Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Return of creativity

In the past 2.5 months I have experienced sort of a transformation.  After resigning my job at the end of April, I was washed out inside and out. The job created stress which affected my health and well being and I didn't want to continue being in a negative non-collaborative environment.  The decision to leave was necessary and I did not know what to expect once I left.  I just knew that it is no life if you can't turn your head due to stress accumulated in upper back, and I was not able to do anything at home.  After returning from work, I would literally be sluggish till the next morning. My soul was empty. My health declined.  

The first two weeks I had trouble relaxing, and was still in physical pain.  My family visited me from Europe which put me to work to cook a lot of food and care for them, and this helped me and exhausted me at the same time.  About a month after quitting I was sort of frozen and unable to do anything.  I finally started sleeping through the night.  Relaxation was not possible in a week or two, it took a whole month to come back to myself.

And then came June, and I had this old hutch my nephew gave me.  He found it in a house he was flipping.  One of those projects you think you will do and you never have time for.  But at the beginning of June I decided to tackle the hutch and with all of my years of painting and making fine art I did not think it would be that hard!

My first project:

Hutch before 

This is a Broyhill product probably from the 70-ties or 80-ties.  Without any knowledge of painting furniture I tacked this beast.  And it was a monster to do..

 But in the end, I got it renovated with my crazy attention to details and it turned out great!

My glass collection now has a place

My second, third, fourth, fifth projects:

Next, enthusiastic about the first project turning out so great, I decided to renovate more old furniture, and all of a sudden I found it is really fun to be creative again and take something that is out of style to bring it current and make it exciting again.  Craigslist allowed me to find pieces that I thought have potential to be much more...  This is what happened in one and a half months.  I am working very hard on these projects, learning a lot, and have so many new projects in the pipeline.  But this is what I have completed thus far.

Project 2: Old lowboy chest.  

This chest was bought from Craigslist.  I liked the primitive aesthetic of it and the fact it came with a lot of dust and spiders.  This is not a valuable piece, rather one that was made to look like tiger oak by using a paint treatment.  This restoration helped me learn more about furniture history, but this piece was so cute after good cleaning and application of oils it looked good enough for my hall.

Lowboy as found
Lowboy after
I just love this piece of furniture and it is perfect storage!

Project 3: A rocking chair

This rocking chair had simple lines and I thought I could do something with it.  My office is themed aqua and pink, so it was a good addition to it.  It is a place where all the creative ideas happen!

Rocker before
Rocker After

Rocker in my office - see far corner

Project 4: A kid table and chair set

This one was interesting as I bought it in Windsor Heights and I was thinking when I came home with it why in the world I bought a kid set when my kids are 21 and 14. Nobody can fit their butt into these chairs, yet I saw potential.  The top was painted chalkboard, and the rest in distressed white with pearlescent finishes. I didn't have a place for this, so the set was SOLD. There were several people fighting to get this one. It went to a deserving single mother of 3 girls.

This is the set I found in Winsdor Heights and fell in love with
And after!

Perfect little set gained a lot of attention - SOLD

Project 5: Renovated table and chairs from 1950!

This set is only one of the multiple sets of tables and chairs I decided to renovate.  I have quickly learned all about refinishing, stripping the old, sanding and using stains and varnishes.  My art background is extremely helpful as it was easy to learn how to achieve professional results.  Creating over 300 pieces of fine art laid a good foundation for this new endeavor.  Furniture hobby will continue to make me busy until I find another employment gig.

I made this table and chairs available for SALE.  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of joy.  I liked returning life to something that looked bad but was a jewel in disguise:

Completely restored table and chairs from 1950-ties
This set is available for SALE

I won't say this restoration was easy because it was not.  But the only reason it turned out so well is because of my desire to make it as perfect as possible.  I found 4 Lyra back chairs that compliment this table to make a set.  Then I stripped most of the old stain off, sanded the whole thing both with tools and manually, and then applied multiple step professional stains and protective polyurethane. You probably can't even imagine the amount of work it took.  Alas, I need to sell this set as I have more I am working on.  

Size: 38 1/4 wide, 57 1/2 long
Set: 1950-ties
Style: Duncan Phype
Table style: Drop leaf
Chair style: Lyra back
Table material: solid wood with cherry veneer
Chair material: walnut
Seats: Reupholstered new batting and fabric
Set Refinished: July 2016 
Price: $450 - set
Table surface is amazing with the age showing but finish is perfect
I didn't believe this was possible until I did it

That's all the completed projects so far, stay tuned for more projects, many will be for sale as I won't be able to keep them all.  Thanks!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Across the Universe

New work created for an exhibit "Global Views", currently at Polk County Heritage Gallery, 111 Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309.

This new work is a progression of my mixed media work, and in my opinion one of the best works to date.  This is 48 x 60 inches on linen and contains: acrylic, ink, crushed garnet, iron oxide, fiber, glass spheres, glass nuggets, beach glass, interference, glitter, mica flake, and variety of other dry and wet acrylic mix-in mediums.

Reception will be held on Friday, September 14th, from 5PM - 8PM.  Come visit the exhibit, and see me and my artwork.  Polk County Heritage Gallery will also participate in this year's ArtStop.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


New work title: Genesis
Date created: March 2012
Dimension: 20 inch round convexo canvas

Mixed media: Glass nuggets and spheres in varying sizes, cotton cloth immersed in acrylic paint and mediums, glitter.  This is a very intricate and complicated artwork that is best appreciated in close live view.  The camera is unable to capture the multi-dimension of form and shine.  Please contact artist to view the art in person.  

This art is currently available.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Making Art with Kids

Today was quite inspirational.  I hosted a birthday party at my studio with 11 year old Morgan and her friends.  We made art together and it was really fun.  After the party ended, I was immersed into it myself for a while.  Great day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

14444 Page Views and Hall of Fame/Shame

All right, all right... I log in today and see my blog had 14444 page views.  Whoa!  That's a lot of views.  I am not that frequent blogger, so if i do the math and divide these views on 3 years approximately, it comes to be around 13 views per day. 

So, what's going on for those who follow/view this blog?  Well, although I can't tell you all of my secrets, one thing that is sure is that I have jumped on a bandwagon and painted Des Moines skyline, lol.  Yes, every artist pretty much at some point did Des Moines, our city, and I am now either in a Hall of Fame, or Hall of Shame, not sure.. 

So, here are the two pics, inspiration pic and art pic, so you can see how it happened.  My reference inspiration pic was on my iPhone, and that's how I painted it.  Held my iPhone to view the tiny image, and kind of enlarged and stylized in my own way.  You can't say technology and art don't mix well, because yeah, they do.

Next, I took this image of finished art and posting here.  Not the sharpest pic, but hey, it was taken with a phone.  Let me know how you use technology in production of your art, or anything else you are doing.


Inspiration pic

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


On a recent art show in Perry, i was charged with demonstrating acrylic painting.  This is a result of two days in the show, plus preparation before I went there.  The thick texture was applied and dry before I started this demonstration.

One thing I have noticed demonstrating is nice, but it lets you pay less attention to the visitors of your booth.  I was in the bad mood during the show since I was in a somewhat crunched up space and my demonstration table was pretty much taking the entire space.  But, the art turned out beautiful.  It is my own interpretation of a boat race with colorful sails flowing around. 

 Regatta 3 (20 x 24 each)
Regatta detail


Monday, December 12, 2011

Dwelling in texture

Once again, I said my art is getting a lot better.   After hundreds of pieces created and sold, it is no wonder.  I know my medium as the back of my hand and now we are manipulating that medium even further.  Pushing the acrylic mediums to dazzle and amaze, pushing the texture and sparkle to an extreme.
At this point I feel that I am past the point of experimentation with glass and other additives to paint, I have finally learned how it behaves and what it will do.  Not that the result is always predictable, but I approach each new project with much more confidence.

Here is the latest result, artworks that push the textures and mixed media to an extreme.

 Aquarium 12 x 12 (SOLD)

Trepidation 6 x 6

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Art - A Collection

I am working on an eclectic collection of small paintings for a client of mine.  The idea is to create a collection that seems acquired over time.  Here are some of the new artworks that go into this collection.  Let me know how you like these new pieces.  Thanks!

Small Forest 2 (6 x 6 each)
Basketball 2 (5 x 5 each)
Continental Divide 2 (6 x 6 each)
River 5 (6 x 6 each)

Monday, November 14, 2011


Title: DeCode
Medium: Mixed Media on Linen
Size: 24 inches x 96 inches
Where to buy: Studio Gallery in West Glen

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Emerald City

Size: 12 x 12 inches
Medium: Mixed media on canvas (glass, glitter, paint)