Interview With The Artist

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I was quite excited to be asked to join one artists’ team new project where the artists share about themselves. Various artists throughout the country were asked questions about their artistic influences. It was fun to be a part of this creative project and I decided to share the interview with my followers. 

The Interview

1. As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?

As a child I can’t recall a day without a pencil, a brush, or a book in my hand. My family was encouraging my sister and I to be creative. Due to the Soviet era, and non existence of electronic devices we used our imagination by painting, drawing, making up our own stories in handmade books, cutting out and dressing up the paper-dolls, writing a family newspaper, constructing mini-theaters out of shoe boxes, supplying them with cardboard furniture, and our own mini-artworks.
Irina (left) with her sister Maria
Living in the historical center of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Saint Petersburg; we, literally, lived right behind the corner of several National museums:

travel sketches in watercolor
watercolor travel sketch
watercolor painting
My Dad often took my sister and I to the museums where I could see first hand the works of the famous artists.
My first introduction to the Old  Dutch Masters inspired me to paint my own still life paintings. I was stunned when I saw great marine scenes of Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky, or portraits of the society and Italian country scenes by the artist Karl Brullov

But the most and the first inspirational group of people in my life were my relatives. Grandma Maria was an exceptional craft artist. Her needlepoint and lace hand crafted artworks were amazing. My Dad, Nikolai, painted, made sculptures and created beautiful ceramics. Both, Dad and Grandma, shared their knowledge with me. My mom, Larisa, worked as an engineer and taught me drafting and perspective. Another Grandma Vera, a famous engineer in metallurgy, in her retirement years got obsessed with gardening, which definitely influenced my love to Nature. 

2. As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?

My artist’s goal is to achieve a balance and harmony between
the beauty provided by Nature and the ability of the artist to convey this
beauty on two dimensional surfaces. When this harmony is accomplished it evokes
a visual experience and generates the emotions between the viewer and the
painting. I believe that watercolor is the medium that can do it all. 
My passion is painting with watercolors, my main style is contemporary realism, yet I am also interested in abstract paintings and illustrations.
realism in watercolor
I do want to try all styles and explore all possibilities in art. 
realism in watercolor

abstraction
realism in watercolor

Only one rule will be followed religiously: it will be beautiful. I know I can do it. I have only one challenge along the way; the shortness of the linear time of this one life on Earth :0)

3. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I love to see the eyes of my art collectors when they receive the artwork. One look worth thousand words. 
A lot of time I communicate to my customers electronically, and send artworks by mail, so I receive heart warming e-mails. 
All of them are important for me. They melt my artist’s soul, they give me wings. 
Here, I want to mention one, that was quite memorable. 


Last year, I completed a commission piece for my customer. The artwork was a reflection of the poem that was given me before the process. The story was written, my job was to paint it:

seascape watercolor art
When the painting was finished and the customer looked at it, she said: Irina, if in your life you painted only ONE painting,THIS one; your life purpose as an artist would be accomplished right there!

4. What is your dream project?

Strangely enough, I have no dream project.
 Maybe because I try to make my dreams come true. 
I trust my intuition, 
I go with the flow. 

The Artist’s life do bring me projects by serendipity. A good example was a Jam Label project when a customer from Ireland was contacting me offering a long-term illustration assignment, which reminded me how much I love realistic paintings and botanical art:

realism
I am so grateful to ALL my art collectors and customers! They make me tick. 

5. What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)

I admire artists that can see the beauty of the world and have the courage to share this beauty with us. 

I kneel before the artists that polish their skill and make their craft better and better year after the year. And if the hand starts shaking and brush might not “listen to” the mind, these artists find the way to continue their shine and pass the knowledge. 

I respect the artists that sell their art without selling their soul. 

I appreciate when the artists help their clients to feel that they are the part of the creative process (in case of commission paintings). And if the customer is purchasing already made artwork or print, I admire the ability of the artist to invite the viewer to “live” the artwork, to be a part of the story, to feel united with the beauty of the art-piece.

If I name a few artists here, the post will not be enough. 
Ok, I’ll try:
Fiodor Tolstoy, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ilia Repin, Karl Briulov, Pieter Claesz, Rafael, Michelangelo, Nikolai Dudorov, Maria Batkova, Steve Hanks, Artemisia Gentilleschi, Henry Matisse, James Tissot, Patience Brewster, Jacqueline Gnott, Judith Leyster, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Beatrix Potter, Vera Lysenko, August Renoir. Berthe Morisot, John Stuart Ingle, Elena Bazanova, Jan Kunz, Birgit O’Connor, William Turner, Alfredina Nocera, Claude Monet, Tan Chun Chiu, Henrietta Johnston, and many many many more!


www.artirina.com


Fine Art That Liked To Be Framed – Realism In Watercolor

bestseller, bestsellers, bestselling art, botanical, floral, landscape, realism in watercolor, realistic paintings, sold art, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor
portrait reading book
It is becoming a great tradition to post some pictures from my customers with artworks framed in their environment. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and I am very happy to thank all my art collectors who not only purchased my art, but sent me photos of the framed art pieces. 

Here are just a few of them from this wonderful and productive year.

One of my great customers from Albuquerque, New Mexico ordered this commission painting of Ranunculus Flowers for her mom:
watercolor still life
Art collector and long time customer of mine from Alamo, California, framed this humorous painting Bee Happy for her friend. She also had one of my Fall paintings Still Life With Pumpkin on a wall renting it for last year Thanksgiving dinner:
watercolor realism

My dear art collector from Floral Park, New York, framed this White Jasmine painting in a cute intricate silver frame that gave a great feeling of continuation of the Silver-like mellow background of the painting: 
paint glass
I love how my art collector from American Canyon, California, placed painting of A Fashion Girl with white background into a light mat but separated it with complimenting color blue trim:
watercolor art
One of my new customers from Poca City, Oklahoma, chose exclusively colorful and cheerful mats for my Roses In The Blue Vase painting:
painting fine art
Art collector from Elk Grove, California, converted her bedroom in a magic garden decorating her house with my prints and original paintings:
floral art
New customer from Livingston, Alabama, chose my first two paintings of Seashells Collection for her living room:
realism in watercolor
Many thanks to the winner-customer of this year from Brentwood, California, for purchasing many large paintings for his private collection: 
Tulips
I am glad that they all found a great wall to hang on and now they are bringing the joy, the beauty, and their stories to a nice family and its guests. 
Lemon Apricot Tulips Garden
As I have my paintings sold in the form of prints on Fine Art America, most of the times I have no communication with the customers. Yet one great customer from Malaysia contacted me through FAA, purchased the prints, had them framed, and sent  me a lovely pictures of the artworks ready to be hung on the wall of the new house:
Golden Gate Bridge California
As I pointed out at the beginning, it was productive year. It was great to paint commission pieces as well as the artworks of my choice. Also, I had a chance and honor to participate in Parkinson Cure Gala and donated two paintings. One of them settled at the house of an art collector from Vancouver, WA: 
Onion Peas Bellpepper Jalapegnos
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For more photos with the framing ideas from my customers click HERE
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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul