Category Archives: Environmental, Places & Wildlife

Cobwebby Thistle

cobweb thistle art

On one of my hikes in the Point Reyes area, I came across this great dangerous looking and beautiful plant, full of spikes and webs. It is a wonderfully weird plant commonly called “cobweb thistle”,  a California native.  It’s spiny blooms are laced with fibers resembling cobwebs.

Title:  “Cobwebby Thistle”
(Cirsium occidentale)

Size: 19″ x 35″

Medium: Gouache on wood, varnished

cobweb thistle detail 9 by Patrushka

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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And Now It’s Winter, Winter In America

This piece was inspired by the depression and disappointment I felt after the recent electons here in America. That our “democratic” country would elect such an ignorant, sexist, greedy, and racist man was extremely disillusioning. Trump is such a blustering bully and lacks the wisdom, experience or maturity needed to perform the task of a presidential leader.

At the same time the sad but wonderful Gil Scott-Heron song, “Winter In America” kept echoing in my head…

Title: “Winter In America”

Size: 16″ x 20″

Medium: Gouache on wood panel

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified. I am also available to hire for illustrations or commissioned portraits.

Please email me for info – pmitchellz@yahoo.com

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A Redwood Stump

A Redwood Stump Painting

Every time I visit the woods near my home in Northern California, I am inspired to paint a little something… Our last visit to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve was no exception. There were many incredible gnarled redwood tree stumps, ages old and covered with history and moss – so lovely that maybe a whole “Stump Series” of watercolors will follow.

Title:  “Redwood Stump”

Size: 9″ x 12″

Medium: Gouache on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified. I am also available to hire for illustrations or commissioned portraits.

Please email me for info – pmitchellz@yahoo.com

Follow On Instagram: @patrushka_art

A Young Trunk In Marin

Young Trunk by Patrushka 650pix

Tree Art

Every so often we escape to the woods out near Marin, California, which we are lucky enough to live relatively close to. There are awesome huge Redwoods everywhere and mossy growth in the winter and spring. It’s very relaxing to just sit and do small studies and watercolors of nature’s little beauties. The velvet moss on the side of this young seedling caught my eye.

“Oh redwood tree
Please let us under
When we were young we used to go
Under the redwood tree.
And it smells like rain
Maybe even thunder
Won’t you keep us from all harm
Wonderful redwood tree.”

 – Lyrics by Van Morrison –

Title: “Young Trunk” (a study)

Size: 7 x10″

Medium: Watercolor on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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An Alley At Night In Florence, Italy

AlleyAtNight-Italy-ByPatrushka 600px

After leaving a bar late one night during travels in Italy, I stumbled upon this alley with cool yellow lighting and a blue lit window. Had to capture this little piece of a cityscape the best I could.

Title: “Alley at Night, Florence, Italy”

Size: 14 x 18″

Medium: Acrylic painting

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Mendocino Coast

Mendocino - Patrushka

A nature study of the Northern California coastline in Mendocino county, one of our favorite places for a short getaway. The 1969 song (below) always pops in my head as we drive through the area and seems to echo there during our stay…

“Please don’t move
Please stay in my love house by the river.
Fast talkin’ guys with strange red eyes
Have put things in your head

And started your mind to wonderin’
I love you so, please don’t go
Please stay here with me in Mendocino.
Mendocino, Mendocino,

Where life’s such a groove
You blow your mind in the morning.
We used to walk through the park,
Make love along the way in Mendocino.”  

–  Sir Douglas Quintet –

Title: “Mendocino”

Size: 12″ x 16″

Medium: Gouache/watercolor on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Truck Stop

Truck Stop - Patrushka

A piece for my “Once We Were Here…” series, a beautifully forgotten truck stop, overgrown by the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere.

‘Til almost mysteriously
Well, it was the lights of a truck stop that rolled into sight
Joe turned to me, said ‘I’m sorry son, but I’m afraid this is just as far as you go, you see
You see, I kinda gotta be making a turn just up the road a piece’
I’ll be damned if he didn’t toss me a dime as he threw her in low and said
‘Go on in there son, and get yourself a hot cup of coffee on Big Joe’
I mean to tell you, when Joe and his rig pulled off into the night
Man, in nothing flat they was clean outta sight –  
Tom Waits, Big Joe And Phantom 309

Title: “Truck Stop”

Size: 12″ x 16″

Medium: Gouache on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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A Dress On A Clothesline

Clothesline by Patrushka

A new piece for my ongoing “Once We Were Here…” series, this piece asks questions of our future within a parched environment. Will we still have water to drink, much less to wash our clothes? Will women still have party dresses?  Was this dress left by someone long ago, now departed from our earth?

