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  • Writer's pictureIrena Kolbuszewska

Artistic Coffee Break with Anna Liwia Strutyńska (Anee Dove Art)

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Artistic Coffee Break - English through Art - Anee Dove Art (Anna Liwia Strutyńska)

This post is divided into the following sections:

1. Who is Anna Liwia Strutyńska

2. My first impression of her works

3. Urban Sketching requirements

4. Analysis of some of Anna’s works You will also find a short vocabulary section at the end of this post for words or expressions marked in italics.

Anna Liwia Strutyńska, is the author of ... many fascinating works, but especially a series of sketches called “Katoszkice” (a combination of “Katowice” – one of major Polish cities and “szkice” – sketches) and “Magiczne Miasta” (Magic Cities). More often than not, you might come across her brand name “Anee Dove Art”. Anna is a Polish illustrator, watercolourist, Urban Sketcher and painter from Poland, living in Chorzów, close to Katowice, in the Silesia region.

I don’t remember exactly when I saw her works for the first time. But I’m sure I was fascinated right away, as I still am, by her paintings and sketches where everyday, well known objects and architectural elements become surreal and yet believable, where magic permeates our otherwise mundane world.

Ania is also an Urban Sketcher. To be able to call yourself an Urban Sketcher, you have to paint or draw live, whatever you see in front of you and depict the scene the way it really is or the way you see it with your own eyes. Yet, even though it’s hard to deny that her urban sketches do reflect reality, I also find there is something magical about them. They are lively, colourful, dynamic. I find it so refreshing to look at them, for example, after a particularly long day.

I chose a couple of examples of her works. I can’t even say these are my favourite works, there are too many of them to be analyzed in detail. However, I’d like to show you just some of them to give you an idea of her style.

So this is Nikiszowiec, architecturewise it’s one of the most fascinating places in Katowice. It’s a place really worth visiting just the way it actually is. In this painting, it gains a unique dimension. I love the way the paint flows freely on the paper, I’m drawn by the the contrast of darks and lights, of warm and cold colours. Two extremely dark marks guide our eyes towards the centre, the focal point of the painting. You can see umbrellas floating casually in the air.

You will most likely notice that the sky, the ground and the surrounding architecture are painted with saturated, intense, lively colours, while the umbrellas are left almost entirely blank, except for a few delicate brushstrokes suggesting shadows. These light areas help accentuate the atmosphere of this place and its beautiful architecture. In addition, we can notice some commonly used “special effects” such as so called “cauliflowers”. This technique may be used quite frequently by painters, nevertheless, it’s not that simple. You need to use it skillfully to achieve desired results. All these aspects combined together create something unforgettable.

This painting is called “Equilibrists” and it shows Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Again, the first thing we notice is this fascinating mixture of well documented architecture and dreamy-like silhouettes, soap bubbles or round snowflakes flying in the air. The use of extremely lively, saturated colours, the contrast between warm yellow and red and cold blue and purple hues, the presence of a ghost-tram without any passengers or a driver visible inside contribute to the magical aura of the place.

The tram is used by the equilibrists as a starting point to practise and show their tricks. A moon (or could it be THE moon we all observe every night in the sky?) is hanging on a rope. The moon is left completely blank, there is no colour added. This kind of highlight creates a great contract with the background, the dark façade of one of the tenement buildings on the right.

Let’s explore some other paintings where similar techniques and effects are used and where you can often see some unexpected objects or guests:

Tenement Building (Katoszkice series)

Music from Outer Space – Gdańsk

Chapel on the Water, Ojców

Silesian Museum #2 (Katoszkice series)

The last painting is called “Łódź podwodna” which is an example of wordplay. In Polish “Łódź” means both a city (its name) and a boat and “podwodna” means “underwater”, so basically we can translate the title either as “Submarine” or “The City of Łódź Under Water”. The city actually has a boat in its coat of arms. The picture seems so surreal, yet I can imagine myself walking right into it and entering a completely different world.

Finally, I would like to show you some pictures painted live, a mixture of journaling and Urban Sketching. Some people write a diary, others prefer to express their impressions by drawing or painting what they see and experience once in a while or on a daily basis.

Flowers in Jadzia’s Garden

My Favourite Kind of Coffee

Opole, Urban Sketching

So what is your impression of Anna Liwia Strutyńska aka. Anee Dove? Do her works catch your attention? Does her visual imagery appeal to you? Does the mood of her paintings encourage you to explore them even more? Please let me know in the comments and make sure to visit

Vocabulary section:

... magic permeates our otherwise mundane world – To permeate means to penetrate something, to be present everywhere. Magic penetrates our world, so we can see it everywhere, otherwise our world would seem ordinary, the way it always is.

... depict the scene the way it really is – To depict something means to describe something using words or pictures.

Cauliflowers (or backruns) – Special effects created when you drop a bit of clean water on still wet paint.

The paint flows freely on the paper – The paint moves freely on the paper.

I’m drawn by the the contrast of darks and lights - I’m attracted by the contrast of darks and lights. This contrast catches my attention.

The focal point of the painting – The most important, interesting or attractive part of the painting.

Saturated colours – Very intense colours.

Brushstrokes – Marks left on a surface by the movement of a brush.

Blue and purple hues – Shades of blue and purple

Tenement buildings – Large buildings in a city containing several apartments or flats

Does her visual imagery appeal to you? – Imagery is a set of objects that represent an idea. Does her visual imagery appeal to you? Do you find it interesting or attractive?

If you are passionate about art or storytelling and you would like to enrich your language learning story, make the language learning process more interesting and enjoyable, please contact me at or DM me.