Tuesday, December 10th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

It is all in details and reflections. 

When painting this artwork, I focused on the details of the buildings that were lit up by the Venice setting sun. And I added a story, a lonely gondolier on his way to pick up a couple of love birds for a romantic ride. The reflections on the water have all the colors of the building above, plus the deep dark waters of the Venetian Canal yet not rising. 

While walking streets and passing bridges of Venice I admired the fact that not all the squares and canals are busy as we are so used to see when coming to Italy, Venice or any other famous city for that matter. Some streets are really secluded and cozy, with no sound from the touristic crowd reaching them. And I loved those parts of the city where the artist can hide and paint, absorbing the mood of an ancient beauty. 

Oh Venezia!! 

More paintings of Italy are in my special Gallery HERE 

Live to Create!


Friday, December 6th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Ravello, a small Italian town located 1200 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea by Amalfi Coast It is home to iconic cliffside gardens. The 13th-century, Moorish-style Villa Rufolo offers far-reaching views from its terraced gardens, and hosts indoor and outdoor concerts during the popular summertime Ravello Festival.

In my recent painting here I caught the glimpse of the Amalfi Coast hazy shore peeking through pink flowers planters and a lovely oleander tree.

Live To Create!!!

More Italian subjects are in my Gallery


Contact the Artist Irina Sztukowski HERE

or explore paintings at 



Thursday, November 28th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

Thanksgiving  is a United States holiday that is celebrated nationally. It is celebrated usually on the fourth Thursday of November. Officially it was created as a harvest festival since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. 

Historically the event was called by Americans the "First Thanksgiving" and it was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as recounted by Edward Winslow -  it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. Later on the New England colonists were regularly celebrating "thanksgivings" days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

When Thomas Jefferson came to power in 1801 he decided not to give much attention to Thanksgiving holiday, and its celebration was irregular for almost 60 years, until the Abraham Lincoln became president in 1860. And then in 1863 Thanksgiving became a federal holiday. The time was during American Civil War, and Lincoln announced a National day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. But from 1942 and going forward, Thanksgiving has been proclaimed by Congress to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is regarded as being the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, along with Christmas and the New Year, in American culture.

Cheers from


Monday, November 25th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

A few days ago I've accepted the Gratitude Challenge Journal Project with my yoga studio. I believed that exercising my mind and body was not enough; so, I decided to exercise my Soul as well in a deep meditation. 

And what is the best way to meditate for an Artist? Right: paint watercolor Mandala:

Mandala for Relaxation

Mandala for Education

Mandala for Meditation

Mandala for the Soul

I've added these mandalas to my Meditation And Affirmation Gallery as soon as I finished them. I am sure that if I found a deep state of meditation in watercolor painting, then most likely my Art Collectors might find a good connection to a meditative and relaxing way when looking at my art. 

These mandalas look so lovely not only on the wall in the form of interior decor, but as well on merchandise that can be not only placed at home and office, but as well being used and exposed to every day activities:

Look To Create!


Meditation Gallery

is at  https://irina-sztukowski.pixels.com/

Friday, November 22nd 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

I was recently asked: You selling so many landscape artworks, do your Art Collectors like still life paintings? And here is my answer: Oh, yes, they surely do. And I am so very happy that many of my paintings are traveling to decorate houses not only throughout the U.S. but as well internationally.

Above painting was recently purchased by the Art Collector from Floral Park NY.

This one went to Overland Park, KS:

International Art Collector from Wetherby, United_Kingdom; bought original design printed on canvas:

Another International Art Collector from Canada (Gillam, MB) purchased these sour but happy lemons recently:

Citrus fruit is quite a popular subject among my art collectors.

Customer from Oshkosh, state of Wisconsin liked for her kitchen these happy synergy of Orange and Lemon: 


Smiling Banana and Mango went to decorate a Home Sweet Home of the Art Collector from Williamsville, NY:

Yummy illustration of Honey and Bees on metal board was purchased by the Art Collector from Rye, state of New York:

And a classical style painting of Cheerful Cherry Tomatoes was loved by a client from Hattiesburg, MS:

But the most interesting thing, that the art collectors buy fruits, berries, and food paintings not only for kitchen walls decor, there are some who likes my paintings on household items. 

Such for example this one that was purchased by the customer from San Diego, California:

Yet the most surprising sale that I've recently had, was a watercolor of Honeycomb on shower curtain that the customer from purchased for his bathroom :)

This certainly reminds me my long time motto:

Live To Create!!! 

