Completed Sketchbook Project

So here it is! If you haven't seen my previous post on Sketchbook Project, this is a project run by Brooklyn Art Library. They accept sketchbooks from around the world from anyone. I have been working on this one for about 8 months, slowly filling it page by page, with collaged stamps, writing and painted faces. 

I have posted this sketchbook all the way from South Africa at the end of last month and just received notification that my sketchbook is going on a tour in their Mobile Library and will be passing through:

CHICAGO: August 3rd - 5th
Hyde Park Arts Center
5020 S Cornell Ave Chicago, IL 60615

ATLANTA: September 21st - 23rd
Ponce City Market 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30308

How exciting would it be to pop in to that library and browse thousands of sketchbooks from artists around the world? I would stay there day and night!

By the way you can participate too. Here is a link to read more:

(Please note: I am not gaining anything by advertising this link. This is just a friendly suggestion because I enjoyed this project so much. :))

My sketchbook is also digitized there with the code 345.112-3

Photos of some of the pages:


Around The World Through Art


Dear friends!

First of all – happy Valentines Day! A bit lonely day for me, as my husband is away in Johannesburg, filming for a client. As creatives, we work in schedules that ignore public holidays and celebrations. Sometimes I wish it was not the case. Just on 24th December I was sitting painting in my studio. I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. I suppose creative flow doesn’t fit into a calendar.

Second, I would like to let you know that I will be part of collaborative workshop “Around the world through art”, that will begin on 26 of April. And I am allowed to giveaway 1 spot! 14 wonderful art teachers came together and created classes related to the country each of them are born in or attracted to. I have Russian origin, so my 2 classes there will be Russian theme inspired. In one of the classes I will demonstrate how I paint on stacking wooden Matryoshka dolls (or sometimes they called Babushka dolls). In another class I will paint a girl in a colorful Russian costume. I am so excited about this project, together we can learn about other cultures in the most exciting way – through art! There will also be art inspired by Spain, Mexico, Italy, Japan, India, China and other countries!


To learn more about workshop and sign up, please go to:


With regard to giveaway, please go to my FB post, share it and comment there, and I will add you to the draw. I will announce the winner on Monday, 19 February. :) If you already paid and won a spot – you will be refunded. 30% off is offered for early bird sign ups!

My FB page:

I hope you are having a great day with someone you love or with something you love. Valentine’s day is about love, and it doesn’t have to be a person. :)



Artist in transit


The most valuable advice I have ever received from an art teacher was: "Paint until you are happy." Most profound thing that have affected my art in a deep way and always pushed me to discover how can an artwork be brought to the next level.

I took this advice as my most valuable tool that I have applied into every artwork I created in the last 5 years. Little did I know that at times this advice would become a nagging thing in my head that would not let me rest until an artwork is brought onto a more complex and intriguing state. Sometimes I would be stuck at an artwork for weeks, painting and repainting it obsessively, and when not painting I would go around house grumpy and dissatisfied, pondering and guessing, what if and how to?

In the last several months the need to change have become my torment and obsession. I discard everything I attempt to paint in the old way and constantly question whether this complete work can be brought to the next level. I call it a love-hate relationship with the canvas.

My recent work "Set sail and love" was one of those I struggle with the most. It all started with my usual 15 min Pinterest browsing before bedtime. I came across a photo of a beautiful ship, my mind immediately went on an adventure, imagining incorporating something like this into my art and the name "Set Sail and Love" have jumped to mind right away. I wrote the name down, went to sleep and next morning started working out a composition.


First thing I always do is paint a face. That's usually the easiest part. Then I painted a ship and glued collage of flowers that I completely overpainted in my own way.


Great thing about acrylics is that it can never be too many layers on the artwork. You can continue adding layers again and again, literally until you are happy. In fact the more layers you add, the better the artwork will be in the end.


In this case the more I added, the more I resented this work. It felt stagnant and lack in energy. And the worst thought that I completely hate coming to my mind kept arriving and nagging me: "the whole story lacks in meaning and confusing, it's just a pretty artwork in rococo style."


Truly, the last thing I want to make is simply pretty art. To make matters worse, my husband walked into my studio and remarked: "Very nice. Reminds me of your earlier work." My husband is often my worst critique, who pushes me onto another level. Perhaps he did not mean it this time, but I got totally depressed over his comment and almost trashed the whole thing in a bin.


But wait, before you ever trash your artwork, just put another layer on it! Paint until you are happy - came to mind. And so I did.


