Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for you!!!! If I am not lucky enough to sit on a patio with you and enjoy our time together while the world passes by, I am at least lucky enough to hear from you on social media.  I love painting, it takes me away, stimulates my brain, makes me feel good.  Hearing from you is the icing on the cake!  That connection, whatever it is completes my painting experience.  Thank you for your support!

Wishing you and yours a memorable time together while the world passes by.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Finding Fulfillment this Summer

 Fun with brush calligraphy

Painting with less brush strokes

Happy Summer!!!!  I have modified my painting since I am trying to give my arm a break.  If you have noticed, I am doing more pours and also, paintings that do not require too much fine detail work.  In a way, this has changed my painting style and has forced me to explore different ways to paint that do not agitate my painting arm.  I did try to not paint for about a month, but, I became a very irritable and grumpy person.  I started "sneaking" in 15 minute painting interavals.  I found that after painting something for just 15-20 minutes, my brain was very happy.  I realized one day, that I had to wait before going to do the next thing, whatever that was, focusing on driving my child somewhere or completing paper work for something.  I had to wait because my head was spinning in some kind of joyful high.  The feeling was great.  When I go to various doctors to find out what is wrong with my arm, I tell them that painting is like a drug for me.  It is better than any happy pill.  After I paint, and recover from my buzz, I can do any of the mundane things in daily life happily.  I have been satisfied creatively or my brain has been stimulated to the point it likes.  I have become a more joyful person.  Another observation I have is that I can get joy from seeing things I want to paint.  Which are always the sun shining on flowers, people, buildings creating shadows.  I now see the paint colors and look for the composition in what I see.  Sometimes, I do see something so beautiful, yet, there is not a composition or at least the composition that I like which is a strong light and strong shadow pattern.  I have shared some of these photos with you.  

My point of this post is find something that stimulates your brain so you can have your own happy pill.  I would say this is the most joyful I have been in life and it is very addictive.  My mom used to paint.  Something happened to her, a stroke or some kind of breakdown, we don't know, but, whatever it was, it made her forget her nagging pain in her back AND how to paint.  She can't for the life of her remember the first step in how she would start a painting.  She is basic paralyzed when it comes to painting.  She will not even pick up a brush.  Now, she is so unhappy and spiraling down because she cannot find joy.  I realize this has to do with something bigger than not painting, but, I believe if she could find something that stimulates her brain the way painting did for her, maybe she would not be as bad off as she is.  

This is your life, your days.  Find a creative way to stimulate yourself.  Sometimes for me, just painting a simple colorful card, like above, is good enough to get me the buzz.  You don't have to show your work to anyone.  Don't have high expectations for yourself.  It does not have to look exactly like you want for it to look.  Be gentle with your creative self.  If painting is not your thing, try singing, sculpting or writing, photography.  Just think about writing, what risk do you have there?  You are writing on a piece of paper, it doesn't even have to be expensive paper and surely you have a pen that you got for free somewhere.  Write your thoughts, write your favorite things, write a memory, things will evolve.  You have nothing to lose in whatever creative experience you try.  At first, it may seem like what is the point, but, I promise you, if you stick with it, you will get to the point of being fulfilled.  And fulfillment is the best experience for me.  Good luck!  I want to hear what you try.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Butterflies in Contemporary Art



Partial Collection of the Series

Happy summer!  Hope you are doing well and enjoying the blooming flowers and butterflies.  I have been continuing my work with butterflies.  Experimenting with brighter colors and more and more layers.  You can see in my last painting of a butterfly kaleidoscope that there is a significant increase in the number of layers which increases the depth.  On the electric bright kaleidoscopes, I am focusing on the high contrast of complimentary colors which I feel makes a stronger statement with a more simple design - less layers.  I want to achieve an dramatic feeling through the color.  If I added more layers, then there would be several shades of gradating color which would create depth, but, not electric color drama.