“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which fits best and is more becoming?”  

  Sylvia Plath  –

Title: “Clothesline”

Size: 8″ x 10″

Medium: Gouache on wood, varnished

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Adaptation

Camouflage - Patrushka

This piece was inspired by nature’s ability to adapt, especially through camouflage. Camouflage increases an organism’s chance of survival by hiding it from predators. How will humanity adapt as our own world crumbles around us?

“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”   –  Charles Darwin

Title: “Camouflage”

Size: 9″ x 12″

Medium: Gouache on wood, varnished

Camouflage - Detail - Patrushka

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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The Trees Have Eyes

Trees Have Eyes - Patrushka

A pen and ink musing on the surreal nature of trees and their “eyes” – the markings on tree bark trunks which suggest human eyes.

Eyes on the forest, not on the trees.”   ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Title: “The Trees Have Eyes”

Size: 12″ x 14″

Medium: Pen and ink, gouache,  Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Travel Art – Joshua Tree and Hanalei

Joshua Tree - Patrushka

Original Travel Art

Vintage trailers are the bomb and this one sits glowing in the beautiful desert of Joshua Tree National Park, which holds a very special place in my heart.

“Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light.”
Joyce Carol Oates

This art is for the “Wanderlust” exhibition (all travel inspired postcard art), which opens this weekend, Dec. 12th, in San Francisco. Both pieces are framed and will be for sale. Info Here.

Below, is a second piece for the show, inspired by another favorite place, the spectacular Hanalei Bay in Hawaii.

“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.”
Paul Theroux

Hanalei Moon - Patrushka

Titles: “Joshua Tree” and “Hanalei Moon”

Sizes: 4″ x 6″

Medium: Watercolor on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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From The Deep Sea: Jellyfish Art

Jelllyfish by Patrushka 11

Lately, I have been becoming obsessed with the creatures found in the deepest parts of our oceans, glowing and other-worldly they fascinate and inspire me with their ghostly amorphous forms. This jellyfish art is the first painting of even more undersea critters I hope to paint.

“The real world is in a much darker and deeper place than this, and most of it is occupied by jellyfish and things. We just happen to to forget all that. Don’t you agree? Two-thirds of earth’s surface is ocean, and all we can see with the naked eye is the surface: the skin.”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Title: “Deep Sea Jellyfish”

Size: 6.5″ x 7″

Medium: Gouache/watercolor on wood, varnished

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Ye Olde Pumpkin of Halloween Past

Ye Olde Pumpkin - Patrushka Art

An old pumpkin sits forgotten and rotting from a Halloween past, in an abandoned house.

Part of my “Once, We Were Here…” series – Composed of past memories, deserted and abandoned places and possible glimpses into a future world void of humans.

Title: Halloween, Once We Were Here

Size: 7″ x 10″

Medium: Gouache/watercolor on Arches paper

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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In The Blue Woods

Rocking Chair - Patrushka Art

This rocking chair holds many memories as all rocking chairs usually do. Forgotten in the thick blue woods, it holds many a tale to tell…

This is another painting for my ongoing series of abandoned places and things, lost memories from our human existence – Once, We Were Here….

Title: The Rocking Chair

Size: 22″ x 18.5″ (framed)

Medium: Gouache on wood panel, varnished

The Rocking Chair - Patrushka-12framed

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Where Have All The Drive-Ins Gone?

The Drive-In - Patrushka

Remember going to drive-in movies as a kid? If you don’t – you missed out. Over the years I’ve seen them all falling into obsolescence, flashes of forgotten memories by the side of the road. Their funky vintage signage and entrances broken and overgrown or worse yet, being torn down for other uses. This is proof that once we were here, an homage to the drive-in.

Title: The Drive-In

Size: 7″ x 10″

Medium: Gouache, watercolor

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Surreal Botanical Art

Botanical Imaginings - Patrushka

Title: Botanical Imaginings

Size: 8″ x 11″

Medium: Graphite on paper

Surreal Botanical Art: This is a crazy drawing that just popped into my head one morning, a study of floating plants from another world, a mixed up jungle of strange and surreal growth.

