Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Cap Sur...Corfu!

Ladies and Gentlemen, finally! I am leaving to Corfu, two and a half weeks of bliss (hopefully) and many, many pictures :-)

photo: www.telegraph.co.uk 

I am leaving tomorrow at down with my best friend and her Mini :-)... Yes, we are going by car, a much delayed teenage trip.. :-) And yes, we don't have a spare tire, but instead many beautiful summer dresses :-).
I will keep you posted!


Cold Press

Nice surprise this afternoon: found a photo with my painting in an article of the Swiss magazine Beobachter. Isabelle Anne Küng is posing in Teatro Palino, Baden, next to my painting "Secret dream". 
And yes, they did not mention the artist :-).

Sweet secret dreams everyone.


Friday, 30 May 2014

Wild Wild Horses

“Yes, you see, there’s no such thing as coincidence. 
There are no accidents in life. Everything that happens
 is the result of a calculated move that leads us to where we are.” 
― J.M. DarhowerSempre: Redemption

Some days ago I had to say Goodbye to one of my paintings, my dapple has found a beautiful home.
Marriage, 120x100
2014, acrylic on canvas

And then a funny thing happened - I got a new neighbor, a couple of neighbors to be precise, I would like to make friends with them, well, I already asked a permission to do their portraits, they agreed :-) Here is a first one...
Have a nice wild weekend :-)


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Waiting for Summer

Rainy, rainy days again... but we did have some sun last weekend,  I took advantage of its' soft evening light to do some pictures. My exercise was to shoot against the sun, many people are horrified by it, but in fact it could bring some very nice effects. That is what I came up with: 

Nicolas, an engineer from Wettingen, is enjoying his neighbor's freshly cut grass.  
Marina, Zürich, relaxing in her garden after a long week. 

Besides, Marina is a poet and we just did a shoot for her upcoming book, I am very excited about seeing my work on a book cover. :-) 

Keep your feet warm this rainy week :-)


Friday, 16 May 2014

Feeling Blue...

 Looking through my last years' pictures I found this old commode which I brightened up some time ago. Here is a "before" photo... the poor thing was given a rustic touch with random strokes and I had to come to rescue. :-)

My first impulse was to try something edgy and bright, something a la Delphine La Lorme, a painter and designer from Paris. Here is a couple of her chic and provocative pieces. 

But at the end I chose a solution a bit less risqué and painted my commode bright blue (can't name a shade now since I mixed several pigments), adding miniature squarish silver knobs for a modern touch , et Voila!

This is my part of sharing for tonight.

Good night and a good weekend!


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My Day With...

"I fall in love with almost every person I photograph. 
I want to get close. This is personal for me"

Stephanie Sinclair
How was your day?

I spent mine with my God son who just turned 3. And that's how I remember him on his first birthday, when he bursted into tears just before the candle ceremony :-) Time really flies and I realize I have to spend more time with people I love... 

Apart from that, turning up a bit early for an appointment this morning I was sitting in a waiting room leafing Das Ideale Heim magazine where I came across a wonderful Swiss photographer Catherine Gailloud and her blog My Day With.  Of course the evening passed looking at her work: splendid swiss landscapes and great architecture, lovely interiors and lively portraits... She even bothers to translate her interviews into English (with all my love to French language...:-)  More of her work is on her website: www.cgailloud.com 

In that very same waiting room I had a chance to discover another great person and photographer - Stephanie Sinclair, whose pictures are known to millions, especially lovers of National Geographic where she is a regular contributor. Cinclair is an American photographer and a human rights fighter. 

You probably recognize this photo she took in Afghanistan. 

Her photo series, “Child Brides,” examines “how children continue to be forced into marriage in more than 50 countries around the world.” The project was the result of eight years of work in Afghanistan, NepalEthiopiaIndia, and Yemen. Here is the projects website tooyoungtowed.org.

So that was my day. Since we are talking photography here, may I brag a little? I just got my box of new flyers! Happy as Alex with his birthday cake today :-)

Good night.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Dream On...