Cheers from 



by clicking on each photo of the painting you can see various sizes of prints and prints on merchandise such t-Shirts, towels, curtains, duvet, and many many more :)

Sunday, November 17th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

When I visited Florence a couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a real treasure of this grand city.. Hiding right behind Pitti Palace there were amazing Boboli Gardens. The Medici family established the blueprint of these gardens centuries ago. They thought about creating the Italian garden style, which in the future became a perfect example for many European courts and gardens. The enormous green area is mixing up with a regular layout. It is truly a museum under the open sky. 

The garden is filled with gorgeous ancient and Renaissance statues and fountains. There are also decorative grottos, the most important of which is the famous Grotto created by Bernardo Buontalenti. Large fountains, for example the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Ocean are grand not only in their massive beauty, but strike the viewer with gentle lines and silhouettes shaped by great old masters. Later, the following Habsburg-Lorraine and Savoy dynasties developed and added to the gardens, outspreading the boundaries of the area up to Porta Romana. 

I loved the strikingly beautiful terraced area of 18th-century pavilion, which called the Kaffeehaus. It is a rare example of Rococo architecture in Tuscany. The Lemon House built by Zanobi del Rosso between 1777 and 1778 has 500 citrus plants from the Garden. And of course, the main building of Boboli Gardens is Pitti Palace in the foot of the hill spreading its beauty and hugging the gardens from the Northern side. It is definitely worth visiting both, the gardens and the Palace in one day to appreciate the beauty of manmade structures with Nature provided but trimmed to taste of the last centuries, park.  

Live To Create!


Wednesday, November 13th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

I keep moving along with this important educational project Open Hearts Big Dreams. Two book illustrations are completed:

Article I

Article II

The last illustration presents an African school garden and a lady with national Ethiopian clothes walking on the path. 

I am so happy to participate in this non-profit project   Open Hearts Big Dreams . As it's created to help Ethiopian children learn how to read in English and their native languages, it really warms my own heart to know that kids will have fun by looking at colorful illustrations and study. 

Many great artists around the U.S. already brought their talents into this project. Hundreds of illustrations were created. And all of them will be added into cool 8"x8" educational books that talk about current life in Ethiopia. 

Live To Create!!! 



Related articles:



Wednesday, November 13th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

As I previously wrote in the article Open Hearts Big Dreams Project Book Illustration Part I

This year I am happy to participate in non-profit project called  Open Hearts Big Dreams . This grand project is created to help Ethiopian children learn how to read in English and their native languages. 

Many great artists around the U.S. already brought their talents into this amazing endeavor; and, they created an incredible art that will go into fun, educational books that talk about life in Ethiopia and day-to-day activities. 

I am painting two more (besides the Girl Reading A Book one)  illustrations that will be included in these children books.

This watercolor illustration is about an ancient church in Lalibela area.


Lalibela is a small African town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It's known for its distinctive rock-cut ancient churches from the 12th and 13th centuries, which became pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. The churches are carved out of rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem, and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. Some of the churches are joined by tunnels and trenches, and some have carved bas-reliefs and colored frescoes inside.

It was fun painting this monumental church made by man, yet originally created, or "being hidden" by rocky mountain. 

Live To Create!!! 



Related articles:



Thursday, November 7th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

As I mentioned in a previous post ( Part I ) last quarter was quite productive in terms of sales through Licensing Agreement that I have with one company in the last few years. 

I am super glad the company approached me with the proposal to sell my art. 

Hundreds of paintings prints were sold. And here are just a few bestsellers from my Dancing Series , Watercolor World Map Collection , and Forest Watercolor Silhouettes that were definite hits and produced the most sales in the last few month: 

Live To Create!!!


Thursday, November 7th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Last quarter was very productive in terms of sales through Licensing Agreement that I have with one company in the last few years. I am glad the company approached me with the proposal to sell my art. So many beautiful paintings were purchased. And here are just a few bestsellers from my Bicycles Collection that were definite hits and produced the most sales in the last few month:  

In the next article I will share a few more watercolor bestselling artworks.

Live To Create!!!


Wednesday, October 23rd 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

When I was painting this Venice scene in watercolor, I remembered how lucky I was to get up quite early and stroll along the embankment one day. The hazy air was making the cityscape of Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore (on the left) and Santa Maria Della Salute (on the right) somewhat mysterious as they were so light so fragile that they were appearing floating gracefully above the waters of Canal Grande. Lonely gondolier moved his boat towards the pier to pick up his first clients. And vapporettos  (water buses) were bringing tourists from the main land to the islands. I am glad I could bring this peaceful feeling of and adventurous beginning into my watercolor artwork. 