Please let me know what you think.  Are these intriguing to you or boring?  I am going to try this same technique with abstract shapes since abstract art is so popular right now.  Yes, I am allowing the trend to influence me.  It is because I am competitive with getting recognized for my work.  But, also, I LOVE the process of watercolor.  I have been told my many that watercolor is the hardest medium to master.  It is the first that I learned, so it is all I know.  I enjoy the process so much that I want for watercolor to be seen and appreciated by all.  I want for young artists to try watercolor.  Just imagine what young minds can do differently with the medium.  That is what I am trying to do with the butterfly kaleidoscopes - think and create like a young artist.  Fresh, experimental, uninfluenced, naive, innocent.  If you are a young artist, I encourage you to try watercolor and take it somewhere new.

all images are created and owned by Liana Yarckin
©Liana Yarckin

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Artscape at the Dallas Arboretum Recap

Me upon completion of setting my tent up. 

New artist friends, we traded our note cards!

My regular that comes every year to see me.

These two ladies bought each other my scarves for Mother's Day

The left wall of my tent.

The right wall of my tent.

Overall, Artscape was a success.  Saturday kept some peeps away with the threat of rain, but, it never ended up raining.  I am pleased with the way my work showed and the feedback from collectors and artists.  My new butterfly series was a hit!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Own Original Art

This is the very first piece of artwork I bought with my own money when I was in fifth or sixth grade. Silk batik. I remember the day perfectly. My mom and aunt took us cousins to an outdoor art show. We always went to art shows. But on this day I guess I was old enough and had my own money and my mom planted the seed that I could buy something with my money. It made me feel like an adult I guess. This was the first time I looked at all of the art pieces in a different way. Looking at the prices thinking which one would I want to have, which one could I afford and was worth me spending all of my money on? I saw three or four pieces that were in my budget, but this was the one I loved the most. It was five dollars more than I had. We ended up back in the car leaving and I had no art piece. My mom gave me the extra money to buy this piece. I remember running out of the car by myself all the way back to this artist's tent. Would I be able to find my way all the way back through this giant art show in the park? I found her and I bought this piece. Walking back to the car by myself with my first art purchase in hand was an incredible feeling. It was always in my room until I left for college. I recently found it in a box at my moms house. I remembered it, and now that I have my own kids, I remember being young and na├»ve and innocent and how large that art show in the park seemed to be. I remember how proud I was to buy my first art piece. 

Because of this experience I am going to think of something to have for the young and innocent to buy at my tent at Artscape Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden this year April 28-30. 

Visit me on Facebook

Art Show - April 28, 29, 30th
Dallas Arboretum

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sneak Peak of Art Show - Dallas Arboretum

Come see me at

Booth 11

April 28, 29, 30

16x22 Yellow Roses

11x14 Butterfly Kaleidoscope VII

Individual Butterflies

I am so excited to show my new butterfly series.  These sell as soon as I post on Instagram.  So I will have a whole new collection for Artscape.

Your feedback is just as valuable as a sell. It keeps me going, it warms my heart and often I learn something new!  So let me hear from you!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Is it art if it is pretty?

I have been thinking about what an artist said in a workshop for quite some time now.  He said something about don't paint another pretty picture, that's not art.  Then a year later, a friend said how her husband is a serious art collector and will not let her buy this "pretty" piece of art because it is not art.  It is not making a statement, it is not dark, it is not saying anything profound.  She told me that what if she wants to have it because it makes her happy when she looks at it.  Isn't that a feeling?  Why does art have to only evoke dark emotions?  I agreed with her and told her about the statement this artist made to our class.  One day I posted a painting of butterflies and the words just came out as maybe I want to be a butterfly and fly away with them.  I thought what does that mean, why did I say that?  When I paint giant flowers and photograph flowers at odd angles I have literally thought what if I was so tiny that this flower was taller than me like Alice in Wonderland.  I have literally laid on the ground to take photos of flowers from a viewpoint in the garden of only 3" above the ground to see what it feels like.  That is called escapism.  What if artists paint "pretty" paintings to escape.  What are they escaping from?  That can be very dark.  What if an artist is moved to paint something "pretty"?  Isn't that an appreciation of nature's beauty.  Even a city scene crowded with people and the shadows on the ground.  For me that is capturing people as one - all busy - hurrying together or the patio scenes I like to paint - I always want to be in my patio scenes under an umbrella, enjoying the luxury of time, time with friends, the gorgeous weather in a group setting with others doing the same.  These are emotions and feelings that I like to experience and that is why I paint "pretty" paintings.  Anytime I stop to take a photo of a flower, an aspen tree, shadows, I am saying to the busyness of the world, "Excuse me, I just noticed some beauty that I must document because it moves me." 