So it's time for a little mid-term evaluation of my forth exposition in Switzerland "Russische Träume" (Russian dreams) in tandem with Vladimir Mishin's drawings and sculptures.

First of all, thank you to all the friends who came to the vernissage, we had a pretty exiting evening. Here is a few impressions of the event:
We are open till the 13th of April, here is more detailed information if you decide do pass by :-)


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Russian Dreams

"These are my dreams, dreams of the human soul, often forgotten and unclaimed in the chaos of our untimeliness"

                                          Vladimir Mishin

No, I will not write about Ukraine, or Sochi... I want to write about artists' dreams... and beautiful women :-) Actually, I want to write about so many things that I don't know where to start. It has been almost two months since my last post. So, the most important: I am having an exposition in two weeks. Yey! It takes place in Baden, In Teatro Palino (28.03 - 13.04, Vernissage is on the 28th starting at 17H, please come by) and I am feeling very lucky to expose my works next to pieces of Vladimir Mishin, a Russian master and a monumentalist. 

The name of the exposition is "Russische Träume" (Russian dreams) and it includes drawings and sculptures of Vladimir Mishin and my paintings. Speaking of which, here is one that I finished today. 

Dans la peau de Pierrot
60x60 sm, acrylic on canvas

Another thrilling event of these days: night carnival of Basel (Basler Fasnacht). It is the biggest carnival in Switzerland that takes place between February and March before lent. At 4 am all city lights go off, and a magnificent river of lanterns floats through the streets of old Basel. 

Around 6 am you get cold feet and start to feel hungry so you jump into a café (which is open throughout the carnival night) to offer yourself a glass of hot wine and cheese or onion pies...mmmm....delicious. Even more delicious if you spent this carnival night in a company of ten beautiful russian women as did .  I must explain: my night trip to Basel was actually a work: I had to photograph a group of ladies who came to Switzerland to celebrate the timeless wisdom of women's' circle. .
And I cannot resist posting a photo of Svetlana (the name means Radiant in Russian), which I took between their classes and rituals. 

Are you still following? :-) Most chaotic post ever! 

Sweet dreams!


Monday, 13 January 2014

1001 Nights...

Well, well... What do you do during grey rainy winter mondays?...
I dream through rainy winter mondays... And look through thousands of pictures which I promised to select and send to my friends and clients. 

I found this photo today: a dearest friend and a great client (she has a talent of creating the right mood and image + natural beauty does make it easier for a photographer...:-) is looking playful and noble at the same time... Olga always (even if we are sitting in her kitchen drinking tea) makes me think about Scheherazade... 

Don't you agree?

Warm monday evening, everybody.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

About Time

After my two-week travel marathon I had finally a calm evening yesterday, and was invited to a comfy sofa to watch a movie. As it happens the movie was too about travel, time travel to be precise. Frankly, I was prepared to watch a light and maybe slightly cheesy film (time travel bit made me suspicious...) , although "About Time" took me completely by surprise.

The feeling of flawlessness comes from the first minutes of Richard Curtis's movie, making even the time travel thing look completely natural. Great cast on the first place: Charming Rachel McAdams,  unassuming and elegant Domhnall Gleeson (he was also a discovery of this evening) , and of course my all time  favorite brilliant Bill Nighy, made this story very human and realistic.

The soundtrack is perfect.

The message is simple yet it makes you think: "I've tried to live every day as it it was the final day of the extraordinary ordinary life". Highly recommended :-)

Speaking of time, it's been a while since I posted something of my work... Here is the last painting of 2013:

Composition with pendulum 
69x57 cm, acrylic on board, 2013

Have a nice weekend.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy 2014! (or 2014 thought my mobile phone camera)

God knows how much I wanted to wish you a happy new year in advance and how much is to be told: books, paintings, dramas, movies... but I had absolutely no time in the past two weeks. I must also admit to sleep through the New Years' Eve. 

