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    Valentina Razenkova

    My visit to Needlework DeLuxe (Рукоделие ДеЛюкс) in St Petersburg

    This is the last post about my trip to St Petersburg…it was a wonderful experience with many opportunities.  Among the many beautiful boutiques I visited and shopped at, Valentina Razenkova took me to visit to Needlework DeLuxe (Рукоделие ДеЛюкс) in St Petersburg. As part of my masterclass in ribbon embroidery with Valentina, we went to look at ribbons and discuss the materials she uses for her techniques.


    Ingrid Lee and Valentina Razenkova at shop Needlework DeLuxe


    Valentina explained about the types of colours she prefers to use when working with silk ribbons, such as using lighter colours as you can paint on them easier, if a ribbon is too dark it is difficult to create more depth :)


    The owner of Needlework DeLuxe (Рукоделие ДеЛюкс) is Maria Shilina, and she was very welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable in the ribbons and other beautiful embroidery items in her lovely shop.  Maria has a wide variety of beautiful ribbons, in sizes which I found difficult to get from my local embroidery store…so it was like shopping in a candy store for me!  So many beautiful ribbons :)  Thanks to Maria for your time to explain about the ribbons and the little extra tips and techniques you generously shared…it was a great time spent with you.  I look forward to seeing you again next year!


    Maria Shilina and Ingrid Lee, I'm showing Maria my websites and embroidery


    Please visit Needlework DeLuxe, they have an online store, but the shop had a wonderful variety of silk ribbons….I was in heaven, here are some of the ribbons I purchased, I will be very busy…the orange purple one I will make into violas


    Art study trip to St Petersburg, what did I really learn?

    I had the most brilliant and inspirational art study trip to St Petersburg Russia, in October 2011.  So, what did I really learn? HEAPS!!!!!   I had a wonderful opportunity to work with three artists, Valentina Razenkova, Alexei Nordin and Valerius Ivanov (click on each name to read more about what I learned with each of these artists)… and tour galleries and museums and be indulged in antiquity and beauty, and attend the opera and ballet, find cakes, go shopping all in 7 days!  And I have some great opportunities for a return trip next year.  So here is a quick run down of my week in pictures, enjoy!  If you wish to see more, check out my blog posts on Ingrid Lee Art, or twitpic or join me on facebook.





    As I wrote in my blog post on Ingrid Lee Art about books I read during my trip (mainly while waiting in airports or on the plane) about Gogol’s journey to St Petersburg to seek his fortune, and I was hoping to seek fortune of the artistic soul…well for me this trip showed me many examples of just living for the moment…a sheer pleasure, pure inspiration and new beginning.  I am the fortunate one :)

    Lastly, a huge thanks and hugs to these three artists who I worked with in St Petersburg, for their generosity, time and sharing their talents with me during my art study trip.  I’ve made some great friendships, and thanks to the internet we’re still chatting away…and look forward to meeting them all again next year!

    4 top artist’s creations about Lilacs

    Lilacs are a powerfully evocative flower, and I never realised that many other people share a similar passion for this flower.  Recently I had shared a photo of lilac sprays on facebook,  and it opened up a wonderful dialogue about the fragrance, childhood and family memories, festivals such as Easter time for some cultures or town festivals and special times enjoyed by friends.   Here is the image

    Today's Lilacs are tomorrow's memories


    I wonder whether it is seeing the flower or smelling the flower, or remembering the smell of lilacs which conjures these wonderful and loving memories for people?   While Lilacs are often considered to symbolize love, they have been interpreted by artists in many mediums, capturing those memories and feelings and passions which lilacs evoke.

    I adore lilacs, I know I love lots of flowers, but I love them all for different reasons, and I have a paricular soft spot in my heart for them.   I’ve finally planted one in my garden, as we had a lilac tree as children, and it always brightens my world seeing pictures or real ones. 

    In this post, I’m going to share 4 top artist’s creations about lilacs, across a range of mediums, which inspire me and evoke those special memories which the lilac does.  I hope you enjoy the art work, graciously shared by plein air artist Andrey Lyssenko, porcelain artist Paula Collins, oil painter Elizabeth Robbins, and artist in ribbon embroidery Valentina Razenkova.

    Andrey Lyssenko

    Lilac bush. Andrey Lyssenko, 60/40 cm.(24/16 inches) Oil/cardboard. 2011.

    This painting was inspired by a lilac bush which grows near Andrey’s house.  He explains that this painting explores a new palette of colours.  When I saw this painting the first time, it took my breath away.   The brushtrokes and movement reveal a great energy and enthusiasm for the subject matter, which Andrey explains as “epidemic.”   I am very inspired by the colours and the warm light which just takes you to the place of this lilac tree…can you smell them?


    Paula Collins


    Lilac Study on porcelain tile, Paula Collins


    Lilac & Pink Roses Cake Plate Study, Paula Collins

    I have been fortunate to study a seminar with Paula Collins many years ago, and I am so honoured that she is sharing her beautiful paintings with me here :)  Paula’s lilacs capture the softness of lilacs and for me represent an oldworld feeling, in modern colours and styling…I really love Paula’s works, I bought my first Paula Collins book when I was about 19 years old, and her artwork inspired me greatly to continue porcelain painting.


    Elizabeth Robbins

    Blossom Melody, Elizabeth Robbins, oil on Canvas

    Elizabeth Robbin’s still life paintings capture a quiet moment for me with lilacs, and it this essence in her paintings which always draws me to view her beautiful paintings, time and time again.  When I asked Elizabeth to exlain her passion for lilacs, she explained to me that “I love lilacs because my grandmother did. She always loved the color and the smell so they remind me of her.”

    Lilacs and Silver has been accepted into the 2009 Western Oil Painters of America Exhibition, Elizabeth Robbins


    Valentina Razenkova


    Lilacs, Valentina Razenkova, Ribbon Embroidery

    Valentina’s embroideries are simply breathtaking.  She captures the finest details and delicate petals of each lilac blossom with satin ribbons with sheer brilliance. 

    Lilacs, Valentina Razenkova, Ribbon Embroidery

    In this satin ribbon embroidery, Valentina has created the tinted vase from applique, against a handpainted background.  When I asked her why she loves lilacs, Valentina explained ( in translation) that “In our country (Russia) we are very fond of lilacs, many artists composing poems and paintings of lilacs.  I love Lilacs very much because they are lilacs…it is that simple.”


    I hope that you have enjoyed this journey of lilacs.  Please share why you love lilacs or the memories they evoke for you in the comments below.  Also, please view these artists’ sites, by clicking on the links :)




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