Tulips Dancing in the Wind
15x22 watercolor
by Liana Yarckin

Come see me at Artscape at the Dallas Arboretum

Friday, February 24, 2017

Flying into Spring at the Dallas Arboretum

Happy Spring to you!  Almost.  My work with butterflies has evolved into something I never imagined.  About 5 -7 years ago I had imagined a watercolor of a multitude of butterflies flying all around with me in the center.  I could never get it on paper.  I have posted about this before.  Trying to get the idea of a kaleidoscope (that is what a group of butterflies is called) of butterflies in flight.  I started with butterflies on flowers, then went to butterflies in flight, then a single realistic butterfly, then single "watercolory" butterfly to now a kaleidoscope of butterflies in flight.  Trying to capture the fluttering wings on video let alone paper is hard!  I have been blessed now with noticing butterflies wherever I go.  Sometimes they stay in my presence for so long, it is too much to video. My son and I had the pleasure of watching and video taping a beautiful butterfly in our garden feasting on the pollen in the flowers for over 20 minutes.  He (the butterfly) was so happy with our garden.  I think I wrote on my facebook page about what kind of flowers were in our garden that the butterflies like. I am pleased with what my art has evolved into at the moment.  I thought it was interesting how it came about.  I have posted some samples of the journey here with most recent first.  Some have already sold from when I posted on instagram or facebook or at Cerulean Gallery.  The others, plus new ones that have yet to be created will be at Artscape at the Dallas Arboretum April 28-30.  Be sure to go because I, too, am like a butterfly, I never know where my wings will take me.  I did not do Artscape last year because I was preparing for a gallery show.  So come this year!!!!!

all original watercolors by Liana Yarckin

To see the most recent works follow me on instagram or facebook.

Artscape - Dallas Arboretum

April 28 - 30

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let the Artist in You Come Out or Slow down and smell the flowers as my aunt always says

I was lucky or shall I say blessed or it was fate to be invited to join a group of people (artists) doing a study of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  Yesterday I took the liberty to be decadent and treat myself to doing what I like best - laying out by the pool in the sun with a variety of books.  I chose to read The Artist's Way.  This month we are on Chapter 3.  The first task was to write about and even draw your childhood room.  Would you believe I have tears in my eyes right now.  My room was beautiful.  My mom always encouraged us to make beautiful things - gluing seashells on drift wood, covering glass bottles in tissue paper and melting crayons over it, decorating Christmas cookies to allowing us to rearrange the furniture.  I was always rearranging the furniture in my room.  

With some left over paint that was the wrong color for the kitchen, I painted the walls of my bedroom while my parents were at work.  I had to finish before they got home.  Boy, that was the wrong color for the kitchen - it was the brightest bubble gum pink.  In watercolor terms it was close to what Opera Rose looks like on the packaging of the tube.  I wasn't quite finished when my mom came home and found me and my siblings in my room hard at work painting.  She was alarmed, but didn't get mad.  So I continued on those summer days while my mom was at work to paint my room.  I painted the base board and a faux crown molding in a gorgeous satin blue as in a baby blue satin ribbon, an elegant silver baby blue.

I always wanted French doors so I turned my closet door into a French door by painting the panes of the door (a french blue) and beside it on the wall was the mate - opened out to my gorgeous garden.  First time to draw in perspective without even knowing the word perspective.  I painted a large grey stone patio with an iron table and two chairs and flowers that bordered the patio (later in life long after this was forgotten, I would have a large stone patio made of beautiful Pennsylvania blue stone, which was the same color of grey as in my mural).  A large green lawn and so many trees as if I lived on the edge of a forest.  Before the edge of the trees was a stream with a white swan peacefully and elegantly floating in the water.  A large raised terrace with a French balustrade was on the other side of the creek.  Of course, I painted a small wood bridge to cross over to the terrace's grand staircase where large parties with dancing under the stars took place.