Pictures will explain: almost all of them are taken very early in the morning, but considering the world economic crises having a job is a good thing, right? Especially if the job consists of visiting beautiful cities...

Zürich, in front of the train station

Bern in the morning


Visiting a tomb of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel in Bois-de-Vaux cemetery in Lausanne, I passed a modest tombstone with an inscription: 

"Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love".

So that's all I want to wish you for  the 2014. 


P.S. For some reason the last paragraph is in orange and I can't fix it :-) 

Monday, 16 December 2013

No papers: no artist

"Art alone survives the earthquake shocks of revolution, and Russian art has been doubly secure because of it's deep-rooted imagination and it's passionate sincerity".

Oliver M. Sayler (writing from Moscow as it starved during the Summer of 1919).

I have to confess: I know very little about Russian contemporary artists (art-giants aside, of course...). But fortunately we have internet, where I found images of works by a Russian painter Vladimir Titov. One thing led to the other and I discovered this fragment of a documentary "Still life with wife" produced by Estonian filmmaker Kersti Uibo.

At some point Titov's wife tells how difficult it is to sell if you have no academic art education. "No papers: no artist", she says. This subject torments me from time to time: being autodidact myself, I do dare to call myself an artist and I do dare to exhibit and sell my paintings (gladly I am not living in a Soviet-era Russia..), but once in a while a seed of doubt sprouts with its' poisonous stems and I feel inferior in front of my diplomated Art fellows.

Anyways, I planned to speak about Titov's art here... His paintings are not just professional, they are beautiful, and strong, and luminous. They made me think of another artist I deeply admire: Dia Al Azzawi, one of the biggest contemporary artists in Iraq. Interesting that Titov mentions Iraq commenting on one of his paintings.

Here is a "Red Composition"(2012),  one of his recent paintings and one of my favorites:

That's all for tonight. 

Have a lovely Sunday evening.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

I forgot my phone

Hello, I am an exhibitionist.

Aren't we all these days?? Just look at your Facebook page (if you don't have one pass on, this post is for the rest of the world): here I am jumping into the pool; here is my dinner!, look it's my cocktail at the cocktail party I missed yesterday because I took pictures of my cocktails to post here! And so on and on and on. Certainly, there are many great debates for a "good cause" going on there and it's a powerful way to be heard. What I am fretting about is our "need" to stay connected. Till his last days my father refused to have a mobile (those days they were un-smart) phone,  he felt imprisoned with it. I totally understand, but it is hard to imagine how to live without one these days. 

Smartphones are vicious. And very helpful: I wouldn't make it without it in a daily frenzy of train schedules and my music makes it easier to travel too. Sometimes I am too tired to read so I am sneaking in Facebook or checking my Whatsapp, sending a photo of my take-away sushi plate to my boyfriend. Once in a while I love to "check in" from atop of a mountain or some other amazing place (this Facebook feature is awesome anyway).  But than again, I am alone. 

But what's with friends in a bar sending messages (to better friends?) instead of talking to each other about their day... What's wrong with us?? A sad and poignant short film about modern life and smart-phone alienation "I forgot my phone" has been making waves since a while now.  I actually cried when I first saw it (yes, ok, you don't need much to get me to me cry, but still). 

It's like we cannot be one place at a time, we need to be everywhere. The  fear of missing out... I am a relatively tolerant person , but PLEASE no phone on the dinner table next to a lit candle: I want to be alone with you, darling... No phone in the bedroom please, for the exactly same reason... 

Maybe I am not that exhibitionist after all.

Nice intimate evening to you.



Friday, 1 November 2013

Autumn in Colour and Black&White

Ahh, the colors of autumn, tempting and teasing and calling to go outside and make colorful pictures... or black and white :-)
Here is a little photo session with Helena, hair & make up artist from Baden.
I can never decide which mode I like more, colorful or monochrome. What are your preferences?

Have a good weather and a nice weekend.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Present Continuous

So I spent 10 days without my laptop and came to a curious  obvious conclusion: I suddenly had more time. To read, to think, to meet friends, to contemplate golden leaves under my feet, to visit galleries...

