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.
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:
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! 🙂
*** 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. ***
- 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
- PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F (162 C). Grease and sugar 9-inch-square baking pan.
- MELT butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Add 1 cup morsels; let stand. Do not stir.
- 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.
- BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from oven to wire rack.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
Here is the progress from this week. I had a lot of problems with the small boat in the background, so I had to re position it and change the shape of it. Now I think it looks better. I have mainly worked on the lower left corner and somewhat on the big boat. The big boat supposed to show reflection of the clouds since it has some leftover rain inside… I plan to work on the big boat and hopefully finish it next week… Stay tuned my friends.
Busy summer days are over, so I can finally concentrate on painting again. I started this one last Tuesday and this is the result of 2.5 hours of painting. The medium I’m using is soft pastel, and the size is 28 3/4 X 20 3/4 in (or 73 X 52.6 cm). More progress photos coming next week…
This is very different from what I usually paint, but I am having so much fun doing it. The paper I am using is also different from what I am used to. It is a bit textured and takes the pastel well. This painting is quite small (8 X 12 in) and detailed. So far I am happy about how its coming along…
One painting done, another one in making. This time I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and paint some blackberry blossoms. They caught my eye the other day when we were taking our dogs for a walk in the park. They are so subtle and graceful with their fine, white petals. Usually I paint landscapes, architecture, animals occasionally, but not flowers. Recently I painted some tulips for exercise and didn’t like the end result (maybe because photo wasn’t mine)… This time the photo is mine and I am eager to do this well! Stay tuned.
I am so happy to be done with my pastel landscape. I love how it turned out. It will remind me every day of my hometown and the beautiful Una river. In Latin Una means “In one” or “Together”. I decided to call the painting “Together”. Even though I now live far away from Una, still in my heart we are together.
I am almost done with my river landscape. A few finishing touches on the trees, sky and boats and that’s it, I think. I am excited to be done and I am happy how it turned out. This scene is of river Una from my hometown in Bosnia. Many beautiful memories connect me to this place. I have to think of a good title for the painting…..
Week 3: I think my river landscape is slowly getting its shape. I had fun painting reflection of the trees in the water, shaping the wall, the walk way and the boats. Can’t wait until next week to do more.
Here is the week 1: start. I really enjoy my pastel class! People are welcoming and kind and I always accomplish a lot. I can never make that kind of progress when I paint at home. This is how far I got the 2nd week:
I started a new soft pastel landscape last week. This is just a sketch. Can you tell what it is? I work on it only once a week for about 2-3 hours. Each week I will show a photo on its progress…
After a two year break, I just started painting again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. This pastel is just a little warm up, until I start a bigger project…
Finished…. not to happy, but it was a good exercise 🙂