If you were to see my yard now, it is covered with so many trees it is impossible to have grass grow.  I don't have a stream with a swan, but, there is a pool with a fountain and many bright colored floats.  And the flowers, the flowers! The pool is surrounded by perennials spilling over into the pool, the patio and pool deck are bordered with yellow lantana, blue salvia, pink salvia, pink and orange zinnias, dainty little white creeping zinnia, yellow mexican zinnia, purple and white heather and my favorite, Russian sage.  Six pots around the pool with Knock out rose topiaries and lavender and white verbena and scaviola spilling over the pots.  Red roses climb up the house with beautiful scented star jasmine.  Rosemary, mint and basil have a spot, too.  When I take a moment, I see the ladybugs, catepillars, butterflies, red cardinals and yesterday I saw a dragonfly sitting on a dying rose branch.  I did not run in to get my camera.  I chose to just stay and watch the dragon fly who did not seem to be doing anything but sitting on the branch.  Then I noticed my dog standing at one of the pots looking at me and telling me to look up.  In the topiary, a nest of 3 baby cardinals!!!!

The mural I painted as a child is a reality now.  It somehow came out over time through my subconscious.  Had I not read Chapter 3 of The Artist's Way, I would have never remembered that mural.  How did I get the idea for that mural?  A white swan?  One closet door turned into a French door, my current house has 10 sets of French doors.  This makes me so emotional.  I never intentionally intended on having French doors.  It seems as though this all just came about... or did it.  Is it that artist stuffed way down in there trying to come out?  It for sure makes me feel small and not in control.  It humbles me.  

So I never got to the point of letting the artist in you come out.  I have more to tell you... next time.  But, for now, this explains why I paint the butterflies and flowers.  The next time will be about my obsession with color.  For the meantime, whether you are an artist or not, do Task #1 of Chapter 3 in The Artist's Way:  Remember your childhood bedroom, write about what it looked like, even draw a picture.

the baby cardinals

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Process of a Painting

Today I am prompted by a conversation I had with a photographer and also a fashion designer's post. I met the photographer at a reception for my art show.  She asked me many questions about my  art, each piece, about color, subject and in particular, composition.  As we discussed the different pieces, I thought, "this is a process that I want my viewers to know about."  Then I saw a post by fashion designer, Dahn Ta, mentioning that everybody wants to be part of the end result but is unaware of the process and doesn't want to be included in the process.  This post was regarding him staying up late to sew his pieces together in time for a show.  

Often, in my blog, I have mentioned how I stopped the car, stopped my walk, stopped skiing (even with a group of people) to take a photo (which turns into several) of something that inspires me.  For some reason, I always want to be completely surrounded by the "thing" whatever the thing is - red roses, white tulips, butterflies, aspen trees, busy street scenes.  I want this "thing" to be all around me including in my peripheral vision.  (Any psychologists out there, I would love to hear what this desire is all about).  The first memory I have of this desire is when I was a senior in high school in my drafting class.  Our assignment was to design a pool and deck.  I designed a large round pool with a steps in an angular area outside of the circle, basically in the shape of the Shell Oil seashell.  Mr. Llamas, my teacher, asked why did I do this.  I replied, "I want to be in the middle of the pool with water all around me, lots and lots of aqual water."

Years later this idea continued in my head subconsciously, until recently.  As I told the photographer, when I pull over to take a picture of the tulips, the photo doesn't look how I see it.  I pulled over because I saw a bunch of white tulips, so many white tulips, but in the photos they look like a puny garden.  This is not entirely because of my photography skills, I have the photos here to show you.  With the photos below, I decided to make my composition what I thought I saw or what I wanted to see.  

From the road, it looks like a lot of tulips, but, 
then when you look down to take an aerial, 
look at how the tulips look.

Please take note of how large that 
tulip is in comparison to my hand!
Wouldn't that be dreamy to have
such big tulips!!!

"Serenity" by Liana Yarckin
Beautifully and professionally framed in 
true watercolor tradition - floated so
the beautiful deckled edges of the
300lb. cotton rag paper show

Currently hanging at Cerulean Gallery

Selected by Bespoke Stationary
for their current collection

See more of my world - surrounded by an abundance of flowers, butterflies, aspen trees and even rubber duckies and Coke bottles here!

Better yet, wrap yourself in tulips, palms, seashells or a Bali bay here!

