Artist Statement

Artist Statement

quotes-01Life experiences are what I draw on when I have to express myself in painting. As simple as a walk in nature, picking up sticks or weeds, incites me to create a painting, seeing color and form in new ways and giving honor to the Creator of our universe. In spite of the darkness we experience on our journey through life, be it caused by repressive governments stifling our creativity or diseases we suffer along our path, I always try to seek out the light — the hope we need to conquer despair. Color brings me joy and drive to create an image on canvas which lets my soul sing.

Nina Magness, self portraitMusic is another inspiration for me to “compose” on canvas. The challenge to find ways to paint which creates a harmonic unit in a frame is exciting. Like an opera where the voice alone is not enough but instruments of orchestra added — the word, the scenery, costumes and movement of people must unite to make a statement to justify the composer — so it is with painting. Combine textures, brush strokes, form and lines, colors to calm or add tension until a unit emerges with which the artist finds fulfillment of his goals.

Inspiration too comes to me from political or spiritual convictions I gained all throughout my life. Intertwined with spiritual messages through Russian Orthodox Icons, intense color entered my life from early infancy to see color as positive emotion which I must express. Political emotions also find their way into my canvasses for which I don’t apologize but document as part of historical events I had to experience. Paintings are no more than billboards with a message on it. It becomes art when the viewer starts to decipher that message. This is the moment when I want the dialogue to occur — to ask the viewer to participate with me in a form of communication — stimulate not only his eye but his other senses to begin to work and arrive ultimately to sharing, recognizing the artist intended message — and to walk away with an uplifting experience, to share in a joyful discovery of improvement for oneself.

Lastly I paint to honor the teachers who never gave up on me but gave me solid confidence to persevere and gave me the tools to fully express myself and seek progress.

I paint in acrylics, oil, watercolor, pastels and pencils and enjoy linocuts. Sometimes I also use mixed textures.