From Russia with Love


I’m painfully slow, but this painting took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Due to its scale I used a pin to paint quite a bit of the background (St. Basil’s Cathedral –  a building I’ve always had a crush on). Partially inspired by ‘From Russia with Love‘ and instant film  it seems pretty cool that 1963 was significant in the history of both… (according to my… um… ‘research department’, anyway).

Tatiana Romanova: “The mechanism is… Oh James, James… Will you make love to me all the time in England?”

James Bond: “Day and night. Go on about the mechanism.”

Daniela Bianchi & Sean Connery – From Russia with Love

About this image: acrylic painting on 16″x16″ MDF panel – ‘faux photo frame’ built from 1/2″w x 1/16″d wood strips, textured by pressing window screen into coat of molding paste, painted & distressed with acrylic – ‘date-stamp’ is a gel medium transfer of digital text


95 thoughts on “From Russia with Love

  1. Well, yes, Robert, I dare say painting with a pin (a pin!) would slow anyone down. And who cares how long it takes when you come up with such fabulous things?
    Oh. Maybe you do. 🙂

    I love this one, Robert, and I had a good chuckle at the Bond quote. 😀

    • It’s funny… because I’m always slow. But I’ve got this clock in my head when I’ve been working on a project for much longer than a month or so. It’s not that I don’t enjoy working on something that long… more that I can’t help but thinking it’s just taking me too long and I’m not getting as much done as I should be, I guess.
      Hahaha… there were some other quotes that might have fit the scene a bit better, but that just seemed… so… ‘retro’ in a way… and it gave me a pretty good snort-laugh myself, so I couldn’t help myself.

      • Love this one . You captured the time & place beautifully. A pin you say, just oh my. Well it is a good thing you were not doing this on the ceiling. 🙂
        Tatiana Romanova: “Ah, yes the mechanism. It is very delicate James and you must pull the pin out very slowly. If not, the result could be disastrous to the free world.”

        -from the deleted scene. 😀

        • You are always incredibly kind, sir… thank you so very much!
          Hahaha… there might have been a few minutes where I thought I was being driven up the wall… it’s kind of funny I didn’t wind up on the ceiling!
          Hahaha… another reason I’m not a secret agent… a painted pin is enough pressure for me!

  2. This is just terrific. I love the colors — especially the blue scarf against the darker colors of the domes.
    I like my cathedrals shaken, not stirred. Or…something like that.
    Have a great day, SIG!

    • The colors are pretty wild, aren’t they?! It’s kind of funny… looking back it seems like I should have been drawn to the simpler, golden domed buildings more (considering my ‘typical’ color favorites), but I’ve just always been fascinated by this building. It’s always the first image that comes to mind when I think ‘Moscow’… (maybe that’s just because I’ve never been there, though)!
      Hahaha… of courssssssssse! Thank you so much, Ms. C! I hope you have a great one as well!

    • Hahaha… I used to yell at my screen all the time… I’ve had to cut back, though… it’s started to get back at me in all kinds of frustrating OLD technology kind of ways!
      Thank you very much, Ms. N!

  3. I was thinking the same thing – a pin?! But definitely worth the effort! wjat a great piece.
    this brings back memories of a visit to Moscow back in 1985 with a tour group, when Gorbachev had just come into power. we were there for the may day parade.
    being in the USSR, or the CCCP according to their alphabet, was an odd thing. beautiful, mind you, but very odd. it was an unspoken sentiment that many of us in the group did not actually voice until we left the country some two weeks later, that we never felt as if we could say anything without the sense that somebody was listening.
    i guess it didn’t help that in our hotel room there was a radio that didn’t work, and another metal box in one of the closets with a red light on it that didn’t seem to have any other function than being there. and that the first night there was a knock on our door after midnight and when we asked who was there – through the locked door – somebody responded in broken English with the word ‘illegal’.
    don’t know how much i slept that first night…..
    later in the tour there was a visit to Red Square and an impressive view of St Basil’s, a place that has fascinated me since. it was a windy day, and all the flags were in place in the square in preparation of May Day, and the wind whipped through them, and they echoed like shots of gunfire throughout the place.
    oops, not my blog. but these memories have all come tumbling back with your beautiful work of art. thanks for sharing.

    • Why thank you, P&K! Very much!

      I have to say that sounds fascinating! The cold war was a little bit before my time, but I think all that history makes Russia seem all the more fascinating. I mean, political ideologies aside, people are people… you just kind of wonder what it’s like ‘over there’ when all along there was this mutual fear, you know?

