Marin Gruia - winter landscapes

Landscapes are one of my dad's major sources of inspiration. He makes sketches when he goes fishing, when he travels around the country with my mom, when he explores the surrounding of their mountain cabin in the Apuseni. As it is the right season, here are a couple of his winter landscapes, reflecting Transylvanian nature and his own sensitivity. You can check and like his Facebook page - Marin Gruia - as well and his website in Romanian - www.gruiamarin.ro

These paintings are created in two of his favorite techniques, oil on canvas and pastel on paper.
Winter landscape, pastel on paper © Marin Gruia

Winter on canvas, pastel on paper © Marin Gruia

Winter landscape, oil on canvas © Marin Gruia

Winter landscape, oil on canvas © Marin Gruia

Winter landscape, oil on canvas © Marin Gruia


50% OFF contact relics of Goddess Gruia

As previously seen, a move of my art studio is planned to happen until February next year, so my Etsy Shop Goddess Gruia is having a great discount of 50% for all art work. This includes the two linocuts that are contact relics - touched by the goddess herself in her Sancta Sanctorum - aka the studio. Have these images in your home, at great prices, and enjoy all the benefits: 
you will love and accept yourself, with a touch of self-irony, naturally. You will feel peaceful and curious, creative and forgiving. You will never be able to draw a straight line, but OCD shall never touch you. You will feel like visiting history of pharmacy museum and starting small creative businesses. You will work hard for small money, but that shall not dampen your spirits. You will never be promoted, but the world will seem a happier place nonetheless. Pray to the goddess and your tile stove shall never malfunction and the world will generally seem a happier place!
Read more about the goddess HERE

Linocut, original print, contemporary printmaking art "Goddess Gruia in Transylvanian mandorla", contact relic

Linocut, original print, contemporary art, conceptual "Goddess Gruia - cult image", contact relic, black-and-white


Transylvanian Trove

I have just opened a brand new Etsy Shop called the Transylvanian Trove. It sells design and vintage fashion accessories and jewelry pieces from Transylvania, Romania, in an attempt to promote the creativity of the region's people at affordable prices. Unlike my other Etsy shops - Goddess Gruia - selling my own art works - and the Proper Leather Studio - selling our family's handmade leather products - this shop is an experiment in marketing as well, with a different approach - low prices, good quality products and following the painstaking indications for Etsy selling. Let's see how it goes!

The Transylvanian Trove includes brooches, pins, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, some created and worn during communist Romania, other a bit more recent, created by participants at the first art fairs I have organized in my home town of Cluj-Napoca (the heart of Transylvania). Here are some of the items in my shop:

Cat brooch, cat and fish bone, original handmade brooch, black cat, vintage brooch, metal accessories, designed in Transylvania, Romania

Leather earrings, round earrings, handmade jewelry, natural colors, natural leather, metal hangers, made in Transylvania, Romania

Organic bead necklace, handmade necklace, vintage necklace, jewelry from Communist Romania, retro gift for her, ecofriendly jewelry

Lot of 25 vintage metal pins, collection of pins from different countries, fashion accessories, collectibles, traveling souvenirs


50% OFF acrylic paintings - Goddess Gruia Etsy Shop

As previously seen, a move of my art studio is planned to happen until February next year, so my Etsy Shop Goddess Gruia is having a great discount of 50% for all art works - paintings, linocut prints and collages. In a previous post I have listed the linocuts and today the category in focus is that of the acrylic paintings.

 Acrylic painting, landscape, contemporary art, "Medieval architecture on Buda Hill, Budapest" Central-Eastern Europe

 Miniature painting, original acrylic painting, contemporary art "Medieval Town Hall of Brasov, Transylvania"

 Contemporary art, original acrylic painting, wall art, Mediterranean scene, unique art, "Laundry"

 Original acrylic painting, contemporary miniature, gold leaf, "Goden network" medieval architecture from Transylvania

 Acrylic on canvas, original painting "Return home"; mixed technique: linocut print, acrylic painting, collage, contemporary, ready to hang

 Contemporary art, original acrylic painting on canvas; "Medieval story", mixed technique painting, linocut, acrylic, collage art

 Art collage, original painting, mixed technique (linocut, collage, acrylic on canvas), "Life in the city", ready to hang, European painting



50% OFF artworks - Goddess Gruia Etsy Shop

I plan to move my art studio in the next couple of months, so less artworks to move shall be a plus. I have therefore introduced a unique discount for all items in my Etsy Shop - Goddess Gruia - using the coupon code "STUDIOMOVE", available until February 2017. Rush to see all paintings, linocuts and collages!

The shop is structured according to several categories and the discount applies to all of them:


Original art print, hand pulled linocut, limited edition, "The orchestra" - musical instruments, home decor

 Linocut, contemporary printmaking, "Geometric bouquet", original art, still life, flowers, unique wall decoration

Original linocut, history-inspired print, Draco, the Dacian wolf standard, ancient symbol, contemporary art, printmaking, black-and-white

Artistic nude, erotic art, linocut, original print, contemporary art "Venus pudica", gift for men, decorative art

Linocut, original contemporary print, large wall art, "Pharmaceutical jars from ancient apothecaries in Transylvania"

 Linocut print, Transylvanian hatching dragon, "Ovo" - original art, one of a kind artwork, unframed, inspired by Harry Potter

 Linocut work depicting the old apothecary shop in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, "The Hintz House" - original linocut print, historical monument



Handmade leather bracelets/cuffs

The Proper Leather Studio of Cluj-Napoca, Romania (selling via Etsy) produces fully handmade leather goods such as wallets and bracelets/cuffs. Among the latter, one successful type consists of such fashion accessories with tooled and hand-dyed decoration depicting the Draco. The ancient war standard, an iconic symbol of the Dacian civilization, is very popular in Romania and among Romanians all over the world.
Here are couple of variants of the cuff type and the season greetings from the proper Leather Studio. Merry Christmas! 
Do not forget about the 10% Etsy discount coupon that applies until the end of this year!


