Sergey Balovin

Sergey Balovin

Sergey Balovin is a Russian artist who discovered a calling when living in Shanghai, China. His neighbor at his apartment complex was moving out and giving

Source: Painting portraits to sustain a lifestyle with no money

Found an interesting channel on Youtube, called Art documentaries.

The clip I started watching is with Frank Quitely. Something caught my attention on minute 3.09, which I came here to promptly document for the future reference. The thing is this:

This is about focusing and closing in.

This is about focusing…

So, this is about focusing. (Another synchronicity occurring for me today, showing what I am about at this particular moment, and I am loving to be about FOCUSING!) But also, about mental games. The guy in the water is a baddy, who is being captured in a world created by the other guy (behind you!) and kind of inserted into the Baddy’s mind. So, baddy is trapped in a fantasy world of not his making… Cool! I want the other guy’s power!

But for the moment, I just want to insert this idea into my own mind – another way of visualising the focusing. The focus. The layers of creation. The closing in on something. The creative process going from general to specific, from overall picture to details. This is IMPORTANT. And I am loving the process.

I’ll try it out on something simple, and not so simple later on.

Thanks, Frank!

Shigeru Ban: Curtain Wall House, 1995, Tokyo, Japan . Contemporary living space

Shigeru Ban: Curtain Wall House, 1995, Tokyo, Japan

Considered the Nobel Prize of architecture, the annual Pritzker Architecture Prize is given by Chicago’s Hyatt Foundation. It honors a living architect (or architects) whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision and commitment, someone who has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. The 2014 winner is Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.

Meet Shigeru Ban, Winner of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Steampunk and Other Beasts

February 22, 2014

Steampunk. Have you ever heard?

Randie Feil Mezzotints, Paintings and Sculpture

Wiwaxia steampunkus (2011)


Well, me, being an advanced culture-consumer, I’ve heard. I’ve read and loved Robert Rankin’s novels, many of which fall into that genre.

Robert Rankin Facebook photoalbum

Rankin with a Raygun

But that was the extent of my familiarity with the Steampunk. What is it, I hear you ask. Many things apparently, all of which have something to do with the “Victorian fantasies” and “based on the appropriate technology of the era”, – according to K.W Jeter who minted the term.

Infernal Devices by K W Jeter

Infernal Devices by K W Jeter

Right until 10 minutes ago I didn’t know that Steampunk was not only literary art movement, but visual, televisual, videogamisual and design and fashion too. Rich!

Steampunk fashion

“Anatomy of Steampunk The Fashion of Victorian Futurism”

Why am I even going on about it? Because, expectedly, as I was looking for something else (mezzotint), I found a symbiosis of that and, unexpectedly, Steampunk here: Randie Feil – A Steampunk Bestiary: Raven, Trilobite, Wiwaxia, and Hallucigenia.

randie feil steampunk art

Steampunk Trilobite

“Advanced Style”

January 29, 2014

"Advanced Style" by Ari Seth Cohen

“Advanced Style”

Wouldn’t you like to have this kind of presence?! Not for the limelight, not for the special occasion, but for the everyday’s “movie of your life”?

This is the book published by a blogger Ari Seth Cohen, and below is the most inspirational trailer to his film, which I’d love to see!

In his own words: “My name is Ari Seth Cohen. I roam the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks. Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.”

Dear Friends,
Let me share with you something amazing I learned recently!
It is called Vologda Lace – a lacemaking technique which developed over a few centuries and is still alive in Vologda Region of Northern Russia.

Vologda Lace

Vologda Lace

Vologda’s is a very delicate lace with a distinct pattern created by contrasting densely woven lines and airy open background areas.

Floral and animal motives are characteristic for Vologda Lace

Floral and animal motives are characteristic for Vologda Lace

Creating the design for a future piece is a hugely important stage. Once finalised, the design is drawn on a card, which is pinned on a special working pillow. Now a craftswoman decides where it is best to start lacing the piece and the work begins.

To become a professional lacemaker, girls (for it is mostly women’s metier) attend an art school for 4 years, where they learn all aspects of the craft: drawing and design, lacemaking itself, qualities of the various threads, as well as the history of lace.