      Anyway, Russia is very high-up on my places of ‘wanna’ visits’! Whenever I see a travel show about it, I’m hooked. Such a wide range of architecture, too! From the ‘how can this get any colder?’ to the unbelievably ornate (and everything in between). All of it beautiful in it’s own way.

      Not at all, P&K! A fascinating story! Thank you so very much for telling me about that visit!!!

  4. It’s Bond! I love this, SIG! It was worth the time, and I imagine it was for you, too, since you have such a crush on this building. I love all the color. She seems rather cool, compared to the bright, warm building. Beautiful job 🙂

    • Hahaha… yeah… I couldn’t help myself!
      I certainly don’t mind spending a long time on a project (if I’m not working on something I get all stir-crazy), but I have this timer in my head… two months or over I start to worry that I’m just not getting enough done… it’s kind of difficult to find that comfortable ‘balance’.
      Thank you very much, B.F!

        • Thank you for your kind thoughts, B.F! Today I started a drawing which should be a much shorter-term project… I’m thinking finding a balance between the two might be best (of course I’m also trying to narrow down my list of ideas & pick out my next painting project too, of course – I think I’ve got it down to about a dozen or so… at the moment, anyway)!

  5. Amazing what you’ve done with this, Sig. I once a saw and ink drawing of something similar that I wanted to try my hand at, but no luck…not yet anyway! 😉
    Have a great week! 🙂

  6. This is absolutely awesome my great friend 🙂
    The styling and uniqueness makes this a one
    in a million piece of art and thank you for adding
    this one 🙂 It is truly outstanding SIG 🙂

    Hey get clicking on the invite that I sent to you or
    you will never get into my New Space, well unless
    you click on this comment of course and then you
    can request access 🙂

    I hope that I will be seeing see you soon…


    • Thank you for your kindness, sir! As always! And um… speaking of which…
      I might have to click on that ‘request access’ because I’m afraid I managed to loose the invite somehow (when my inbox gets full I have a tendency to accidentally delete WordPress notifications because I get so ‘lost’ in it all… sorry about that!) I was wondering what had happened to my link! Off to request access!

  7. Really neat! The cathedral in the background looks perfect, but the face is so good, too. And I love the style you’ve done it in.

    • That is wonderful to hear, Mary! Thank you so much for your kindness!
      Hahaha… yeah… well… parts, anyway. The majority was done with a brush, but, still.. the pin parts took their share of the time.

  8. I love this painting! I’ve been looking at a lot of art recently and this is nothing like anything I’ve come across – very 60’s – and well worth your many hours of hard work!
    Suzy 😀

    • Why thank you! That is very kind of you to say! And for all the complaining I do, I really did have a lot of fun with it! I was just afraid for a time that I might never get anything else done!

    • It’s funny… I stare at these things they kind of get burned into my brain and I kind of start to wonder sometimes…
      so it was very, very nice to hear that, Astra! Thank you so very much, sir!

    • I had a hunch it wasn’t just me!
      Thanks so much, Megan – I thought this angle made for a more ‘snapshotish’ feel…
      (and I liked that it’s not the sort of thing you typically see).

  9. I am just calling in to see what you
    are getting up to this evening SIG 🙂 lol
    Here it is already -5 and getting colder
    with a big chance of snow again at the
    weekend, ahhh never mind Fraz will be
    giving me some snowball aiming lessons
    and a few snow boarding trials so who
    cares 🙂 lol Have fun this evening SIG 🙂


    • I’ve gotten to be kind of a wimp about winter (which is sad, because where I grew-up I think they are expected to have a high temperature of about -20 without windchill and that kind of thing isn’t all that rare). At this point when it’s below 60 degrees outside I start to complain! Is it spring yet?!

  10. Great artwork Robert. It could be one of your best but then all your stuff fits into the extremely good category.
    Since I was born in 1950 I lived through the entire cold war and it actually heated up a few times. I can even remember the bomb drills where we would get under our desk and place our hands over our heads. I think maybe that was so our hair wouldn’t get messed up while we were being incinerated.
    Thanks to good old President Reagan who had the nerve to say, “Tear down that wall.” things got better.
    Again, great piece of art.

    • I guess sometimes I catch myself thinking life might have been a bit ‘simpler’ a few years ago… but stuff like this reminds me that we always have our ‘stuff’ to go through. I can imagine that must have been a pretty terrifying thing to experience as a kid (makes me nervous just thinking about it now – and I know how it turned out, too)!
      Thank you so much, Bo… your great kindness means a lot to me!

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