## Watercolor paper weight guide

The thickness of a sheet of watercolor paper is measured by weight. The greater the weight, the thicker the sheet. It is measured either in pounds per ream (lb) or grams per square meter (gsm). This scale may be helpful to you:

 Watercolor 22″ x 30″ (Sheet size) 500 (Sheets/ream) 2292 (Sq. ft./ream) GSM (metric)Grams per square meter Pounds 75 85 95 105 115 190 250 300 335 355 365 435 620 35 40 45 49 54 90 117 141 157 167 171 204 300

GSM = Grams per square meter.
For a 300 gsm paper, this means that if you cut a sheet of paper 1 meter long by 1 meter wide, it will weigh 300 grams (about 2/3′s of a pound)

Ream = 500 sheets of paper Since the paper and printing industry began, different businesses used different ream sizes due to the application they were making.

For example 500 sheets of watercolor paper 22″x30″ may weigh  90 lb ( which is 190 gsm ).

The confusing part is when the paper gets different sizes then 22″x30″.
I have a paper 26″x40″, which is 356 gsm.  So you would see that it is also about 167 lb. for the size 22″x30″. But would it be the same pound weight for 26″x40″? I promise to solve this mystery in the closest time.

I used a part of the chart, designed by Museo Fine Art
www.MuseoFineArt.com

## Looking for fish to paint in Gloucester

Many people search for different things:  a book store, a cafe, mushrooms in the forest, lice in your hair, a bathroom or a library… I spent my last two days looking for FISH. And not just one fish to eat, that would be easy, but piles of it, which made it much harder! Before getting into the details, I would like to tell you how I ended up in such a situation. For the month of June I have won a fabulous art residency at the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA, called Goetemann Artists in Residency Program. I have decided to collect photo references for my paintings. The idea is to include some of the history of Gloucester into my work. This city is famous for its fishing industry, “Gloucester’s most famous (and nationally recognized) seafood business was founded in 1849 — John Pew & Sons.” (wiki). So I figured that using fish as one of my subjects to paint would be a good idea. I though of looking for a fishing boat to see the fish being unloaded and piled up on the floor. I started asking everybody I met if they knew where can I go and what time to see this sort of event. No one knew! Some people would guess and point out a few places that used to be used for that, but no longer, but … there would still be a chance if I would be lucky to see something like that… It was hard. There was no particular time or a place. One person sent me to the  Chamber of Commerce, thinking that that could be useful. So I went. Unfortunately I could not get any useful info there either. So I went to the Fish market right across the street and then wandered around the area, continue on asking people. And this person at the Intershell Seafood Corp said that he knows a few people at the neighboring building and they might know. And as we go there, we see a group of people just GETTING READY TO UNLOAD THE FISHING BOAT!!!! I was so happy they were cool with me taking pictures of the whole process. I did see a lot of fish, it was a great catch of the day. However it was not piled up as I imaged it to be (I guess from all the old paintings and photographs that I saw). Fish were in boxes and sorted out. Some fish were individually weighed to be sorted into large, medium, small. Guys were very professional, fast and the knew what they were doing. I very much enjoyed watching them unload the boat.

When they were almost done they asked me if I like crab, which I do very much. And absolutely unexpectedly they offered all the crabs they caught to me. Now these 6 fresh white crabs are being cooked by my friend Travis, wonderfully smelling up the whole house and increasing my appetite.

I will start painting my fish tomorrow…

## May 2012 NY Art shows review.

Thursday, art show opening day. I went on my art walk around NY in search for great shows.
My first stop way at the NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn where my colleague watercolor artist Antonio Masi has an exhibition of his NY bridge paintings. I love Antonio’s works and I was pleasantly surprised that there are so many pieces in the show. Fabulous work! I suggest to visit this show. It will be running till October 2012.

My next stop was in upper Manhattan at the gallery called Erarta Galleries | 1043 Madison Avenue | New York, NY 10075 http://ten43gallery.com/
There I saw a show of Russian artist: Marina Fedorova with exhibition “Now or Never”

My next step was Gagosian Gallery.
There is a amazing exhibition of PABLO PICASSO http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/pablo-picasso–may-01-2012

PICASSO AND FRANÇOISE GILOT: PARIS–VALLAURIS 1943–1953
MAY 2 – JUNE 30, 2012

After having a light early dinner at a restaurant close to the Central Park my friend Ioan (who was giving me this art tour) and I went to the Chelsea galleries. There are many interesting shows there, but there are few that I would like to get your attention to:
Jenkins Johnson Gallery.
521 West 26th St, 5th Floor

Is now showing Julia Fullerton-Batte photography. “Julia Fullerton-Batten, known for her investigations of teenage girls, their psyches, and their relationships with others” as it was said in the press release.”All of Fullerton-Batten’s series show regular people who, although quite static and emotionless, truly bring us closer to understanding the inner workings of the teenage mind. Jenkins Johnson Gallery is proud to present her first New York solo show.” So sophisticated and meaningful work!