Last Friday a lovely vernissage "Present Continuous"of Natalya Zaloznaya, a Belorussian painter who lives and creates in Brussels since a decade,  took place in Gallery NEVA, Aarau, Switzerland.

Beautiful nostalgic, dreamy images of floating dresses, laughing children, and endless waves created a perfect mood for mid October evening... 

Check Natalya's beautiful website:   www.natalyazaloznaya.com 

Unbelievable that it is already mid October, isn't it? Soon comes winter - the book time. Well, I am lucky all year round spending hours in trains every week, I can read as much as I want. :-) Here is my last choices of reads: "Le Dérèglement du monde" by Amin Maalouf, essays about, well - the hint is in the title -  the current world crisis. Second one is a whimsical novel by Sophie Kinsella "Twenties girl" (yes, I am still obsessed with the Gatsby era), and a new novel of a Macedonian author Goce Smilevski "Freud's Sister". The later won a European Prize for Literature this year.    

Well, well, I think I recited all my news by now. Ah, autumn, autumn; strange and fascinating  season... I feel like something is brewing inside, not sure what it is, but its better be good :-)

Good sunny week everyone,


Friday, 20 September 2013

Mona Lisa Can Wait

Last week I made a short trip to Paris again, and again I did not manage to visit Louvre. There were so many other whimsical places to see that Mona Lisa had to wait. 

First of, I met a dear friend with whom I share a kaleidoscope of colorful memories from our adventures in Haiti.

Here she is, posing in a beautiful straw hat from the AUGUSTINE shop at Rue de Chappe 15. It's a small atelier with a magical atmosphere and hand made pieces inspired by Gatsby era.  I am a proud owner of a beautiful silk scarf created by a Parisian artist Muriel Geoffroy.  
And of course there was Montmartre, whispering its' stories around coffee tables and painters' stands. 

Café Pouchkine (64, boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris) was graciously waiting for us to come in (actually, it's not true: WE were waiting to get in because in spite of its' grand exterior Café Pouchkine is pretty small and cosy and - therefore - busy).  

The Parisian Pouchkine is a french version of the Moscow's mythical restaurant, created by Andrey Dellos, founder of Dellos House, in 1999. There are creations of pastry chef Emmanuel Ryon in a 18th century-inspired decor that evokes the Russian Tsars. A little cliché perhaps, but so well executed that one forgets for a second that it is only a fairytale. And what else matters?

Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Old Things, New Things

Every year visiting my mom, I incite her to pull out boxes with old photos as if these yellowed images promise me something unexpected and new… She rolls her eyes but obeys knowing my weakness for retro. 

Here is a photo of my mother (on the right), for example, in her student years.  It looks so modern - It could be easily a backstage shot from some recent collection of Giambattista Valli or Fendi… Simple yet presice cuts, slightly untidy chignons - I love his photo.  

Anyway, people are divided into those who love old stuff and those who don't. I certainly belong the the first camp. Doesn't mean I don't like to give a new twist to an old object: remember some time ago I posted my dilemma about an old French oak cabinet? I did risk to paint it red and I do not regret for a second...

And also my love for dusty old furniture doesn't obstruct me from appreciation of modernity, au contraire!  The last modern and funky object that caught my sight was QLOCKTWO by BIEGERT&FUNK. So far I saw them in Zurich and Bern. 

It comes in three forms (wall, free standing object and hand watch), seven colors and twelve languages.  There are no digits or hands, time is announced every five minutes in a little statement. I would love to have those on my wall. 

And what's going on in your world?

Have a wonderful evening.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Stories from far away

"Sept histoires qui reviennent de loin" (Seven tales that come from far away) by Jean-Christophe Rufin is my holiday travel read this year. I am back to Alexandria Eschate and I want to share my own little story that comes from far... 

Every time I cross that border I swear to myself to lay it down on paper, but than when I make it through I am so glad its over I am happy to forget about the whole ordeal.

