods are very different.
First of all, materials are completely different. Chinese painting employs very permeable rice paper while Western watercolor paper is non permeable. Brushes are different, too. Moreover, Chinese ink is obviously different from watercolor paints.
Second, Chinese ink painting emphasize on various drawing lines and ink infiltrating looks on rice paper. However, there is little concern in theories on perspective, color, or light and shade in Chinese ink painting. In watercolor, there are lots of rules and theory in terms of realistically depicting objects and color. Artists need to find consistency between painting and objects.

Lian Gang

Is it possible to be a full time artist in China?
Do you ask whether a Chinese painter can be a full-time artist? I do not know about Russian artists. I know in general, an influential artist naturally sells well and lives a comfortable life. However, most Chinese artists teach at schools or universities. Teaching jobs are their stable income source. Schools also provide them with art supply. They have some advantage. Other average artists in China paint full-time is not easy.

Lian Gang

Is there a strong competition between artists in China? Does it help to improve to every artist?
Competition exists naturally everywhere. Artistic innovation and development of the world all derive from great effort and competition. Any positive competition within artists is beneficial to the diversity of the art world. There is a tremendous painting community in China. There are hundreds of art exhibitions on various types. Government sponsored art awards also stimulate artists to create their works of art. Thus, competition is inevitable.

Full version of the interview will be available in my upcoming book (this year)...