I think it's that tension between how i am used to paint story art and how my heart wants to evolve into painting it differently. That struggle to evolve pushes us artists to go for drastic wipe out and repaint, sometimes several times. 


I cannot say that I am madly in love with the result, but at least I am much happier with her now than in any other stages.



Did you know? This month I have finally found time to load many originals and prints of my best work into my Etsy shop. :)

Above artwork will be offered for sale on 6 of February in the HeArtful Soul Artist collactive online event on Facebook:

Christmas gift - free video tutorial. :)


Dear beautiful artists,

I hope you like my Christmas gift, I have filmed and edited a 25 minute video tutorial on how I painted this painting (see full painting picture below). I wish you a wonderful holiday and family time, or alone creative time (which is also awesome), however you choose to make your December exciting - I wish you all the best in that. If you have time to paint with me, please do, this project requires about 2 hours of your time. :) Please tag me on Facebook is you would like me to see what you have created.

Password: loveistheanswer



300 lb paper, rough or smooth
black India ink, or black acrylic ink
tray for ink
white & red acrylics, heavy body, Golden is great
small palette, I use a lid from tupperware
black & red Stabilo All, or watersoluble pencil or crayon (Lyra aquacolor, Neocolors II)
black Lyra crayon woody, or Stabilo All woody, or any thick black crayon that is watersoluble
square flat brushes, or filberts if you prefer
porcupine stick or any sharp tool to scratch into wet paint
water container, rug


"Dragonfly Mirror" 13"x17" mixed media on paper. This original is available. Please inquire. 

current workshop on painting faces: 


Create Your Life Book - launch, by Tamara Laporte



the winner of the book is Jeanne Elliott! Congratulations, Jeanne! :)

Hello everyone!

I have some wonderful & exciting news! Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts has written a book! It's called 'Create Your Life Book: Mixed-Media Art Projects for Expanding Creativity and Encouraging Personal Growth' and I get to give away a copy!

Let me tell you a bit more about Tam's new book in case you haven't heard about it yet! “Celebrate and honour your creative potential with Create Your Life Book!”

Based on much-loved mixed-media artist Tamara Laporte’s popular, multi-year series of online classes, Create Your Life Book offers mixed-media drawing and painting projects that can raise your awareness of and help you work through personal challenges and other obstacles to creating art and achieving self-fulfilment.

Each themed chapter presents 4 or 5 two-part projects: The first part of each project explores a common issue that hampers creativity and/or positive self-worth, and includes a worksheet or list of questions to be answered; the second part is a step-by-step mixed-media art project that provides a way for artists at all skill levels to contemplate and work through that issue. Also included are projects contributed by some of Tamara’s Life Book guest teachers--Roxanne Coble, Andrea Gomoll, Alena Hennessy, Mystele Kirkeeng, Ivy Newport, and Effy Wild--who are noted mixed-media artists in their own right.

Along the way, Tamara shares inspirational photos and uplifting and encouraging affirmations. The final chapter presents a simple binding method for creating a keepsake book of your Life Book projects.

You can now pre-order Tam's awesome book here: (USA) (UK) (Canada) (Australia) (The Book Depositary)

It's officially published in January 2018, although many sites are now showing the publishing date as earlier in December 2017! You can pre-order it NOW! :)

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! :) I can give away 1 copy of Tam's book to 1 lucky winner, yay! :) And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning by entering all the other give-aways also! :)

How to enter the give-away:

1. Share this give-away on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+
2. Sign up to my newsletter

I will announce the winner on 20th December here in this post!


Here is the list of the other people on Tam's Book Launch Blog Hop – they too will be giving away a copy of Tam's book so go check them out and enter their give-aways! :)

1st December 2017 Tamara Laporte
2nd December 2017 Effy Wild
3rd December 2017 Ivy Newport
4th December 2017 Roxanne Coble
5th December 2017 Andrea Gomoll
6th December 2017 Mystele Kirkeeng
7th December 2017 Tracy Verdugo
8th December 2017 Wyanne Thompson
9th December 2017 Shiloh Sophia McCloud
10th December 2017 Alena Hennessy
11th December 2017 Lindsay Weirich
12th December 2017 Jane Davenport
13th December 2017 Carla Sonheim
14th December 2017 Mati Rose McDonough
15th December 2017 Annie Hamman

Have a great time following the blog hop! :)

Love and hugs,