Style: realism, impressionism
Favorite Quote: "The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!" (Mark Rothko)
Favorite Books: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Personal Knowledge by Michael Polanyi
Favorite Movies: Amelie, Back to the Future.
Terminal Station - 2013, oil on canvas, 20x20 cm
When I was a child I loved to draw with blue pen all kinds of spaceships and cars, so my parents decided that I should go at art school. I didn’t like to draw at school. Artworks “on the theme” were boring to me. And I didn’t like to paint still-lifes and plaster heads, also I couldn’t be proud of my works. After school I was going back home and draw there what I really love: spaceships, for example. But at the ten year of school a new teacher appeared in my life – Daniil Timoshenko, and for the first time I began to get satisfaction of what I was doing. I got excited about painting.
Around the same time my passion for music encouraged my admiration of composers who created it. I was thinking: “What a great man – Beethoven! He wrote his Moonlight Sonata and after two hundred years it still appeals to people, they experience it, and they feel good. He has done something good for all people, something really valuable.” Then I decided that I must create something like the composers did, something that would have the same value as their music. That would give a meaning to my life. But instead of music I happen to have painting.
This is how I became a painter.
Please tell us about your first experience creating.
I do not remember it. Probably, it was very long time ago. But I still have drawing “Daddy’s having a haircut in church”, drawn with blue pen in the exercise book. My parents say that this is made on impression of trip to my grandmother who was very religious.
“Bloom”, 2013, oil on canvas on hardboard, 30x20.5 cm
What music do you like to have playing while creating art?
I love lots of different music. I choose it for the desire to hear it. This desire comes like a need, like a hunger. I do not experience things like finding myself beating out a rhythm with the brush on the canvas. I don’t think that the music influences the final result of the work. It’s more like the mood determines the music than the music determines the mood.
If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?
I am working as a researcher at the Institute of Art Education. Also I am teaching to paint children and grown-up children. I am playing the guitar in L. T. Shumeev’s ensemble “The Silver strings”. It is one of the oldest amateur ensembles in Russia, if not the oldest, which is why it’s made it into the record books of Russia. It founded in 1957 and is performing classical repertoire alongside with the pieces of contemporary composers. The rehearsals have a healing and protective effect on me. Every rehearsal, in a wonderful way, soothes my anxieties and worries. And, for sure, the people from the ensemble are a huge part of that.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
It’s always different. I suppose that main quality of every art is expressiveness. Expressiveness can be contained inside completely different qualities. Sometimes I just like something and I want to mark it and to share it. Sometimes something makes me worry and to express it is interesting for me. It can be any of my subjective states and the objective reality, perceived by me. It’s paradoxical that people begin to draw in childhood without thinking and only after they invent (or discover) an excuse for this. As a result artists appear who try to convince everybody that their goal is to reveal or to discover through their pictures the secret code of the existence or something like this. Some people suddenly realize that the painting should reflect the beauty of the nature. And they begin to evaluate everybody by the criteria which exists only in their views and, probably, in like-minded persons. They begin to convince everybody that this evaluation is infallible and objective.
For me painting – is a means of expression. I realize that I am the one who is choosing what I want to express with it and how I will do this. I like to travel so today I express something by the image of landscape. If tomorrow I realize that I can express something by abstract painting I will paint an abstract painting. It’s like to speak Russian today in prose and to speak tomorrow in Japanese poetry. It doesn’t mean that any way is bad, they are just different. In this way I consider myself as an anarchist.
“Byala”, 2012, oil on hardboard canvas, 16.5x30 cm
Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion:
It’s happens in absolutely different ways. Sometimes, driven by an idea or my mood, I choose the subject and paint it from the nature, altering it so that it would express what I am planning. Sometimes I just choose the nature, and a mood and an idea suggest me subject and the way it should be made. Sometimes I know what subject I am going to paint but do not know with which mood or for what goal I will paint it, and, while I am working with the nature, I alter it in accordance with the idea or mood.
If I paint a study it can be transformed into a big work later. Sometimes the desire to turn the study into a big work appears while I’m still painting the study. Sometimes, after working on a study for some time, the thought appears: “Hm, probably, I could paint from this a big picture”. Sometimes at the beginning I have the desire to paint a big picture on the theme and then I make a study material, which I use in the creation of big work.
The method of painting and the expressive language completely depend on my abilities and the goals.
What things inspire you to create art?
Manifold. Often it’s paintings of other artists.
"Neutief" 2010, oil on canvas on hardboard, 29.5x20 cm
What exhibitions have you had?
The most important for me were an exhibition in Romania and two participations in the Moscow International Art Salon
Have you sold any of your artworks? How?
I have sold works at exhibitions and through acquaintances.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
For the beginning I made a site with my pictures.
I am not only publishing my paintings on my site but I have also began to write about their creation, about what is there behind the word “art”. I want not only to show the paintings for the viewer, but also to answer their questions: what I am doing? Why did I paint a picture like this and not in another way? How does the creative process actually happen? Why I do something as strange as painting? What is interesting in that? What do I feel when I am painting? What are the places depicted in my paintings and why? Why is painting something important, valuable? In some way I am occupied with the popularization of painting (in a good sense), tuning the viewer’s perception.
Also I am trying to get accustomed with the social networks as they give an opportunity to show my works to the people who will be interested in them but never will see them by some other way.
Tell us about influences.
My biggest influences were Daniil Timoshenko and Alexey Timoshenko – they were my teachers, and Andrew Wyeth
Please recommend another artist you admire, and tell us a little about them:
Alexey Timoshenko and Daniil Timoshenko – father and son. My first impression of painting is connected with the color in their works. I was astonished how the combination of violet and green form the pure blue color of the sky.
Andrew Wyeth. I never saw his works by my own eyes. I am able only to see them on the reproductions. But the reproductions make impression on me. I perceive his works as music, experience them. I like as every expressive detail in his painting works on the disclosure of the holistic image of the artwork. There is no naive grotesque in his artworks. The artworks form develops into the versatile content, that’s why they are real for me. They are plastic like music.
Joseph Zbukvic. I am amazed by his ability to create such situation in which the material paints by itself what the author needs. When one sees how he is painting, one feels like the watercolor is painting instead of artist. And it is also so amazing when all this watercolor’s blots and spots form thus much convincing and exact images! And every image happened to be in the right place! I can imagine how much work is standing behind this lightness.
“Rapeseed”, 2013, oil on canvas, 50x60 cm
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
If I would live the life from the beginning again, I would try to prevent those things which were painful for me and those who are close to me. I would begin to study music earlier. And I wouldn’t do several deeds that I am ashamed of.
What plans do you have for the future of your art?
Ideally I would like to travel over the world and to paint, and to paint for a sufficient time.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
I am convinced that the desire and work can compensate the lack of talent. One should try and one will gain the result. And if there is a talent, all the more, one should make use of it.
Also it seems important for me to not to judge anyone by my own taste and not to think that if I do not like something that it is bad. Probably I just do not understand this or do not know about this. It is better to try to understand it.
Academic Anarchism by Artist Daniil Belov