And for those Art Collectors who prefer the large canvas prints, I created an elongated image of Venice where the skies are more dramatic and the day is almost gone promising interesting dining experiences, concert music on San Marcos Square, and romantic evening walks around multiple channels of Venice:

Live To Create!


Contact the artist for commission quote


Wednesday, November 13th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

This year I am participating in Open Hearts Big Dreams project. It is non-profit organization that helps Ethiopian children learn how to read in English and their native languages. 

Artists around the U.S. of all ages, from school students to life long students, bring their talents together and organize incredible art into fun, educational books that talk about life in Ethiopia and day-to-day activities. 

I am painting two illustrations that will be included in these children books.

This watercolor illustration is about a little girl in urban Ethiopia, who learns how to read. She is involved in the story. The sun is shining through the window. But the girl doesn't notice anything around. She is carefully repeating words. She is learning. She is excited. She has a whole bright future in front of her. 

Live To Create!!! 



Related Articles:



Friday, October 11th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Several month ago I worked on commission painting delicious oranges in watercolour for a large client, Fruitfield Company. And now those illustrations are in production on the labels and packaging designs and in the stores all over UK. 

I am very happy how vibrant and sweet my watercolor illustrations look on those jars. And it is wonderful to learn that these particular marmalade products have only fruit itself inside:

Sweetened with fruit juice

100% from fruit

No added sugar

Gluten free

Free from artificial sweeteners

Suitable for vegetarians

Live To Create!!


Contact  the Artist

with commissions’ requests and for a quote.

Related Posts:

A Tasty Season

Watercolor Chutney 

Ballymaloe Ham Glaze

Saturday, October 5th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

This painting was an inspiration after visiting Italy a few years ago. Amalfi Coast is gorgeous with its diversified culture and thousand years of history. But what really impressed me from driving along the Mediterranean seashore was monumental rocks and truly amazing colors of water. 

This particular painting is about a safe harbor of Grotto Emeraldo, where a few clever Italian sailors opened mini-attraction for tourists. They put you on a little boat and roll you into a gorgeous secluded grotto with just a few lights coming from outside. But even those little lights are enough to see glowing emerald of water created by Nature. 

Truly beautiful place! 

When I painted this watercolor, I used mixes of six shades of blue: cyan blue, ultramarine blue, thalo blue, blue purple, and vivid purple; and, for the emerald effect I used two different greens. The complexity of the water yet a flowing liquid effect that watercolor offers was in contrast with dry-brush effect of the nearby rocks. 

And if to place this painting print into a white frame, everyone can have a mystical window into that beautiful watercolor seascape in their interior decor:

Live To Create!


Sunday, September 29th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com


I’ve used to go to Finland at least 5-7 times a year and visited Helsinki if not 20 then probably close to 20 times back in 90s. The reason was that I have shared two jobs at a Travel Company. One of them was a Marketing Manager and another was a tour guide. And because Marketing duties did not allow me to leave the country for a long period of time, 2-3 days trips to Finland suited me well. It took only a few hours to get to Helsinki by bus from Saint Petersburg (not counting hours of standing at the customs and checking luggage and papers of relatively big group of tourists). When my job of bringing my group to the City Tour and accommodating them to the hotel was done, I loved to walk to the pier, visit farmers market or Museum of Modern Art. And I came many times to the beautiful square and listened to music at this Lutheran Cathedral. I loved going to Helsinki, even it was intense work. I still found time for myself while my tourist were running around the city and shopping. Finland those days seemed to me cleaner and calmer than busy 6 million-people Saint Petersburg


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Friday, September 20th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

With the inevitable Fall, there are lots of rain in forecast for the area where I live.

To cheer myself up, I created a new design with Watercolor Sun that will keep me smiling whenever I look at it. I am absolutely certain that my art collectors will appreciate this design and many others that I've made for their interior decor and enjoy the thing such coasters, towels, curtains, dresses, T's, and tons more :) Needless to say that as soon I posted the designs on my RedBubble Gallery , one client bought a Racerback Tank Top and another Cute Coasters ! 

Sun Watercolor Paintings are HERE

Solar Flamenco Dance Paintings on various merchandise are HERE

and here how my little cheerful dancing Sun looks on useful things.