On that check point I usually make indifferent look and on a question "Where are you coming from?" I try to say as nonchalant as I can: "Switzerland". The reactions may vary from little speeches about Sweden to admirative nods towards Swiss neutrality. I take compliments with calm dignity as if the responsibility of Switzerland's political decisions lies entirely on my shoulders. (Usually my response also eliminates the next obvious question: "Whats up with the melting chocolate in your suitcase?")

Then follow minutes of paper filling and exchanging glances with a female, heavy set border police officer holding a fly swatter. The officer asks irrelevant sarcastic questions to a poor little old fellow who wants to cross the border to visit some relatives nearby, I think. The poor fellow wears a miserable look and wipes his forehead with an old discolored cotton scarf. It is 45 degrees Celsius outside. About 40 inside. That explains the fly swatter.

My turn. The fly swatter officer asks me to open my suitcase and the handbag. She slowly goes through my personal belongings with a look suggesting that it is my turn to offer one of those pretty little bottles

They liven up seeing my laptop.

- MacAir? with a mixture of dispise and admiration says another officer.

- What is the password?

- WHAT??? The neutrality look evaporates against my will.

- The password. We must check it for presence of religious and pornographic materials.

Right. I am not worried about pornography. I am a little worried nonetheless.

I must explain. See, I discovered The Mentalist lately… Or I discovered Simon Baker , to be precise. As I don't manage to sleep on a plane I downloaded a few episodes for the flight. Some pirate copies, I am afraid…

I reluctantly announce the password. They chuckle, but take a serious look right away: bold capital letters stare at them from the screen of my computer: DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A MENTALIST? (publicity for some book, i suppose). It is my turn to chuckle: how am I going to prove that I am not a member of some psychotic sect, that I simply have a crush on Simon Baker?… The following silent scene makes me think of Gogol plays. I am slowly becoming hysterical.

Meanwhile the heavy set lady fishes my little airplane read out of my handbag. Her narrow eyes become suspicious and at the same time she lookes kind of triumphant.

- Translations?…

- Errr, a book? I offer a little sarcastically.

- Why are you reading in French? she asks, almost accusingly.

- Everyone has his vices, I offer.

She misses the sarcasm. Again.

They let me go. I stand in the other little line that consists of the little man visiting his relatives. We are waiting for our passports to be stamped. It is still 40 degreed Celsius inside. I absently follow the gestures of the little man, he hands his passport to the guy behind the glass screen. Suddenly I see a little bundle of money folded inside the passport. Suddenly I see the eyes of the guy behind the glass shield: he sees that I see the money. We stare at each other for a second. He declines the passport and I hope the little man is not in trouble because of me.

My turn to get a stamp. I am out. It is around noon and I feel the temperature crawling steadily up the Celsius scale , but I feel free and light. One kilometer of desert before me for another check point - this time its a Tajik border and I know that everything is going to be fine. I am almost home.

Hope you have an adventurous week.



Sunday, 23 June 2013

Illustrated Sunday Part II

Three weeks ago I posted about trying to illustrate for OLYA NOVA project.

Well, guess what, the clothes did have materialised miraculously shortly after! Have a look! I am pretty thrilled...

And this one is for today's Sunday. This dress was imagined by a lovely woman who was inspired by the KENZO flower.
How can one NOT be inspired by poppies anyway?.. 
Have a good week!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Silver Lining

"I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night, 
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove."
John Milton, 1634

I am not sure about clouds, but my old  chair has now definitely a silver lining. 

Here is a little fun project of yesterday: having a day off I decided to give this old runner, bought at a garage sale a while ago, a little uplift. 
I gave it a new solid seat, a good polish, a layer of silver paint et Voila! 
There is something comforting in furniture renovation for me, the idea of giving objects (and maybe people) a second chance...

Have a productive end of the week and a magnificent weekend!

Speaking of weekends, one of major art events of the world - Art Basel - is buzzing this weekend in Switzerland, see you there perhaps?