Traditional Russian Lacemaker at Work

Traditional Russian Lacemaker at Work

While many areas in Russia are recognised for lacemaking, Vologda Lace developed as a distinct brand in the 18th century and soon became known as the best lace not only in Russia but abroad as well. It was valued on par with jewellery, and in the villages around Vologda women proficient in this craft where the main breadwinners in the families.

On a mass scale, the process involves a designer producing the drawings and a team of 15-20 craftswomen working the patterns. The process is very time consuming, and on special pieces – large and intricate – such a team could work for several months.

Hence, the price of Vologda lace was never cheap. Apart from the church and the monarchy, only the rich could afford to commission and buy most luxurious items: shawls, cloaks, cardigans, hats, throws…

Lace Museum in Vologda

Lace Museum in Vologda

But it isn’t all history. The art is alive even today! Though the numbers of the craftswomen reduced significantly, especially after the collapse of the USSR, there are still devoted enthusiast of Vologda Lace. One of them, surprisingly, is an ethnic Korean living in Uzbekistan!

Larisa Ten and Her Creations

Larisa Ten is an artist craftswoman, who is in love with Vologda Lace. She is a trained architect, and as many creative people is talented in many ways.

Having been always interested in fashion, she picked up a few craft-making skills, untill she found Vologda lace. She trained herself in this technique and realised that it was her metier. Since then she kept growing her skills and became a recognised artist lace-maker. This Spring, an exhibition of her works took place at the Uzbekistan State Museum of Arts

Larisa Ten. Vologda Lace Hats. Exhibit from the recent show at the Uzbekistan State Museum of Arts. Tashkent.

Larisa Ten. Vologda Lace Hats. Exhibit from the recent show at the Uzbekistan State Museum of Arts. Tashkent.

To round up this story, let me invite you to buy Larisa’s pieces from the show in my online shop. There, you’ll find Summer hats (very timely!), collars/cuffs and a top.

By becoming a lace connoiseur, you are joining a very exclusive club! 😉

Kate Middleton Wedding Dress in Lace. The Queen in Blue Lace Hat.

By buying Larisa’s work, you are supporting an artist who is devoted to her art, in spite of being unfortunate to live in a country where basic survival is most people’s daily life.

Here is a recommendation coming from my friend: “I own several of Larisa’s pieces. During Summer, I practically live in her hats – very practical, beautiful and exclusive! They are excellent for wear, and they guaranty you the admiration of the onlookers!”

View full range of Larisa’s Lace Garments.

Lace on a Flee Market

Hot from the streets!

A friend of mine sends me an image of lace from Liverpool Street in London. Flee market is quick to react to a trend, as always!
The price for a collar here is £40!!! It is almost twice the price of Larisa’s stylish unique collar. That’s not mentionning that hers is a work of art straight from an exhibition!
Don’t think about it. Buy!


Billy Collins on TED

March 26, 2012

Another brilliant TED talk from a poet Billy Collins. The last poem which he read himself was a glimpse into what I, as well as almost every parent, do to my children. Laughable and so damnable, but how to help it?..

Great poetry and great animation!

There is a website with more animated poems by Billy Collins:�


Today’s “Artist a day” washed ashore something very interesting. (Jane and Jane, you two will love this!) Take a beautiful human being and infuse it with motion, meditation and geometry and you get Tony Orrico.

Artist a Day - Tony Orrico

Tony Orrico

The illness, or what commonly perceived as a health problem, became a catalyst for something unique and profound. That reminds me of John the African Shaman, who said that in Africa they have a name for the illness which is a precursor for a person to come to his shamanic practice. Kind of, you don’t know you are supposed to go THAT way, but the fate pushes you towards your path through cutting off all the other ways, often through the means of some mysterious malaise.

In an interview, Parisian art collector and a gallery owner Alexandre Lazarew talks about pleasures and challenges of being a gallerist.

Alexandre has collected art for 40 years, and his interest in visual art progressed from narrative figuration to new realists, then to street art and to emerging contemporary artists. Now in his new Gallerie Lazarew in Marais he exhibits what he terms urban art. According to Alexandre, there is a distinction between street art created on the streets and for the streets and urban art which comes from street art but belongs to gallery walls.