Watercolor Sun on Coasters :

Watercolor Sun on Notebook :

Watercolor Dancing Sun on Pillows :

Watercolor Sun On Shower Curtain :

Flaming Flamenco Dance of the Sun on Scarf :

Watercolor Solar Dance on a Dress :

Sun Watercolor on

Tote Bag :


Wall Clock

with Watercolor Dancing Sun:

Live To Create!

I created quite a Sunny Day in my home and my Art Studio :)


Saturday, September 14th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Travel With Me Sketchbook Project.

  Blood Cathedral (

The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood)

, an amazing piece of architecture that was built in early 1900s. I used to live 10 minutes walk from this church but was able to visit it only in the late 90s as it was closed for restoration for more than 30 years. 

The building is decorated with tiny pieces of mosaics, gold, blue, terracotta. Each inch is worth looking at and admire.

This is the first sketch for my book . 

Live To Create! 


Monday, September 9th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Last Friday was a beautiful sunny day in downtown Camas, state of Washington. It was the best day for the artist of Clark County to meet for an annual Plein-Air Day.

It was fun sitting at a cute cafe and paint small Shop Around The Corner with fountain, trees, and street light.

I met and chatted with many wonderful artists who were painting on the streets of downtown that day:


Live To Create!


Thursday, September 5th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

At the day of the art presentation I was a little nervous about how my green and brown abstract paintings will look on the new Portland cafe walls. 

I grabbed the tools and supplies together with completed artworks, and drove to the heart of Portland with excitement and enthusiasm. 

General manager of the cafe, Drea Shelepova, greeted me and helped to situate myself. We decided on what wall and how far apart my continues abstract paintings should be placed on the wall. I had to make a few finishing touches on the green panels after they were placed one above each other:

The large scale of paintings was quite unusual for me (I wrote about it in the previous article


), but I managed to finish the pieces and present them well:

It was a lot of good exercise to go up and down the ladder. I am glad we decided not to do murals under the ceiling as it would surely "kill" my knees, and possibly my Artist Spirit ;) . I am glad we are sticking up to abstract style in green and brown. 

After all the hard work was done, Drea and I posed at the paintings for the history. The art on the walls made this cafe a special place for sure. When cafe opens its doors to the customers, and serves delicious chocolate, herbal teas, and coffee; I am sure that clients will feel welcomed and cozy in this new place:

And when the job was done, we enjoyed the first cup of coffee in this new Portland cafe to celebrate a great beginning:

But for me as an artist, it was only half of the job done. I will have to paint several more paintings for decoration of this cafe. 

So far the new art pieces originals, six of them, are presented there. But my clients can enjoy prints that I've created and posted on my website:


Brown Abstract Artworks:

Coffee Chocolate And Cream Brown Abstract I

Coffee Chocolate And Cream Brown Abstract II

Coffee Chocolate And Cream Brown Abstract III

And a few green art pieces:

Green Organic Abstract Grass I

Green Organic Abstract Grass II

Green Organic Abstract Waves I

Green Organic Abstract Waves II

Green Organic Abstract Waves III

Green Organic Abstract Waves And Lines I

Green Organic Abstract Waves And Lines II

Live To Create!


Monday, September 2nd 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

I was recently invited to help decorating a new cafe in Portland, OR. 

When back in 2012, I showed six of my realistic and semi-realistic paintings in Coco Cafe in San Francisco, the owners of the cafe loved my work so much that they asked if they can purchase all the paintings from me to keep them in the cafe (here is an article about it: When Paris Comes To San Francisco ) . That is how my art is now permanently showing in San Francisco. You can say it was easy: I had art, customer liked it, they bought it.

In Portland the situation was quite new to me. I was asked to help to decorate absolutely new cafe from scratch. And on a top of it, there are some challenges along the way for me as an artist, which I certainly embrace and love. 

First of all, the cafe in Portland is unusual. It is cafe that will be serving Kosher Chocolate with healing herbs (extracts) , coffee, and herbal teas. 

Second challenge, I had to use materials that I already have on hand, as the manager of the cafe is trying to make a statement and have as little footprint on Earth as possible. Besides new production equipment and materials, everything else is thought to be either reclaimed, repurposed, or made of recycled materials. It is going to be filled with cute interesting finds.Which is a super great idea.

 And I jumped into the project without hesitation. 

We've met with general manager of the cafe, Drea Shelepova, and discussed the concept, materials, and ideas. It took us a few hours to come up to the conclusion on what we can accomplish for the decor. 

First, we exercised an idea on Art Nouveau . We thought the murals with elements of this style will be looking good on the walls. However, the execution of the idea was very pricey and permanent walls' art would not allow enough space for the activity and events board. 

