Thursday, February 26, 2015

Four Oranges in One Branch, Still-life watercolor painting

Four Oranges in one branch by Birsen Ozbilge
Watercolor on paper, 28 x 22,9 cm, 2015
(Available click on the link )

Few days ago our landlord sent a bag of oranges, as soon as I saw these four gorgeous oranges (still attached to their branch), I spare them aside for a still-life object. Here it is the finished watercolor painting of "Four Oranges in one branch". This piece could look very nice as a kitchen decor (see pic below).

Kitchen decor suggestion

I first sketched this composition while there was a lovely morning light in our kitchen. (see pic below) Afterwards I prepared the painting table to work, wetting Strathamore 400 series heavy weight, cold press watercolor paper first (140 lb, 300 g/m2) and started to lay transparent coats of Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor paints.

Sketching the oranges

Work in progress

Working for patiently lights and shadows of the orange and green tones, finally I finished and signed it with my logo initial in black ink. The watercolor was pressed under heavy books overnight to get completely flat. It is now inside my old The Frick Collection Portfolio folder along with other artworks and waiting for its new home...

Here is what happened to these oranges. I saved the orange peel and made a marmalade, it came out great! It is very simple recipe but I did it with pressure pot if you don't have one  I am not sure of cooking time. 


6 orange skin chopped in tiny pieces
1 clementine sliced
1 glass of water
600-700 gr sugar
3 whole clove
1 tea spoon ginger powder

Put all the ingredients but no sugar yet to a pressure pot. Cook about 30 min after the vapor comes out. Wait the pressure goes first and open the pot add the sugar mixin well and cooking about 5 min. without covered the pot. It's ready. you can conserve in air tight jars up to 2 months in tour fridge. It comes out 4 small jar. I gave some to my landlord and to my mother in law. Enjoy it!

ready to put into jars. Not too liquid, perfect textured.

Homemade orange marmalade from organic fruit

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Still-life Watercolor Painting "Fruit Bowl with Mangos"

Fruit bowl with mangos by Birsen Ozbilge. 
Watercolor on paper, 24, 5 x 19 cm, 2015 (Available contact @ SHOP )

We are fortunate to have a kind and generous landlord. Time to time he brings us fruits and potatoes from his "finca"(fruit and vegetable garden) in Valsequillo. I prepared this still-life composition with his mango fruits. They were delicious absolutely, sweet and beautiful textured. Our apartment naturally scented with mango perfume for days. If you like mango fruit take my advise; display them in a bowl in your living room, I guarantee you'll love the smell. 

Sketching fruit bowl with mangos

Work in progress

Signing the finished artwork

Here it is the Body make-up contest winner of this years Carnaval in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, IDAIRA BUJEDA MOLINA, make-up artist VICTOR CABRERA PÉREZ titled LA MALA EDUCACIÓN. If you want to see more of them check @ Have a great week!


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Friday, February 20, 2015

New Pastel Painting Burrero Beach

Playa del Burrero (Burrero Beach) in winter.
oil pastel, 32 x 24 cm Feb 19, 2015 by Birsen Ozbilge
 Available @ SHOP

Yesterday's oil pastel painting from the view point in Burrero. Around 6:30 pm the sky had beautiful colored clouds. Every minute the colors were changing, I try to get the closest tones quickly in order to finish the painting properly in the studio. It took me several hours to complete the pastel painting, hope you enjoy it...

Last Wednesday I went to see two fantastic exhibitions in Las Palmas. The first one was "Los Caprichos de Goya" from a famous Spanish artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828). My friend and I participated to the special guided tour about this exhibition. It took about half an hour, It was really informative and interesting. I love to learn the art history this way. Goya was such a rebel  artist of his time... He still influences many contemporary artists with his art. For example, did you know that, the film director Christopher Nolan while he was writing the story of "Inception"movie, he was investigating these etchings and he got inspired by Goya's Caprichos.

The image on the wall is "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" from "Los Caprichos de Goya" exhibition. 

Afterwards we headed to another good exhibition at Vegueta. This time we saw a Canarian sculpture artist's works, Placído Fleitas (1915 - 1972) at San Martin Cultural Center. I had seen his artwork in public places, parks before. He used lava rock material on some of his art pieces. I like those ones very much. But I didn't know he had done beautiful wood bas relief (pine tree) artworks, see photo below.

Bas Relief (Pine tree) by Placído Fleitas

Beautiful sculpture in the public park (by Placído Fleitas)

The weather is still chilly and very windy which should be less windy and cold in this season. It makes plein air painting process very difficult. Anyway, last week on Thursday, it seemed like a nice day, so we took advantage of it and we went out. I had a plein air session in Parque Cruce de Arinaga, Aguimes for about 1 hour. I enjoyed being able to putting so much light and shadows in the composition but they were moving constantly while the clouds changing their positions. So, I decided to call the day off at this moment, It was better to comeback another day to continue this painting. I will show you once it finished. It's finally Friday, Have a good weekend! See you soon. Please share the blogpost @ G+, fb, twitter and leave a comment. 

Work in progress, plein air painting in Parque Cruce de Arinaga

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New PDF e-book "Ars Longa Vita Brevis"

We are having one of the coldest winter weather in Gran Canaria (considering Canary Islands standards). I never have to put this much layers of clothing. Still no need for the heating, We are fine with hot water bags for the nights. Since the weather is so grey and chilly out there, Today I am drawing with my Prisma color pencils in my studio. 

I have been working on an e-book project on and off for a couple of months and finally  it's finished. In this e-book, presenting the complete artworks of "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" (Art is long but life is short) with addition of an introduction by expalaining the process of the artworks for your curiousity.

Have a great week!
 Ars Longa Vita Brevis Pdf e-book
e-book Ars Longa Vita Brevis by Birsen Ozbilge
(English/Turkish, 54 pages, 4 mb)

"Ars Longa Vita Brevis" (Art is long but life is short) 
Coloured pencil on paper with mixed media, 40 x 30 cm., 2009

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Plein air pastel painting

Last Saturday the weather was a little bit chilly but warm enough for me to paint outside for about 1,5 hours. I did drawing and painting with oil pastels by the seaside in El Burrero, the closest neighbor town to our place . I was surprised to see our friend surfing by himself in this green grayish sea, in a not really windy weather. Anyway, he was happy seeing me drawing out there, when I was asked him "how was it?", he said; "the wind is nothing crazy today but I did some exercise." What a positive attitude! I like to see more people like him, enjoying sports, outdoors in summer and winter! Our live is so precious we must enjoy and appreciate each moment of it.

Where I was working by the little port, there is a beautiful sculpture, called "Monumento al pescador", a siting fisherman is holding a big fish and he has a boat paddle. This sculpture was here close to 10 years, I think. It is a mystery a little bit, when I searched online, I was able to find only the photos of it but not much information about the author. It's a shame... Do you know about the artist of this sculpure? If yes, put on the comments please.

Later on, a teenage girl came and set down on the sculpture's base without moving just focusing to her mobile and she was a perfect model. It's a bit sad seeing the youngsters how they addicted to their cell phones all the time. I personally blame their parents and our society. 

Have a great week!

Drawing in open air

A winter afternoon in El Burrero, Jan 31, 2015, oil pastel, 11" x 8"
Available click on SHOP to purchase


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