Egyptian Collection in Cluj-Napoca

One of the collections of the National History Museum of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca consists of several dozens of ancient Egyptian artifacts and nineteenth-century gypsum replicas of Egyptian famous sculptures made by the Brucianni&co Company that also sold to the British Museum such replicas.
The most valuable artifact among the lot is the mummy and painted sarcophagus of a woman, but there are also animal mummies and mummified organs (lungs, phaluses, hand), ushabtis glazed faience statuettes, Djed amulets and several other artifacts.
The Egyptian collection is not currently on display, as the museum is under renovation for several years, but the new exhibition envisages a special hall to present these exotic patrimony goods.


Marin Gruia - watercolors

Though Marin Gruia's favorite techniques are oil and pastel, he has recently developed an interest in watercolor and the results are quite interesting, in the way his particular pastel-color, sensitive landscapes are adapted to the new medium.
© Marin Gruia

© Marin Gruia

© Marin Gruia

© Marin Gruia


The Alchemist's Midnight Dance

One of the mix technique miniatures I have created this year is entitled The Alchemist's Midnight Dance and combines linocut prints on paper, acrylic colors, golden leaf and incision on canvas. It is part of the gold foil experiments I have described before, attempting to provide a higher contrast for the gold through a darken background.
Though the composition is less central, I do like the overall mix, with tiny details, different textures and various techniques.
For more works by Ana Maria Gruia, aka Goddess Gruia, visit the website, the Etsy shop - reduction coupon available till the end of 2016 - and the Facebook page.

"The alchemist's midnight dance" acrylic on canvas painting by Ana Maria Gruia

detail of "The alchemist's midnight dance"- linocut, collage, gold foil

detail of "The alchemist's midnight dance"- linocut fragment


Marin Gruia's new Facebook page

As a Christmas surprise I have created a brand new Facebook page for my father, an established painter from Romania, whose computer-using skills are just not up to speed with the task. So I am turning manager and present you the beautiful, sensitive, classical-looking landscapes and flowers, in oil and pastel, of Marin Gruia from Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Feel free to like the page and contribute to the surprise!
And read more about dad's work HERE.

Current status of Marin Gruia's Facebook art page

Marin Gruia, Flowers, oil on canvas, 2016


New shamanic necklaces

Earlier this year I have created the first "shaman necklaces", pieces of design jewelry inspired by the loud and functional historical pieces worn ceremonially. As they have been successful, I have just completed the lot with two more such creations, color-themed (in light blue and orange). The pieces of statement jewelry are available at atelierul de istorie.

Shaman necklace: glazed pottery, semi-precious stone, coral, bronze, leather

Shaman necklace: bone, bronze, leather, raku, semi-precious stone

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Medical equipment collection poster

Museum patrimony and collections from Romania will be presented in 2017 through a poster exhibition organized in Sibiu by the Brukenthal Museum. The "Pompiliu Manea" collection of medical equipment in display in the Hintz House in Cluj besides the history of pharmacy collection is one of the topics of such posters created by the specialists of the National History Museum of Transylvania.
I have presented the collection HERE.
And details of one of the items, an artificial breathing machine, HERE.


Animals that heal exhibition

The official poster is now ready!
Animals that heal is the next temporary exhibition at the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca. Visitors will be able to explore the curious history of animal ingredients used in the apothecary shops of old between January 2nd and June 30th 2017.
Recommended for both adults and kids in the location of the oldest pharmacy in town, in Unirii Square 28.


Labyrinth through time

There will be lots of action in 2017 at Camp Virtus, as Virtus Antiqua has been granted funding for a special project. "Labyrinth through time" [Romanian: Labirint prin timp] consists of two parts - weekends of experimental archaeology workshops with families of volunteers at the camp near Cluj-Napoca and a reenactment event when an actual labyrinth shall spring out over a good hectares of land on the same location. The cultural project benefits from funding from the National Cultural Fund Administration of the Romanian government in the Cultural Patrimony section. The initiative also has the support of several NGOs from Cluj-Napoca and several media partners.
 Keep in touch, at www.campvirtus.ro, for more news on the topic!


My first linocut prints

I started experimenting with linoleum in 2007, at a time when proper materials could not be found in Romania. I first used post-Communist industrial linoleum, uneven and very thin, often carving right through it and getting my fingers all dirty. I think dirty fingers inspired me to simplify the reduction method by applying different color inks over different portions of the plate and printing it just once. Another approximation was due to the absence of a printing press, so I obtained, for the sake of art, my grandmother's old, solid spoon, once used to clean my diapers (aka pieces of cloth) and then for her terrace gardening. I still use it for small prints because I have perfect control in pressing the paper against the linocut plate.
Despite all these primitive tools and methods, I am still proud of my first linos and discovered that some of the effects I was obtaining then cannot be reproduced with proper art linoleum plates, V-shaped tools and printing press.

Holy women - linocut print

Presentation of the Virgin - linocut print

Urbanscape - linocut print