Finally, we came up with a fresh idea to make abstract art that would resemble Chocolate and Herbs, e.g. rich brown color would be played against warm muted green as "herb" statement. 

With excitement and the feel of a great beginning we started drafting:

I had some high quality acrylic paint in my possession for more than a year (it was used for some other project, but I had plenty left-overs), and I also had a few art boards and stretched canvases that were never used as I painted primarily in watercolor and on paper. I've received those blank canvases long time ago as a gift. So the idea about reclaiming and recycling was pretty closely reached. I was glad that my stash of forgotten art supplies will meet my creativity soon. 

I've painted multiple samples and we agreed on the conceptual designs:

Another challenge for me was the sizes of the pieces. The art was supposed to be larger than my usual watercolor art. It was to be painted in acrylic. And I needed to paint abstract with a thought of organically incorporating herbs and chocolate elements. 

When painting abstract it is important to remember about the composition. And it probably seems at a glance that abstract is easy to accomplish, but I would say it is quite contrary, abstract art needs to be thought through from very beginning when artist applies the paint and carried though the very end when the last brush stroke is completed. 

Besides, painting in acrylic requires quick application as this paint dries very fast. 

But it appears that my excitement was transformed to the canvases and I had a feeling that the paint pretty much painted itself:

At the end of painting big, I had to make a few little adjustments to keep the edges clean and neat:

I can't wait to see how the painting will look on the walls of this new cafe!!!

Live To Create!


Friday, August 23rd 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

The Summer is rounding up and everywhere I go I see happy sunflowers in the backyards and in the fields. Those gorgeous plants always remind me of upcoming Fall.

They follow me throughout my art career and I keep coming back for them creating new artworks and designs that are so loved by my customers and Art Collectors.

Here are a fer recent creation of Sunflowers on clothes:

Sunflowers bunch looking so good on Scarves and Pillows :

And I was asked by one of my Art Collectors, from Fairfield, CA; to place sunflowers on the white background for decor of her Sun Room:

Yet, the contrast of Sunflowers on black background can make quite a difference and add some drama into a home interior decor:

Customer from Missoula, MT, loved the painting of Sunflowers on beach towels set:

And customer from Effingham, IL loved it on bunch of greeting cards :

Art Collector from Paducah, KY, preferred Impressionistic Sunflowers print on canvas:

On another hand, realistic Sunflowers were the interest of an Art Collector from Tmecula, CA, and another Art Collector from Medford, OR:

Sunflowers in the Nature, Sunflowers in a Still Life, they all look so inviting:

Sunflowers , Sunflowers , Sunflowers !! I love 'em all :)

Live To Create!


Thursday, August 15th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Two cute Owls flew into my imagination and landed on watercolor paper recently.

Baby Owl Watercolor for Baby Room 

Baby Owl Watercolour for Baby Room

I love how curious and funny they look sitting on the branch of the tree with the light background that leaves so much space for the imagination :)

And here are a few more interior decor ideas for Baby Room, just for fun of it:

Some of the cute Baby Owls are now available to my Art Collectors as Digital Download here:

Two Owls Watercolor Digital Download 

Two Owls Watercolour Digital Download

Live To Create!


Sunday, August 11th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

It was so fun to visit Washougal Art Festival today. Gorgeous art pieces from watercolor, acrylic and oil to woodwork, jewelry and handmade glass by amazing local artists. I am so happy we live in this area full of good and creative people! Here are just a few pictures from the art show:

I placed the names of the artist and their contact information on my Facebook Page .

Live To Create!!


Wednesday, August 7th 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

Warsaw is the city with the history that goes as far back as the 12th and 13th century. And when I am one day there it would be great to go St. Mary’s Old Church (in Polish: Kosciól Nawiedzenia Najswietszej Marii Panny). It is one of oldest buildings and one of the few surviving examples of Gothic architecture in the city, which was built in 1411. And in spite of the fact it was destroyed almost completely during World War II, it was reconstructed and brings joy to people in our days. I’ve read about this church that it became a symbol of the capital’s rebirth of post-war re-creation of the Old Town Warsaw, which was practically risen from ashes after a devastation of the war.


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Saturday, August 3rd 2019   -   By: noreply@blogger.com (irinasztukowski)   -   feedproxy.google.com

I am happy to present another beautiful design of delicious food, this time it is Honeycomb covered with chocolate and salted caramel that I've painted in watercolor for my UK client's packaging. So great to see my artwork on packaging designs.

Live To Create!