Water Lilies

There are approximately 70 known species of water lilies which are mainly found in tropical environments. They are round in shape with petals bursting from the water like morning sun rays. DSC_8230

Pink, purple, peach, white, yellow and red blossoms float peacefully above the water, blooming both day and night.
Artists and poets have been inspired by these fascinating flowers. They are a national symbol in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as the official flower for the month of July. And, in some cultures, the lily symbolizes grief and often represents sunsets, and seashores.

“Water Lilies” is an acrylic based, mixed media piece where the lilies are outlined in glue and glazing medium. The petals are poured on with multiple layers of liquid acrylics. The result is a linear painting which can be perceived with a bird’s eye view as well as vertically, where the lilies vibrant jewel tones gracefully cascade into the cool, celestial waters.

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If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

Little Gems

Little Gems was originally inspired by a photo of multi colored glass wind chimes that I photographed at an arts and crafts market in Israel. The glass tiles glistened with jewel tones; sapphire blues, emerald greens, ruby reds and golden ambers.Little Gems

The first layer consists of handmade tissue papers and acrylics. It was originally in my mind to recreate the feeling of the glass tiles gently swaying. As the transparent glass tiles overlapped, they created brilliant colored layers and patterns. So, as I continued to add my paint and collage, I realized that the piece was looking a bit flat and could use more texture. After inking in lines and dripping more acrylics I let the piece rest for a long period of time. Most of my pieces seem to go through a resting stage where I set them on a shelf and contemplate whether they are finished or need extra attention. Since this piece is on the smaller side, the rich tones were a bit overwhelming and there was too much similarity with both the medium and the overall tone. In the end, it needed an extra layer which is when I introduced the color twine which loosely connects the dried paint chunks creating a flying bouquet. The colors, lines, shapes and textures all come together in a harmonic mixed media collage.

 

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Thistles

The summer of 2015 our family traveled to Israel. And by family, I mean the whole mish-pa-CHa, (that’s family in Hebrew…make sure to accent the “cha” with a gargly gurgle sound.) We were 13 in total including my parents, my husband and four kids, my brother and sister in law with their two kids and my sister.Thistles Too

13 in Judaism is actually a good luck number for it’s when a child becomes a Bar Mitzvah or an adult in the Jewish community. In a way, our family experienced a Bar Mitzvah traveling to Israel together. It was politically awakening, culturally exhilarating and most of all spiritual. We became educated on Israel’s modern technology, their innovative approaches to agriculture and their secrets to surviving in the middle east.  Learning how to farm fruits and vegetables in over 100 degree weather where water resources are miles away was truly mind blowing.

The Israeli’s are known for creating underground mazes of irrigation systems, channeling water for crops from the Sea of Galilee. What a surreal sight it was to see lush orchards of pomegranate, clementine, fig and date trees. Imagine dessert sand and rock and then fields of yellow, where sunflowers grew to be farmed for flour. The Thistles picture was inspired from a photo that I took in the Golan Heights. I had a personal date to wake at sunrise and photograph the northern terrain as the sun burst pink rays across the fields. The thistles glowed with lush hues-indigo, violet and gold. I returned to the states with not only amazing memories, but over 2,000 photographic gems that continue to inspire my art.

 

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If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

Ginger the Cat

I was never a cat person. Cats always seemed like creepy, creeping creatures with a sneaky agenda. And though, I am still convinced that cats are a bit surreptitious and sly,  I have become a fan of one particular feline named, Ginger. My husband and I have four children of which, three of them are boys. Child number three is female and has forever sulked about not having a sister sibling. I figured if I could deal with four little humans I could take the plunge and add a furry offspring to the mix. Ginger the cat

Ginger was supposed to be a kitten. When we went to the pet store to “rescue” or adopt our cat, we did not foresee the rules and regulations tacked on to this process by the feline foster families. My daughter had her eyes on a sweet and slick little kitty that shined like freshly poured ink. She had been cuddling this cutie for quite some time  and it was evident that a bond had been formed. When my husband had filled out the paper work and was getting ready to pay and make our adoption official, the foster parent of the cat asked whether or not we had any other pets in the house. We were clueless that by answering “no” we would be breaking our daughter’s heart. Feline foster parents aim to place kittens into homes with current pets for the purpose of socialization. As my daughter’s tears dripped onto the sweet little kitty, the foster parent scooped the sweet ball of fur out of her arms and told her to find a cat at least one year old. After two hours of examining crate labels for cat birth dates, we found a one year old cat named Ginger. Luckily, Ginger was petite and cuddly at the time and our daughter was able to make a quick connection. Once we brought Ginger home, she became the star of our house and neighborhood. She has become a subject for my photography which in turn inspired my mixed media painting. she has starred in home made videos documenting her ever so sneaky behaviors: helping herself to freshly baked challahs, sitting in the middle of the kitchen table and daintily licking milk from a glass with her paws, wedging herself into the pantry to pull out her favorite brand of potato chips. She has a laundry list of her furry tales and acts as a furry muse to her less furry mom.

 

Check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE.