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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A View From Inverness of the Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay Landscape- Patrushka

 

Title: Tomales Bay

Size: 7″ x 10″

Medium: Gouache/watercolor on Arches paper

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A Tomales Bay Landscape

This is a view of the Tomales Bay from the small town of Inverness, in Northern California. I saw the bay peeking though the vegetation with the large old oak in front, and sat down to soak it all in. This resulted in a relaxing, free and fun little painting session and the above image.

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Amphitrite, A Sea Goddess

Hiding In The Kelp - Patrushka 

Title: Hiding In The Kelp

Size: 14.5″ x 18.5″

Medium: Oil on wood panel, antique gold frame

My red headed version of a sea goddess.

In ancient Greek mythology, Amphitrite  was a sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon. Some say she was one of the fifty Nereides, others an Okeanis, but most simply describe her as the female personification of the sea: the mother of fish, seals and dolphins. When Poseidon first sought Amphitrite’s hand in marriage, she fled his advances, and hid herself away near Atlas in the Ocean stream at the far ends of the earth. The dolphin-god Delphin eventually tracked her down and persuaded her to return to wed the sea-king.

Amphitrite, A Sea Goddess - Patrushka

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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In The Redwoods

Redwoods - Patrushka

Title: In The Redwoods, a small study

Size: 7″ x 10″

Medium: Watercolor on paper

This is a small study I painted while enjoying the redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, near Marin in Nor Cal.

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Sunset At Smith Tire

Smith Tires - Patrushka

Title: Smith Tire, (Once, We Were Here…)

Size: 30″ x 40″

Medium: Acrylic on canvas, unframed

This is a large piece inspired by an old tire shop I stumbled upon on one of my walks around New Orleans. It was peeling paint in all the right ways… Recently, I was so surprised to run across a bit about the owner of this wonderful place, via National Geographic –

“There was never any question from me about what to do after Katrina,” said Carroll Herbert, the owner of Smith Tire on the Ninth Ward’s St. Claude Avenue in 2006. “I came right back and opened up.”

Smith Tires - detail - Patrushka

This piece is also the beginning of a new series based on abandoned or forgotten places and vintage treasures of our collective past. The series is titled “Once, We Were Here…” – please check back for new additions with wonderfully aged places, pensive memories and overgrown architectural inspirations.

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Mandragora, A Mandrake Doll

Mandragora - Patrushka

Title:  Mandragora

Size: 16 x 20″

Medium: Gouache on wood

This piece was inspired by the mandrake plant and it’s witchy history.

In ancient Greece Mandrake was once powdered and added to wines as well as various love-philtres. It was well known for making humans act like beasts and is believed to be one of the plants responsible for the legends of werewolves and shapeshifters. Mandrake is hallucinogenic, and although it contains less tropane than its relatives, it should only be ingested rarely in one’s life. As a hallucinogen it is best ingested as a tea or infused in wine, but it is much more common to find Mandrake being used in flying ointments such as the magic salve of Medea which she learned to make using Mandrake roots from the Titan. Mandrake roots also have a long history of being used as mannikins or alrauns – carved dolls imbued with a spirit and used for luck, healing, and prophecy. These Mandrake dolls were usually kept wrapped in cloth or stored in a small coffin-like box and hidden from the view of anyone but the owner. They were considered a great responsibility to own and had to be fed in order to remain potent. Such mannikins were passed down through families for generations before they were outlawed by the Church in Europe.

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  Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.

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Intertwined

Intertwined - Patrushka-Web10

Inspired by: Growth and nature, breaking free from the confines of traditional roles and the basic human condition, becoming one with our natural environment.

Title: Intertwined

Size: 12″ x 16″

Medium: Gouache on Arches rag paper

“Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.”
— William Butler Yeats

(Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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A Cabin In The Woods

Cabin in The Woods by Patrushka

 

Title: Cabin In The Woods

This is a smaller piece, where the stained wood grain inspired an ominous presence, enveloping the structure. Influenced by all those dark and creepy cabin movies, a love of the supernatural and the winsome beauty of an abandoned shack in the forest. A little shabby shanty, off the grid, in the middle of a swampy nowhere – to call one’s own…

 Size: 8″ x 10″

  Medium: Gouache/Watercolor on birch wood panel, varnished

(Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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An Alley In LA

LA Alley landscape - Patrushka

Title: Los Angeles Alley

Inspired by that dirty city of angels that holds a special place in my heart. Landscapes full of tangled telephone lines, dusty palm trees and paved asphalt dreams…

 Size: 12″ x 16″

  Medium: Gouache on Arches 100% cotton paper

(Most works are for sale and/or exhibition and will be framed unless otherwise specified, please email me for info.)

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