Jenkins Johnson Gallery opening

Another stunning show, I even could say that it was my most favorite show in Chelsea, was hosted by Ana Cristea Gallerie
521 West 26th Street.

http://anacristeagallery.com/

Works of NICOLA SAMORI,
The Venerable Abject, May 17 – June 23, 2012

From the press release: “Nicola Samori makes seductive, profound paintings by layering and fusing images on canvas, wood or copper and then obliterating them by scratching, erasing, fingering and painting over the surfaces multiple times. By violating the golden rule of all museums (“Please do not touch the artwork.”) Samori is making art history by corrupting his own work and imposing a new Samori on top. The resulting layers of paint create a new skin that bears the bruises and permanent marks of all prior creative efforts.”
I think Nicola’s works are so strong, so powerful and so different. He is a Modern Caravaggio!

I love waking around Chelsea, there are so many interesting people you meet, it is a fashion festivity, happy time and cultural exchange at the same time. This time I met Michael A. Leb, an interior designer from upper Manhattan. His beautiful mustache simply charmed me.

## Verrazano Narrows Bridge, work in progress

This is my second paining of the bridge I like the most. We live in Bay Ridge, so close to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and I get to see it often, I like it’s structure, I love that it is very tall and spacious. I like when it disappears in a fog or a cloud. I love the bridge.

This work is made on Arches watercolor paper 156 lb. Sized: 40″ x 52″. i was completed on 5.2012

Currently ”Verrazano Narrows Bridge” is exhibited at my solo show in Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, upstate NY.

Images bellow are the the work in progress.

This is the first stage after drawing. Light colors in and masking some streetlights

Slowly building up the color, also starting to work on the sky area.

Cars I kept abstracted as they are not the most important detail

## Poem and art: Right Turn into Dusk

“Right Turn into Dusk” by Ekaterina Smirnova
Watercolor on rough Arches paper, 2 sheets
40″ x 52″, 3.2012

“Right Turn into Dusk”

[by S. David]

Rain fog falling
Darkness a litany
Approaching
Either magic
No moon seen
But the season
Swings
Driving
Windshield
Wipers
Hypnotic
Scatter light
Have I set
The scene well
Have I
And there was
A turn on
The highway
Coming up
Much halo as
Shed light on
I took the turn
Samhain they say
Is when the Veil
Between Worlds
Is weakest paved
Electric lights
Disappeared
The engine
Sputtered

## Affordable Art Fair NYC (AAF) spring 2012

"Quiet Autumn" watercolor on paper, 90"x52" by Ekaterina Smirnova

Spring AAF NYC always offers more in my opinion then the autumn one. The policy of the show is that you can not show the same artists twice a year. This year spring show was a success. The private preview had attracted a lot of guests, the line to get to the show was at least 30 minutes wait.

Last year I was presented at the AAF by The Art Students League of NY, I sold few works and got many contacts, but the most wonderful thing happened to me then is that I met a gallery that now represents me as an artist. Villa del Arte is a Spain  based gallery, that takes part in many art fairs around the world, while having an actual gallery in the center of Barcelona. I had a pleasure having my works shown at San Francisco Fine Art Fair, ArtHamptons International Fine Art Fair, Art London, Los Angeles Art Fair already, and this year I had my works at the Affordable Art Fair NYC again. Experienced exhibiters of Villa del Arte were very successful in AAF once again, many works were sold, including some of mine, which positioned then on the top 3 selling galleries. Congratulations Villa del Arte!

I was very excited to find out that some of my friends were also a part of the AAF this year, Charlotte Knox and Norbert Waysberg had presented their impressive watercolor works. Bellow are some of the works that I liked from the show.

## Painting Miami Sunsets

Every time I have a chance to be in Miami, one of my favorite activities is looking at the sunsets, they are so beautiful, so different and full of color. I would like to share with you the beauty I find in them. For one week I will be painting everyday sunsets, film them and post to my Youtube channel. Would it be rain, clouds or clear sky, I will paint what I see.

I am painting on a block of watercolor paper Arches, 140 lb, cold press. It is sealed on the sides so my paper stays stretched and flat when it dries. I put an acid-free masking tape around the border before starting to paint, and remove it after the paper is dry, this way I get a nice looking border. I use a Windsor and Newton watercolor paint, in the tubes (it is easier to work with the soft paint, rather then the hard, that comes in the little pans). When you select the brushes, it is better to get the more professional kind, not the cheapest, because you will have some bristles fall off in the middle of your painting, and it is hard to get them out.

Enjoy the show of nature with me.

Day 1. March 28, 2012

Day 2. March 29, 2012

Day 3. March 30, 2012

Day 4. March 31, 2012

Day 5. April 1, 2012

Day 6. April 2, 2012

Day 7.

