Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I took art classes throughout my high school years in Russia and Canada. My mother was an artist in Russia so she taught me how to paint, mostly watercolors, at home as well. Once we moved to Canada in 1991 I was busy studying English, French and just keeping up with my school home works so art was forgotten until recently. For my higher education I chose Bachelor of Commerce, once I graduated and worked about 5 years it started to be less fulfilling and rewarding so I turned back to arts. I started to paint again, first still life with watercolors, some experiments with abstract, later I took few mixed media, abstract art classes at Algonquin College which taught me a lot about techniques and materials to use. Right now I am thinking to take more courses on part time basis and maybe eventually obtain Certificate in Creative Arts.
What is the style of your pieces: My pieces are mostly in expressionism style. I also did some in cubism and abstract but for now and it might change later I find expressionism is best suited for me. I love the freedom and how quickly I can transfer my feelings to the canvas. I also did an experiment or how can I say new way of painting, I took few colors that I wanted to use, stood in front of canvas, closed my eyes and just painted, poured, smudged, dripped paints on the canvas after all painting is an expression of our feelings and best way to connect with your inner self is by relaxing, closing my eyes and listening to my inner self. Final product was painting called Number 2. I love it!!!
What is the medium in which you work: I use acrylics most of the time. I really enjoy working with acrylics on canvas, the way the colors blend together and the drying time is nice too. Sometimes I might add watercolors for softer, transparent effects. I use several different tools to paint with and I usually find new tools to use just out of curiosity. There is no limit to the possibilities in creations. Trying new techniques is the best advice I could give to another artist. Most of the time my canvases are on the floor and I work around them, throwing paint.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Art allows me express myself. During the day I work as internal auditor, not very creative, exiting job but once I come home I want to do something fun, create something beautiful just to let myself free and careless in front of my canvas. I play different kind of music when I paint, depends on my mood and it influences what colors I will use and the finished product. Art brought some color and excitement in my life!!!
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Beside expressionism I also like impressionism. I like soft feel and not clearly defined objects that appear in this kind of paintings. In every paintings there is something left to imagination, something unfinished and undefined ..this is what attracts me.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I participated in few art shows/art events. At first I was nervous since abstract art is open to interpretation and judgement much more than classical art but now I am used to it, used to idea that not every one will like or understand my pieces.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: I have few sets of old shirts and pants…since I throw paint on canvas it can become very messy and most of the time it gets on me as well I have to replace clothes quite often, just throw them out and get something new.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Ottawa, Canada where I live right now is not very big city therefore we have only few art galleries and only few art events per year. I find it difficult to get exposure here. Also our summers are short so we have only 3 months for street art sales, different outdoor events that I can participate in. I also think patience is very important and not forget the main reason why I paint…just because I love it.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Anything spicy. I love spicy things, it gives such a flavor and hot feeling in my mouth.
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: I would say changes in my life. I want to allocate more time for me, for art, study art more, learn new techniques, met new people in art circles, attend more art events, travel and see art in other corners of the world. We are all so busy and caught up in daily routine but I think it is very important to find time for our self, to do what we love, our hobbies.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Jackson Pollock
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I don’t have any animals but at my father’s house, from where I moved about 6 months ago, we have a black cat, named Spookie. I love using black color in my paintings…maybe it is because of the black Spookie. When I was living at my father’s house he used to sit on the stairs to the basement where I was painting and watch me in action.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: Just recently I send my portfolio to numerous galleries in Ottawa and Montreal, waiting for responses. I had few showing last fall and summer time.