Art for the Heart 8×8 Gallery 2020

Delicate Beginnings I, mixed media drawing by Yelena Shabrova
Delicate Beginning I ~ mixed media, 5″ x 5″
Delicate Beginnings II, mixed media drawing by Yelena Shabrova
Delicate Beginning II ~ mixed media, 5″ x 5″
Delicate Beginnings III, mixed media drawing by Yelena Shabrova
Delicate Beginning III ~ mixed media, 5″ x 5″

Dropped my contribution to the Art Gallery for Art for the Heart that benefits Center for the Arts in Corvallis. I am not sure if the show will be an actual physical one or online only like many others. I haven’t been to the place since way before the pandemic, and it was so nice to walk in and enjoy the current show and new things in their gift shop. It was almost normal. Almost.

Three 5” x 5” drawings make the “Delicate Beginnings” little series. It would be four, but the forth one became a casualty of forgetting to cover the ink drawing with final fixative before attempting to mount it on top of the tissue paper with pastels and powdered bone. It will require heavy touch-up and maybe adding some color to the foal. I am not sure about color yet, but it’s a possibility. Maybe all four would benefit from some color.

More details about the show: https://theartscenter.net/call-for-artists-8×8-art-gallery-for-art-for-the-heart/

Updated September 25th, 2020

The Art for the Heart 8×8 Gallery is going up in the Corrine Woodman Gallery tomorrow.

The show will be up from September 26th till October 8th, 2020.
The current hours of The Arts Center are Thursday – Saturday, 12 pm – 5 pm.

Masks and Social Distancing Required

Virtual Reception
The 8×8 Gallery reception will be held on October 1, 2020 at 6 pm online. It will be the first chance to purchase any artwork in this gallery.
Register for Art for the Heart by clicking here. Registration is free. Also visit The Arts Center’s Facebook page by clicking here for more info.

Stories of the Forest series finished

image of Stories of the Forest I, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest I ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest II, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest II ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest III, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest III ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest IV, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest IV ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″
image of Stories of the Forest V, mixed media drawing on canvas board, 12" x 9", by Yelena Shabrova
Stories of the Forest V ~ mixed media on canvas board, 12″ x 9″

This series started with a title, and that almost never happens to me. By the time I sketched the very first piece I could not remember how exactly I came up with “Stories of the Forest,” but the initial idea was to make ink drawings of groups of trees and shrubs that would gradually fade into the paper collage background to showcase the beauty of common plant inhabitants of Western Oregon forests where I often hike. Every little plant, every shrub and tree have a story to tell if we look close, and together they weave a more complicated story that makes some unassuming spot in the forest look amazing.

It all looked good in pencil, but moving forward with inking was a different story. It looked too busy. Varying density of strokes and dots didn’t really work, so two ruined drawings I decided to change the approach. Maybe pen and ink was not the right choice for what I wanted to achieve, or maybe (and more likely) I failed to collaborate with my pens properly.

So I started to remove details that were less essential from my sketches, starting with varied growth under and behind tree branches, then with nonessential branches themselves. I do all corrections on tracing paper laid on top of the original sketch that needs to be improved. This considerably speeds up the process and keeps new ideas flowing without interruption of redrawing the same parts of a sketch.

And that’s how I’ve ended up with just a few leaves and scarcely spaced branches, letting the gently colored background to hint at whatever a viewer wants to see in the finished piece. There is special beauty in simplicity, and that old saying “less is more” gave me exactly what I wanted.

Stranger

Yelena Shabrova ~ Stranger ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8" x 10" (original drawing of an owl)
Stranger ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″

I was asked more than once why I don’t draw owls, and given the fact that they are my next favorite animals after horses it really begs the question. My explanation so far was that it’s far easier to obtain my own horse reference which is always preferred over free and inexpensive options that can be used by somebody else too.

However, the time keeps marching by, and my own supply of owl photos stays at zero. I do see owls every now and then which is very nice, but the lighting conditions are such that even the best camera in the world will not help my shaky coffee hands to make even a semi-decent shot. So I finally looked for other options.

So now I have my very own owl peaking out of a crumbling wall. Thank you, Lynton Bolton, for a great reference photo.

An observation: if an owl has light, fluffy feathers they will do everything they can to turn out a mess. They observe no rules, no order, nothing of what fur usually does.

The original ($190.00), greeting cards, and prints are available in my online shop as a part of the “Mixed Media” collection.

Muncher

Yelena Shabrova ~ Muncher ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8" x 10" (original drawing of a squirrel)
Muncher – mixed media on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″

Squirrels are our little chatty neighbors who dig out everything I ever tried to plant in the patio. Even garlic is not safe with them. I would never believe that a squirrel can be interested in garlic cloves if I hadn’t seen with my own eyes how a squirrel hurries up a tree with a freshly dug-out clove in his teeth.

I suspect that at least some odd grasses, bushes, and trees that grow all by themselves are actually squirrels’ work. We never planted any of that, and nothing similar grows nearby. It has to come from what squirrels hide around the patio.

The original ($190.00), greeting cards, and prints are available in my online shop as a part of the “Mixed Media” collection.

Furry explorer

Yelena Shabrova ~ Explorer ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8" x 10" (raccoon)
Explorer ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″

Raccoons are adorable as long as you do not stand between them and what they think is their food or keep a healthy distance from them in general. I imagine gardeners don’t appreciate living side by side with them, but not being one I enjoy every encounter, be it in the wilderness or in the city.

This is a Russian raccoon who looks exactly as his American relatives and can be just as feisty. I met him and his family in the Moscow Zoo more than a decade ago.

The original ($190.00), greeting cards, and prints are available in my online shop as a part of the “Mixed Media” collection.

Artist trading card exchange at CAG

Yesterday at the meeting in the Campbell Artists’ Guild we had an artist trading card exchange. This is what I brought, they are my experiments with metal pens and markers combined with colored pencils:

artist trading card

artist trading card

artist trading card

And this is what I got in return:

Gudrun Baumeister - Sunset in the North Sea - watercolor 3.5" x 2.5"
Gudrun Baumeister – Sunset in the North Sea – watercolor 3.5″ x 2.5″

Barb Overholt - Golden Open acrylics, 3.5" x 2.5"
Barb Overholt – Golden Open acrylics, 3.5″ x 2.5″

Anne Olander - Zion National Park - acrylic, 3.5" x 2.5"
Anne Olander – Zion National Park – acrylic, 3.5″ x 2.5″

Pretty wonderful extra gifts for my Birthday! 🙂