We feel very grateful, that Zdenka Bleile, a Czech artist living in California, generously donated this wonderful painting of “Church of Our Lady before Týn” to our Christmas party raffle! You can try to win it this Sunday (December 10th) at our Czech School of California party raffle. Admission is only $10 per family (which includes one raffle ticket) and you can also buy more at the party (cash only please).
We asked Zdenka couple questions about her work, what inspires her and where can we see more of her pieces.
Tell us something about yourself.
Zdenka: I was born in Prague, Czech Republic. As a little girl, I was growing up surrounded by my
grandfather’s paintings. I remember waking up and looking at gentle landscapes, flower bouquets and city scenes he painted in the 1930’s and 40’s. I’ve never met my grandfather, but I’ve always felt I knew him from his paintings. This is where my love for art first came to life.
Where did you study art?
Zdenka: After secondary school with art direction I enrolled at Charles University in Prague, to study art and literature. I studied painting under prominent Czech abstract painter Zdeněk Sýkora. When I left the Czech Republic and moved to California I completed a degree in graphic design.
What medium do you use to create your work and why are you drawn to it?
Zdenka: In the past, I experimented with watercolor, pastel and even Chinese brush. But when I finally found the courage to paint in oils, I fell in love. It is always changing process. You can do so much! You can dilute it and drip it or create thin layers or if you feel brave, you can just stoke on heavy layers with your brush or palette knife. The technique is demanding and you are never done learning. I guess the is the intriguing part of the process for me.
What is so special about the piece you donated to our raffle.
Zdenka: I like to share with others how I see places that have a special meaning to me or with
which I have a connection. I invite my audience to look at ocean beach where I would love to spend an afternoon or go to places I visited and I love. I connect to subjects that talk to me. To communicate their stories I use dripped under-paint, color, and brush strokes. Majority of my paintings are in series. I immerse myself in painting water, ocean, impressions from my travels or memories from Prague, where I grew up. Each series allows me to formulate intent and work out problems it presents.
Where can we see more of your work?
Zdenka: My Prague series is now on display at Galerie Elektra in Sausalito, CA. You can also follow my work on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/zdenika/.
Thank you, Zdenka, for your time and good luck in your career, you are an inspiration!