ARTISTRY

For art that warms your home and your heart, check out these pretty na­ture-based cre­ations.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY ANNE BRINK • PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY INGA LEIBUKA

For home dé­cor that is na­ture-in­spired and ecofriendly, why not choose art­work by an artist who cel­e­brates the Earth and uses all nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als?

Inga Leibuka has made it a bit of her spe­cialty. With her Etsy shop—the tagline is “unique, col­or­ful, ecofriendly art and beach trea­sures—she sells her art­work all over the world.

“Na­ture has al­ways been one of my big­gest sources of in­spi­ra­tion, so I try to cel­e­brate the beauty of the Earth in my work,” says Inga. “Be­sides of­ten us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als in my art, I also fo­cus on images of flow­ers and birds. I adore be­ing out­side, and I think my cre­ations re­flect that love.”

Inga loves us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like sea glass, beach stones and re­claimed wood in her art­work be­cause not only are these ob­jects full of na­ture’s beauty and charm, but they’re also eco-friendly. Her go-to pal­ette in­cludes many vari­a­tions of beach colors: blues, greens, turquoises, sand, browns and beiges, with pops of red and or­ange for live­li­ness and spark. “I’m ded­i­cated to be­ing kind to the Earth, and I think that gives my cre­ations an ex­tra bit of pos­i­tive en­ergy,” Inga ex­plains.

CRE­ATIVE IN­SPI­RA­TION

She of­ten works with themes. “Typ­i­cally, I sketch a rough idea of what I’d like the fin­ished piece to look like. I do ev­ery­thing from start to fin­ish by my­self: I drill holes in sea glass and beach stones; I do wood burn­ing, paint­ing, and I pre­pare old barn wood.”

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Most of Inga’s art­works com­bine brightly painted images with found nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like sea glass or beach stones on a painted wooden back­ground. About her style, Inga says, “I like ev­ery­thing about the old ma­te­ri­als I use in my art be­cause with them comes the spe­cial feel­ing of the past; they have their own soul.”

She’s es­pe­cially en­am­ored of cot­tage style. “For me it’s like a state of mind. It’s about a feel­ing of com­fort, a breath of fresh air, and it’s filled with all kinds of things that make me happy! It’s about hand­made ob­jects with vin­tage vibes and in­di­vid­ual style.”

Inga be­lieves that art doesn’t have to be com­pli­cated or ex­pen­sive to be loved and ap­pre­ci­ated. “For ac­ces­si­ble art that warms your home and your heart, sim­ple is of­ten bet­ter,” she says. Her ad­vice on dec­o­rat­ing with orig­i­nal art? “When mak­ing your art­work buy­ing de­ci­sions, let your feel­ings guide you.”

1. Want a hand­some suitor to grace your walls? Let this sweet painted blue­bird of hap­pi­ness fill your home with joy— from the aqua-col­ored sea-glass bou­quet he bears in his beak to the flow­ers still at­tached to the bough he rests on.

2. Hang a nat­u­ral lucky charm any­where you choose, from a hook or like a pre­cious pen­dant around your neck. Inga painted this cross-sec­tion of a tree bough with sev­eral pretty stems ac­com­pa­nied by a turquoise heart-shaped sea-glass flower. She drilled a hole in the top of the wood round and threaded a length of sturdy twine through.

3. This neu­tral-toned paint­ing/col­lage on wood brings peace and seren­ity home, with real wa­ter-smoothed beach stones and painted leaves that to­gether sug­gest del­i­cate wild flow­ers.

4. Add green­ery to your home in more ways than one. This paint­ing on wood de­picts three green, perky suc­cu­lents in pots made of light-green or turquoise sea glass. 5. Inga’s sooth­ing painted gar­den col­lage will bring a smile to ev­ery face. On the white-painted wood, three branches with translu­cent aqua-col­ored sea-glass blos­soms dance grace­fully with sprightly leaves painted pink and turquoise. This calm pas­tel image for all sea­sons is framed with a ter­ra­cotta-painted bor­der.

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