If you like my art, please share with your friends.  The best compliment is your referral!!! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Art into Fashion

It has been a busy 9 months.  As you know, I have been designing silk scarves using my art work.  For summer, I decided to to these fabulous large wraps.  The hottest new trend found in all of the fancy stores.  Shown here are is my favorite seashell painting that I love too much to sell as well as my Bali painting on wraps. They can be tied around your waist to use as a swimsuit cover up or on wrap on your shoulders for cool nights dining al fresco.  The fabric is sooooooo soft you can double it up around your neck, too, or fold it up so tiny it can fit in your purse!  I love these wraps for their functionality and the fact that it makes it so easy to share my art with my peeps!  I am so appreciative for all of my fabulous supporters who love my scarves!!!!  

Have your very own Liana Yarckin scarf: Order here

Artists, you can have your beautiful paintings on scarves too!  I offer this option on my website.

To see all of the latest pics and other projects I have been working on visit me on my facebook page:

 Someone bought matching notecards to go with their wrap for Mother's Day!!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Art Show Announcement

Thrilled to have over 20 pieces in a show at Cerulean Gallery.
Please join me on June 10th if you are in Amarillo.  It's going to be an amazing show with great works by 7 other artists, too.
If you have friends in Amarillo, send them to me to say hi!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Gratitude Project - Thanksgiving Square Dallas

 'Thanksgiving Square - Give Thanks'
Mixed Media, 20x30

  Detail of mosaic, Ring of Gratitude and Bell Tower

Presentation to Founding Member of Thanksgiving Square

 Thanksgiving Square Chapel designed by Philip Johnson
 Stained glass ceiling "Glory Window" designed by Gabriel Loire
Ring of Gratitude and Bell Tower in the foreground
with the Wall of Praise

Things do come full circle.  This is a project I worked on in the fall, but, had to keep a secret until it was presented.  The piece above was commissioned to give to Peter Stewart, one of the founding members of Thanksgiving Square.  I worked with the members of the Board to create a piece of Thanksgiving Square.  

I had first visited Thanksgiving Square while attending Texas A&M University.  I cannot remember if it was on the Career Horizons program or later on a college field trip.  When I was looking through the eye of the camera to take this aerial, I remembered my professor's voice telling me to make sure to emphasize the light on the top of the spiral.  The field trip came back to me like it was yesterday.  I remember being in awe of the beautiful spiral ceiling with the light shining through all of the colors of the stained glass.  Whether it was in 1985 or 1987, here I was in 2015, with the great honor of being able to work on this very special project.

After touring the site and listening to what the Board members desired, I wanted to create a piece that encompassed the experience of walking through the site.  Important elements were:  "Give joyful thanks at all times to God," the Ring of Gratitude, the Bell Tower, a mosaic based on Norman Rockwall's "The Golden Rule," the chapel itself which is so iconic, the stained glass and the etching of the dove.  

The background is textured to represent the stained glass. I put the emphasis on the quote that is important to Mr. Stuart by placing it across the page.  I loved the design of the building and in previous studies I had beautiful watercolorings showing the curve of the building and the spiral, but, while going through the process of the design, the elevation of the building came about as a pure and stable icon with no other detail necessary.  Since the idea of Thanksgiving Square has been something that man (man everywhere all over the world, no matter what race) have strived for through out time, I wanted the images of the Bell Tower, the mosaic and the person walking through the Ring of Gratitude to look like memories or images from a dream.  These are recordings of experiences that have happened over time and more of these "memory slides" of people walking through the Ring of Gratitude towards the chapel can happen, it can be any of us in that "memory slide" walking to what Thanksgiving Square stands for.  In the upper corner I represented the etching, by Gabriel Loire, which is in the chapel, to remind us of peace and love.

The presentation was so touching.  I met an amazing group of people.  I was touched, inspired and honored to be part of this project.  I was lucky to get to go to the National Day of Prayer luncheon, a Thanksgiving Square annual event.  There is so much more I can write.  But, I encourage you to learn more about this amazing place, Thanksgiving Square, by visiting their website and getting involved.  If you are lucky enough to be in Dallas, go and visit.  There are restaurants close by and I think soon, they will have tables in the garden.  Take your kids, it is a beautiful experience of peace and innocence. There is something for all of the senses.  My favorite part is watching the little kids reading the Wall of Praise and playing around the Ring of Gratitude.  We were all born with sweetness and innocence....

"Those who worked on what is now known as Thanks-Giving Square, emphasizing “giving and living thanks,” helped make Dallas one of the few cities to witness the unification of races without violence." from the website.