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Hi, welcome to heART earned skills. 

My name is Irena Kolbuszewska.

You're about to find out about my journey as a painter.


And why heART earned skills? This nickname reflects that as much as I put a lot of work to continually improve my skills and grow as an artist, 

I have always believed that you enjoy a lot more the results of your work 
if they are heart-earned instead of "hard-earned". 

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Irena z obrazem.jpg

My Story

I’m a painter, Urban and Virtual Sketch Artist, located in Poznań, Poland. I do both drawings and paintings of birds, flowers, landscapes and architecture. This site has been created for the love of arts, nature, and travelling.

The combination of these three has allowed me to develop my personal style, offer a unique perspective and share what I have in common with my viewers: creativity, imagination, sensitivity, empathy, curiosity and a sense of rediscovery of places, people and other living creatures.


I have lived in Poland, Canada, Finland and France and each of these places has influenced my art in its own way.

During my first short visit in Finland at the age of 10, I started copying Donald Duck characters and at the end of my stay I received my first oil pastels. It was a significant gift as these kinds of pastels were nowhere to be found in the communist Poland of the 1980s, undergoing a deep recession.


I started attending extracurricular art classes and drawing from imagination. My use of colours drew the attention of some Fine Arts students. However, at the age of 14 I gave up any artistic activities convinced that I only had "temporary skills" as if they had reached some sort of expiry date. 

I didn't think I would ever go back to it until my third year of studies. In 1998, I was on an exchange program in France (one of the best years of my life). While visiting Paris, I felt an irresistible urge to draw a street lamp in front of the Sacre Coeur church. That was enough to reignite my deeply buried passion and I have never given up on it since. 

I am largely an  autodidact, however, I also pursed a university Visual Arts course during one semester and took some private classes for about a year while living, studying and working in Canada. 

In 2002, I moved back to Poland and I attended a private art school from 2013 to 2016. I also participated in some workshops live and online. 

Since 2015 I've been an active member of a growing Urban Sketcher movement and in 2020 I joined the so-called "Virtual Sketch" groups, which allowed me to travel virtually with the help of Google Street View and sketch different places all over the world in the middle of the pandemic (we do both paintings and drawings). 

Besides architecture and landscape, I love painting or drawing birds and flowers. My favourite techniques include watercolour, pen and ink, dry pastels and crayons or a combination of these. 

My objective is to make my subject come alive and enable it to communicate with my viewers. I strive to express the beauty of life despite the hardships each one of us may have experienced. My viewers, fans and clients have many times testified that my works bring them a sense of harmony and peace. 

I encourage you to have a look at my works. For further information or purchase of any of my works (originals or reproductions), you can contact me at or through my Instagram page: 


I'm looking forward to your feedback and I'll gladly answer any questions you may have. 

Instagram: heart_earned_skills

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