Gallerie Lazarew


“Putting a work that was made for the street on a canvas is not relevant; you lose the strength, the symbol, the message.” – says Lazarew.

… artists who come from the streets and/or are inspired by street culture and/or pick some element from the streets in order to make something else. It is important that the artists I show have a legitimacy on the walls of galleries.”

The Interviewer: If someone is thinking of buying art is it best to start with a print by a famous artist or an original work by someone unknown?

Lazarew: Personally I hate editions. I always bought original works. If I don’t have enough money, I prefer to buy an original drawing by a great artist. But this is very personal. The most important thing is to buy what you want to buy. Don’t buy because someone told you had to, especially if you are not convinced. I always say to people who are hesitating: If you have a “crush” on a fantastic piece of art and some extra cash: buy it. Don’t try to guess if it is the right time, or if the artist will be famous, or if your partner will like it, etc.

You can visit Gallery Lazarew at

14 rue du Perche – 75003 Paris /

So. I went for an interview yesterday.

A nice girl by the name of Nel turned out to be also very beautiful. The interview took 10 minutes, and the first thing they asked me to do was NOT to twit, facebook or blog about it until the actual broadcast. That’s it. Sorry, folks!


I went to the exhibition of David Hockney’s work at the Royal Academy, and that’s what I am going to twit, facebook and blog about. Heed!

First: it’s very impressive. It impresses by:

  •  the scale of the exhibit
  • the scale of many paintings themselves
  • the thoroughness of David’s research of any subject (if the man goes after something, he really goes after something)
  • the mastery of the gadgets the old man displays
  • the gift shop.

We know he loves big. He is also good at small. He’s got the range sorted.

When working in a small scale, he still thinks big and finds a way to make a collection of small things into a big issue. Mostly by grid method. Also, sticking to the subject matter and looking at it from different angles, creating a time line, making a performance.

In the audio (£3.50 extra), he reveals that his ancestors were agricultural labourers (as if anyone is any  different here… Although, some of us might be descendants of aliens and on other planets there may be no agriculture at all…) who followed the pace of seasons, watched the nature. He is thrilled to find himeself following in their footsteps now, albeit in a different capacity. He says, he learned to plan ahead, just like they had to, anticipating the seasons and planning and pacing accordingly. The show displays that spectacularly. The landscapes of the same places at different times of year, dressed up in colours of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and executed in a variety of media and sizes is a triumph of forward thinking.

I was most taken by the digital media – iPad pictures and videos.

Yesterday, I intended to visit the exhibition, but later changed my mind in favour of going to the Apple store to play with the gadgets and ask questions. The idea was to see if I need any. Well, I soon got bored, because I couldn’t see how to apply them to my create processes. And as there was still time to kill, went to David’s exhibition after all. And he showed me!..

How to paint with an iPad in a most spectacular way! Not the technicalities, of course, but the end result. And that’s all one needs to get inspired and to want to learn more. I think, Apple people should pay him for brilliant  marketing job. I personally am buying an Ipad!

David Hockney iPad art

Hockney's iPad artDavid Hockney iPad art

I would also like to buy several video cameras, 18 huge flat screens, computers to process it all, a team of technicians to do the filming and editing and a dance company to throw in as well. Because what he did with all of that is: amazing, beautiful, mesmerising, innovative, spectacular, fascinating (in spite of my dislike of this word), impressive, meditative, fun, logical, playful, and so on… I recommend.

And finally, the gift shop.

There are books. A number of them. By him and about him, but mostly by. Which indicates that every now and then he swipes aside his doodling and gets down to (a lot of!) researching and writing about the things he thinks about.

I think about things. But did I write about them? No. Did I research the subjects in depth? No.

The gift whop was my biggest inspiration. One day, I want to have a show which would display the breadth and the depth of my work and my persona, AND at the exit I want to have a gift whop full of stuff, and people would be buying it all like creasy. Like I did buy “Secret Knowledge” by David Hockney and it is brilliant! So, that’s my wish.

The exhibition runs at the Royal Academy 21 January – 9 April 2012. You must go.