Decorate Your Home Office – 10% off Sale

It’s that time of year to freshen up walls with some art prints! Starting tomorrow April 25, I am running a sale for 1 month – use SPRING2021 at check out to get 10% off art prints and original art. You can also use CANADASPRING2021 on my Etsy if you’re located in Canada. Make sure to sign up to my mailing list if you want coupon codes like this in the future.

I bet it’s far more apparent this year than ever that a great environment is important to productivity and well being after so many had to work from home. Furniture sales apparently sky-rocketed this past year, which is interesting to me because it makes me wonder what people’s homes are like if only now we’re all swapping out the old junk? I put off replacing a couch simply because I was too busy, and being in a lockdown meant I was home a lot more to deal with furniture deliveries. I think old items in the home carry all the energy they accumulated through the passing of good and bad memories, so sometimes changing things out is just as mentally cleansing as it is refreshing for the home.

One of my COVID projects that was really aching to get done is to list more of my original art on this store. I have listed the majority of my artwork from the last 4 years and moving on to the backlog from years prior which is a little harder because I didn’t have a good system for archiving my work back then. I make a lot of art, and it fell to the wayside to actually list it because it’s hours and hours of data entry and I’ve been working on making this website better first before I invest those hours in listing each artwork one by one. So yeah, check out the new Original Art by Subject category for what’s listed now – that should be easier to browse!

I’m happy to say I’ve sold more original art and prints than ever in the past 3 years, which is a complete surprise to me. I’m very grateful to everyone who continues to support my art practice. You’re the reason I can keep going on a professional level.

My First Urban Sketch vs. Today

This is one piece I sold recently I’d like to highlight. It’s the very first time I practiced urban sketching on my own, which was the starting point to all the Montreal art I create now. Funny, I didn’t actually like drawing buildings until I started practicing urban sketching and started to appreciate the story behind the places we visit in our daily lives. Creating these piece is a nice memory for me; it was a 23C day (I remember checking the weather) and it was fun being around people, painting away. I love how gestural and light it came out, which is challenging to do for me even today. I remember spending some 4 hours on this piece outside. You can still buy it as a print here and in my Etsy shop.

the hudson bay company montreal watercolor painting
9″x12″, watercolor on 140lb watercolor paper. En plein air painting of The Bay store from across the street in a park full of street vendors in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ~2016

Fast forward to today in 2021, here is my latest piece. I no longer put the constraint of having to paint outside entirely (it’s a bit limiting), but I take all I learned from painting on-location to my studio practice. Here is a blues bar called Bistro a Jojo on Saint Denis in Montreal. I took an invaluable photograph during a COVID street closure because I planned to paint this iconic place knowing it’s too busy to document on a regular day. Then, I used what photos are available of the bar at night to get a gist of the lighting and I created the image from my imagination based on how the street usually feels. It may be hard to see on screen, but there are 3 different colors in the lineart gradating from light to dark to enhance the glow of the lights. This is definitely not a picture I could paint in person – the street would be too busy (possibly dangerous) and it’d be too dark to see what I am doing, never mind the level of detail. This painting is available for sale as the original art and as an art print. What I love is the signage, which I found out is not an antique but a modern aesthetic choice thanks to photo archives on Google Street View.

bistro a jojo blues bar montreal art watercolor painting by karolina szablewska
9″x12″, watercolor painting with ink drawing of Bistro a Jojo Blues Bar in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ~2021

Digital Art on iPad

This summer, I got my fiancĂ© an iPad. This was to make his work easier, but it didn’t work out that way…so I stole it for myself and now it’s my iPad that I can use to get back into digital art. Here is a pretty elaborate dragon painting I recently finished that I spent far too much time on (maybe I’ll talk about that in a different post). It is painted in ProCreate and Affinity Designer. You can get prints of this one and I also made it available as an NFT for those into that stuff.

Morning Glories and Angel Dragons digital art by karolina szablewska procreate
Angel dragons sitting on vines of Morning Glories, a type of purple flower. Painted in Procreate and Affinity Designer. ~2021

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