Thursday, September 24, 2020

DPW Spotlight Interview: Irina Beskina

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

From Irina's DPW Gallery Page:

To me, subject matter is not as important as the dramatic presence of light in a scene. Whatever I paint – a still life, a landscape or a cityscape – I try to paint not things, but rather the effects of the light. Capturing its fleeting magic is what I try to achieve in my works.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As all kids, I liked to draw and paint, but I don't think I did it better than other kids around me. I kept making quick pencil sketches on every piece of paper throughout my school and university years, and my classmates made jokes that there was no need to put my name on my notebooks as they were easily recognizable by countless heads and figures covering every empty spot, but I never thought about painting seriously until I turned twenty-five. By that time I had gotten a master degree in applied math and worked as a software engineer, so I found a year-long night course in drawing and painting, and that's how it all started.

(click to view)

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

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

Yes, I hardly did anything art-related between thirty and forty. During that decade I started a family, and  we moved to another country twice. Combining a full time job, family, studying a new language and just learning to live in a new place took all my time, but those were interesting and very intense years. I hardly  regret not being able to paint then.

What mediums have you experimented with? Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? 

I tried gouache, soft and oil pastels, but once I started painting with oils I hardly ever wanted to do anything else. What I love about oils is their versatility, rich color and texture, and also the fact that it is a very forgiving medium: one can hardly make a fatal mistake with oils, and that gives me the freedom of experimenting.

Green Apples
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

There are so many things to learn about oils, that a lifetime is not enough to master it.

Who or what inspires you most?

Тhe world around us is so picturesque that I constantly catch myself thinking how I would paint things that I see. Another source of inspiration is works of other artists, both great and famous painters whose paintings you can find in museums and not so famous, but also great artists that show their art on Daily Paintworks, on Facebook, Instagram, etc.

New Shoes
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

For quite a few years I combined a full time job and daily painting, and there was no room for procrastination: I knew that if I didn't start painting right after I was done with my work, I wouldn't paint that day at all, and knowing that was enough to run and start painting as soon as I was free. A couple of years ago I started painting full time, and now it happens that I delay the moment of starting a new painting. My recipe is simple: take a piece of paper and start making a quick sketch for the new painting. If it turns out good, I usually can't wait to start painting.

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

That's simple: since I like painting more than doing most other things, I just go and paint. If I don't have time during the day, I can paint at night. Actually, about half of my paintings were started after 10pm.

Here Comes The Sun!
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I believe that pretty much anything can be a subject for an interesting work of art. The most mundane things can be painted beautifully. An artist has so many tools for that: one can use an engaging composition, choose an unusual point of view, catchy brushwork, interesting color combinations, etc. Sometimes when I need to kill time waiting for something, I play a game: I ask myself, what would I paint, if I had to do a painting standing right where I am now? Usually it's not a problem to find something "paintable". It can be a sun-lit bright-red fire hydrant standing knee-deep in the green grass, an old window with dusty cracked glass, or even clutter around my kitchen sink. Ideas are all around us, we should just look carefully.

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

I think the universal way to avoid burnout is to keep learning something new. Trying new approaches and techniques, picking up subjects that I've never tried before, taking workshops with artists whose works I admire - all those things help to move forward.

Black Cat
(click to view)

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

I like painting from life, but for years I've been painting in the evening, and my favorite genre was still life. A couple of years ago I started painting en plein air. Painting outdoors is so different from studio painting, that I have a whole lot to learn about it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I do a painting following all the usual "rules" like finding a strong composition, making a careful sketch, not hurrying up the value stage, carefully mixing colors, etc, I often may come up with an okay piece, but for the painting to turn out really well I need something more: a bit of good luck, some sort of "painter's tailwind". That happens extremely rarely, but when it happens, it gives such a powerful feeling of flight and freedom, that it's worth all those hundreds of failed paintings I did in the past.

Broken Egg
(click to view)

Thanks, Irina!

© 2020 Sophie Marine

1 comment:

  1. Love your work, interesting reading about you!


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