Thursday, July 9, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Nadya Larionova

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Nadya's painting "Chestnuts" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Nadya's DPW Gallery Page:

I've loved to draw and paint since my childhood when my mother suddenly led me into an art studio for children. There we found out I draw very well. And it was my first steps in this field. We used watercolour. Since that time I started to paint and draw often and to try different styles.

Usually I draw fast and expressively. Many people are excited by my paintings. And this supports me.

My works were represented in my secondary school walls and when I was deciding about speciality after school my teacher strongly advised me to go in art. And I started to study at pre-courses of Architect High School in University. Four month later my father (professor of Physics) assured me that Physics is a better choice... Today I have a PhD in Physics and made a good career. But I made decision to stop in this and start to make art my career because art is my big passion.

Two years ago I completed a four year fine art course successfully and I have good recommendations from my tutor Sergey Lychagin who is a perfect painter and a big professional as a tutor. I paint a lot in impressionist manner. I use different materials and I love all of it. I develop myself every day with new techniques and new materials. My artworks are sold to private collectors in Russia and abroad.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

At the age of eleven I found myself occasionally in art studios. Our family friend who was a good artist in the past gave to my mother great response about this: her children were learning there. I was older than others for a year or two. On the first lesson, it was sketches of the autumn forest in the suburbs when we were equipped with small pieces of paper and graphite pencils. I showed I could draw very well. My mother was surprised and excited by my drawings and I felt interest in drawing as well as I found friends there. During one and a half years of training there, I learned to have admiration for subjects I draw and to not be afraid to express myself through drawing. We used thirty-six color watercolours with white gouache and sometimes the soft pastel. We drew and painted in studio by using sketching we made in the street. I think it was a very important step which gave me the main thing - to feel and to love what I paint or draw and to not be afraid to express it. Though it was without academic knowledges which I obtained about twenty years later, it become important for me in all aspects of life.

Chestnuts
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Nadya's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Unfortunately, I had a stop period in painting. After secondary school I made choice between art and traditional learning for my family (physics) on behalf of science. Before this decision I studied in pre-course of Architecture Department and had a success. But I had a lack of academic knowledge, I drew a gypsum head and I lost self-confidence. I made a good career in science, I have a PhD in Physics and then I worked in commerce companies in the Life Science field and it was a very good time. But sometimes I drew and seventeen years after my choice of science I started to paint again and I started to study oil painting with a private tutor. Before it for a long time it was interesting for me.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I use everything or almost everything. I love oil painting, gouache, watercolor, pastel both soft and oil, tempera, soft materials like sangina, charcoal, graphite, souce, sepia, markers and simple gel pen. I want to develop myself in acrylic and ink. All materials are so different and it is an additional interest how to show the same thing with different mediums or what better to choose for better effect. My main style is impressionism. I love fast painting, a la prima style, I love expressive brave brushstrokes and lines. My painting style in childhood was primitivism when I used simple forms and bright sometimes unexpected colors. My gouache paintings were presented in permanent exhibition in my secondary school. I love to paint nature, objects, human, creatures, so I paint landscapes, cityscapes - I adore architecture both of small historical towns and big cities, still-life, portraits, flora and fauna paintings. I want to develop my painting in conceptualism and try myself as an illustrator. I doubt I will paint in botanical style with all the details or in photorealism. It is out of my character and interest.

Standby Part 1
(click to view)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I try all kinds of medium and enjoy the differences and possibilities of each. There was the time I did not understand oil pastel. But when I tried it in encaustic and with the pastel of good manufacturers with interesting colours, I understood this medium as well. Oil pastel has a great opportunity in different techniques. There was a long time I did not use gouache because I thought this medium was for children. But later I found there are no age borders for mediums and gouache has excellent unique properties I can use in my paintings. And my collectors support this. I will never paint for hours and days to show every detail of a thing.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Now I want to try painting by using the orgalit with spackle, I think there I can reach new effects and texture that will help me to flow in conceptualism. I want to damp down realism partially and paint with minimal quantity of colors, lines etc. -- express feelings by minimum resources. For me it is easiness in practice and with interesting effects. I want to use big formats. And I want to develop encaustic painting. The idea here is the same: more expressions by minimum resources.

