Best Wishes for the New Year and a finished soft pastel painting

As we are counting the last hours of the old year and looking forward to the new one, I just want to reflect on the past year and say that it went pretty well for me. I tried to focus on doing things I love. I’ve baked a lot, trying to be inventive and try new things. I’ve tried to take better photos of my food and my surroundings. I tried to spend more time painting. I have actually finished several paintings out of which two were sold in a charity event helping needy Bosnian families and one got an award and it is still displayed in our local museum gallery. I tried to spend more time with my kids, be a better parent, be a good friend and a listener. I tried to keep an open mind and an open heart to the new things that came along. Have I succeeded? Not sure. I am sure of one thing though: I will not stop trying and hoping that this new year will be better in every way not only for me, but also for all of you that are reading this post and for the whole world.

peace on earth

This is my latest painting. The original photo comes from a Croatian photographer Boris Stromar and can be seen at Boris’ website. With Boris’ permission I have used this photo as a reference. The painting depicts river Una, one of the most beautiful rivers of Bosnia and Europe.

This is how I started:

Remembering Bosnia_first drawing

Completed painting:

River Una

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Artist Trading Cards Party and Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

After a disappointing Friday when I headed to Chicago to meet with my best friend and didn’t make it there because my reliable German car broke down on the highway, my Saturday turned out to be quite pleasant. For the first time ever I participated in Artist Trading Cards project. There were 30 artists who participated. We all had to make 1 card a day for 30 days starting September 1st. The purpose of making one card a day is just to stay involved in your art since many of us don’t do art for living and in this busy world of  ours it is hard to find time to paint. So after 30 days we all supposed to have 900 cards all together. Party was taking place last Saturday at St. Joseph, Michigan, a beautiful town at the Lake Michigan shore. Everyone was asked to bring a dish to share, so I decided to go with Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars (see my Christmas edition here) that really have never failed to put ones taste buds in awe. Party went very well, cards were traded, food was great and the company of fellow artists excellent. I came home happy, I made some new friends, I got 30 new trading cards and all the bars were eaten! 🙂

Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

[printable recipe]

*** I use a 1.5 measure of batter for the 9 X 13 inch baking pan. The quantities below are for the 9 X 9 inch square pan. ***

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) butter or margarine
  • 2 cups (335 g) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) seedless raspberry jam (I use with seeds and I also add 1 cup of frozen raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) sliced almonds

Directions

  1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F (162 C). Grease and sugar 9-inch-square baking pan.
  2. MELT butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Add 1 cup morsels; let stand. Do not stir.
  3. BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy. Add sugar; beat until light lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in morsel-butter mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until combined. Spread 2/3 of batter into prepared pan.
  4. BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from oven to wire rack.
  5. HEAT jam in small, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds; stir. Spread jam over warm crust. Stir remaining morsels into remaining batter. Drop spoonfuls of batter over jam. Sprinkle with almonds.
  6. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

♦♦♦

Here are some of my trading cards that I’ve taken to the party.

Watercolor and watercolor pencil:

An apple in pastel…

…and two pencil sketches:

Here are some photos of other artists cards and of the atmosphere in the studio:


My new pastel painting from the Bosnia series – Part 3 – DONE + a new one in making

I’ve finished this painting couple of weeks ago. I am really happy how it turned out. All is left is to frame it and enjoy looking at it! 🙂 I named it REMEMBERING BOSNIA.

Update 01-06-2013: Won an honorable mention for this piece and an article in the local news paper.

This is the new one that I’ve started this week. The theme is the same: Bosnia and river boats.