## New life of “Driving Through the Rain 2″

"Driving Thriugh the Rain 2" Watercolor on rough paper 90" x 52", 3.2012

While working on the series of work “Rainy Way”, I have painted my large ”Driving Through the Rain 2″ 90″H x 52″W, but it was not as successful work. I didn’t quite know how to make it better and decided to put it aside for a few month. When I recently pulled it out from my storage, I looked at it with a fresh look and though that I still don’t know what to do with it. My decision was to try a different technique. There was a risk of making it worse, but working with watercolor always has this risk (working with oil, lets say, allows you to fix the work by painting over it, which is not quite possible in watercolors).

What was so different in my technique this time? The way of application of paint. My intent was to make a visual effect of rain by stretching the drips of water. If I splatter on the paper directly ahead of me then I get just dots, even if my brush would contain a lot of water then you would see some drips that would not get too far down. So I had to figure out how to make the drips go much more straight and longer. The solution was to splash paint from very close distance from the paper and while applying the color stretch my hand down for about 1-2 feet. This also meant that for such tall work I had to position myself high up if I would want to have my drips start from the very top, so I had to stand on my tall studio stool for most of the time. One more problem was my ability to produce strictly perpendicular to the ground strokes, it was really hard! Making the drips straight was not a problem, but when one out of five would go on diagonal and visually distort the image, was an issue. If this happened I had to remove it with my napkin and start over.

Over all, it was a good experiment and helped my to focus on the control of my strokes and brought my work to a different higher level in my opinion.

## Wide Open National Juried Art Show, Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition (BWAC) 2012

This year The  Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition (BWAC) held it’s 3rd show “Wide Open” – National Juried Art Show open for non-members. “BWAC, (pronounced bee-wack) is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation. Organized in 1978 by 16 artists looking for a place to exhibit, BWAC has grown to become Brooklyn’s largest artist-run organization with over 400 members. For 30 years, BWAC has been exhibiting the artwork of local Brooklyn artists. Three annual mega-exhibits and outdoor sculpture show present a wide variety of contemporary visual arts from the traditional to the experiemental cutting edge.

BWAC’s 25,000 square foot gallery is in a Civil War-era warehouse on the Red Hook waterfront. The vista of New York Harbor, spanning the Statue of Liberty to the Verrazano Bridge is one of the best in the city. Our 18,000 annual visitors also enjoy the nearby restaurants, bars, IKEA and Fairway Market. With every medium and style of artwork represented, as well as the UnPlugged in Red Hook free weekly music performances and Saturday afternoon Screening Room programs, the shows are as spectacular as the setting.”

I have taken a part in this show last year, where I exhibited my watercolor “Eastbourne Pier“, and was so impressed with the quality of the works that were presented at the show. I decided that I must apply for this year as well. Not many galleries in NY give you a chance to exhibit very large works, so I took this opportunity to present my largest piece “The Arrival of a Train” 104″x90″, 6.2011.  This year 134 works were selected by eminent juror Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. There were 14 awards for every media given to the best artists. And to my very big surprise I was also awarded as the Best in Show!

During the opening reception I had met many artists and had a chance discuss about their works. I put together this little gallery of some of the wonderful works. But I strongly suggest to see this show with your own eyes. The show is running till April 1, 2012.

Where: 499 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook,
Brooklyn, 11231
www.bwac.org

Thank you BWAC for supporting artists and making a mind blowing show!

Ekaterina Smirnova

Hayley Blanck

Valerie Huhn

Sylvia Schwartz

Craig Cheply

Katsy Johnson

Laura Pawson

Nicholas Schleif

Bruce Braithwaite

Audrey Frank Anastasi

Felipe Ortiz

Dayna Thacker

## Armory NY 2012: Works on paper

The second week of March was an important art week for New York. Many international art shows were held throughout the city, but the biggest of them all was the Armory Art Show 2012. My friends and I went to see this show and spent about 5 hours walking around the two pears, 94 and 92, where a lot of famous galleries displayed their best work. We started with the Contemporary Show and moved to the Modern. It was an absolute pleasure to see a lot of works on paper, which is my big interest, since I work on paper myself. So I decided to make the show review from the point of view works on paper: paintings, prints and drawings.

To my very big surprise Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, has exhibited Soviet TASS Propaganda posters, called Kukryniksy, that I know about from my childhood and never even hoped to see them in person. Amazing experience. I have purchased a catalog from the show that just ended, sadly I have missed it, but I am very happy that this gallery took an effort to put this wonderful collection together! To read more about the show visit this link www.edlingallery.com

Note: To enlarge photos, select them.

Pavel Sokolov-skalia

Leonardo Drew, "Number 8P, 9P" 2012. 28"x18"

Toyin Odutola, Ball-pen drawing, one of the set of five

Doug and Mike Starn "Structure of Thought 15" 2001 - 2012. Epson K3 Ultrachrome inkjet print on cotton rag with Gumpi papers with varnish 108"x120"

Chuck Close

Kim Mccarty

May Stevens

Paul Jenkins

John Currin

James Nares

Polly Apfelbaum

Eric Fischl

Edward Ruscha

Dawn Clementis

Chan Kok Hooi

Robert Motherwell