Register for my online art classes here: ART CLASSES If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

Cherry Blossom

Washington D.C. is filled with many stone and marble monuments denoting the country’s history but, one of my most favorite icons are the organic, expressive, cherry trees. Cherry BlossomExperiencing the cherry trees in full bloom is like walking through a miniature enchanted forest. Pink and white blossoms form canopies around the Tidal Basin, where Thomas Jefferson proudly stands, observing the festivities. There are tea parties and picnics, hand holding, picture taking and smiles everywhere you look. The blossoms are visually intoxicating, especially for artists who want to capture every element of our nation’s worldly attraction.
This print started as an ink pouring on water color paper. Layered with acrylics, glazing medium and tissue papers, this  cheery cherry blossom emerged with a surprise. Petals blossomed into tiny hearts. Pure love.

 

Check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE.

Register for my online art classes here: ART CLASSES

If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

Laila the Lab

Laila the Lab mixed media collage

I don’t think that I was ever really a dog person. Growing up in Iowa, everyone seemed to have a dog and apparently I was quite timid around most furry friends. That is until I had one for my own. My husband is a cat person and even though I really wanted to add a puppy to our already full household, we started with a one year old tabby called Ginger. (More on that later.) Meanwhile, now that we have two teenagers, a tweeny and one tween wannabe, I figured our kids could use a little Lab love.

Most of the responsibility of being a dog owner lies in my hands. However, each child has been involved with walking, feeding and grooming whenever I ask for help. Child number two is greeted with a lip smacking Laila as soon as he walks in the door from school. Laila  eagerly waits her turn as #2 feeds Ginger the cat first and then proceeds downstairs to take care of the pup. Each child has their own relationship with our pets who in return show so much love and affection to our family.

Surprisingly, Laila seems to have figured out how to transcend canine status, making herself a very credible fifth child. She craves attention, expects extra snacks, in between meals and doesn’t always listen when called. She does however, accept her regular, daily feedings without the usual familiar family whine, “What are we having for dinner?” “Ugh…not that again!”  Thank goodness she doesn’t have the human “back talk” feature.

Check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE.

Register for my online art classes here: ART CLASSES

If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

A Colorful Ride

A Colorful Ride
“A Colorful Ride,” is representational of my personal art perspective, both playful and whimsical.  The lively, young bicyclist rides through a once antiquated alley way, now filled with 21st century pop. He passes bright orange, Chinese lanterns as he rides under a passage of pastel umbrellas. Candy colored doo
rs line the alley walls as the bicyclist proceeds on his lighthearted adventure. Perhaps when one’s childhood is filled with cold, colorless winters, an artist will emerge, growing up with the need to indulge in vivid colors and zesty imagery that will, in hope, delight the eyes and warm hearts.

Check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE.

Register for my online art classes here: ART CLASSES

If you would like custom work, please email me at juliatova@gmail.com

Courage Art Show – “Fiery Birch”

On Sunday October 8, 2016 from 2 to 4pm, I will be at the Jo-Ann Rose Gallery – Lake Anne Community Center in Reston exhibiting one of my favorite original pieces, “Fiery Birch” as part of the “Courage” art show.  The show will run from October 1 to October 31.Firey Birch I specifically chose this piece since it is one of the first mixed media collages that I experimented with the notion of “pushing through my comfort zone.” Most of my paintings have been inspired by my photography and usually have a very illustrative or representational nature. “Fiery Birch,” a tree located in my neighborhood, is a bold and older tree that I say hello to when Laila, my lab and I pass under its twisting limbs on our daily walk. The tree’s bark looks like fat braids with knots twisting around its trunk. There is a path that is now bumpy from giant roots lifting from the ground that curves around the base of the tree. The path dweller can feel the strength of the roots, pushing through the cracked pavement. And like the artist who fights the contented voice whispering to stay within the conventional limits, the tree cries out, “just try and stop me!” Please come and meet this inspirational tree and me at the “Courage,” Art Show reception, Sunday October 8 from 2pm to 4pm. Address below: Jo-Ann Rose Gallery – Lake Anne Community Center 1609-A Washington Plaza Reston VA 20190 Check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE. Register for my online art classes here: ART CLASSES

The Better Way to Read to Your Kids

 

 

Published on Kveller.com 12/13/2012.  Photo by Julia T. Malakoff

Sometimes, while all four children are seated at the table, shoveling cheerios down their o-shaped mouths, I have tried to limit breakfast battles by reading a book.

It does not seem to matter what kind of book I read in the early hour; they all listen and concentrate on the tale at hand. With my children ranging from teen, tween and post-tot, it fascinates me that each child is able to enjoy the story, no matter what their reading level is. This has led me to think about the power of picture books and early reading comprehension. Continue reading

My Fridge Lacks Magnitude!

grand-mom-fridge

Published on Kveller.com 6/26/14

I have a new refrigerator. It is shiny and wide with French doors and sports a special kid-friendly snack drawer for easy to grab cheese sticks and Gogurts. It has a special setting for fruits and veggies and organized doors with shelves for varying sizes of bottles and jars. It even lets me know when it hasn’t been shut properly with a cool bell tone. Continue reading