Walking in Adeje
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

I spend attention on artists with minimal resources, but with expressive paintings. It is contemporary artists, whom I track via internet. Second category is book illustrators. I think now is a very interesting time for such kind of art, there are so many directions and resources in such direction. And I am really impressed by their works. There are so many freedoms, magic and kindness, and there are a lot of unbelievable and perfect techniques so I decided I want to try myself in illustration as well. My first steps was last year when I made at minimum one sketch a day. And I accidentally continued it in quarantine and I found it makes me as happy as painting. As you see I have huge plans. :)

What does procrastination look like for you?

I hope it is not about me. Usually I find what to do and I have another problem: to have more than twenty-four hours a day to realise my ideas. Sometimes I need to have emotional rest. Sometimes I'm looking for and can’t find inspiration or an idea for painting and I am thinking and thinking for a day or two or three. Sometimes it is stressful and finally looks like procrastination but not so in fact. Sometimes I'm looking for information that can inspire me. It can be a movie, some dialog, view from a window or big master. Usually I have an open mind for this continuously.

Forest Field
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

An experience in commercial companies helped me. Planning is useful in different sides of life and art is not an exclusion. I make a list with ideas and time to realise it with the way of it. I try to paint every day. If I have no such possibility, I do sketches or drawings. And as I said above, generally, I do art every time: I keep in my memory every emotional experience. I take a little sketchbook with ink gel pen everywhere. I make photo pictures of scenes those impress me. I have a rather comfortable studio in my house. It helps me to not lose the time on preparation.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

Ideas for painting is coming together with my bright impression. It is places I visited or people I met or some idea. Every time I feel like I've fallen in love. It is the main condition for painting for me. And only in this case it will be good painting. As I mentioned above, I catch ideas every time. Beautiful places, interesting people, adorable flowers, interesting scenes between people, architecture, different things. But commonality of all of this is my delight and engagement. This is the first step.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

It is very simple to keep art "fresh" for me. Usually I have new emotions. If not (when routine cares are too heavy) I go anywhere and open my mind. It may be internet-surfing to have a new impression. It can be simple things in life or of course exhibitions, travelings, meetings, movies, internet accounts of masters in different areas not only in painting. And changing materials for painting gives me a “fresh” feeling too. And changing between painting-drawing-sketching-illustration activities let me feel on wave.

Still Life with Pumpkin
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I learned there are no limits in art. I mean I can be an illustrator for today, fine art painter tomorrow and conceptualist after tomorrow. Or simultaneously; not sure but I am trying. And I try new things and the result is good. It moves me further and develops me and of course gives necessary emotions for art. For me now illustration art is something of a new one. During quarantine I made a break through in illustration. I knew about such field before, but now I found that this kind of art is changed, there are many possibilities to make it like magic and to show this to a lot of people over the world in the books. I want to go on with this in parallel with painting.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I love the process of art. And I love people's reaction to my art, it gives me sureness that I do right thing and makes me strong and happy. During my art it seems to be I'm situated in a different dimension, possibly like speaking with God or in space. These feelings are special and after this I feel tired but extremely happy and satisfied. Often I don’t know why I painted in such way, I can’t explain, I can try but it will be a little part of it. I feel extremely more than I can say or explain. Even after explanation, it's slightly disappointing because words in air or in paper or screen don't have the same meaning as I feel. I am happy my collectors are impressed by my paintings. It means they understand me and I reached my goal and made the world slightly better because my paintings contain only positive spirits even if it is a sorrow. For me it is important to show the internal view on things I paint to bring on a unique feeling of the observer.

Thanks, Nadya!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

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