Thursday, September 16, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lena Levchii

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Lena's painting "Pumpkin 4" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Lena's DPW Gallery Page:

Our world is wonderful. Every little thing, creature, has its own place and make sense. And it’s just impossible to not see it. Sometimes there are so many positive feelings that need to be expressed. Every person is looking for their own way to do this. My way is oil painting. (click to read more)

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be a BIG FATHER. It's not easy to explain without the context... BIG FATHER is a collective term for a person's role in this world. This is somehow a prototype of my father and who he was in my children's eyes: a hero, strong, intelligent, always knowing what to do. Therefore, there was no specific profession that I dreamed of. My dream was to become a strong personality and achieve the impossible in any area.

When did your artistic journey begin?

My journey into art began with the contemplation of the beauty of nature and its interpretation. Also from the bookshelves in my house. There I could find books with reproductions of paintings by famous classical artists. And with the first Plein Air with my father, when he showed how you can depict a dandelion with a couple of precise strokes.

The Obligatory Apple
(click to view)

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

Did you have long periods without creative expression? How did you get back on the horse?

Yes, of course. I knew I had to earn money in this complicated world. To be an artist in my country, in my time was and still is not the best idea. I needed to receive a "real" Diploma of Higher Education to find a good job. And I did it twice! During this time and next with my jobs I had no time for creativity. Art was just a little part of my life. I came back to art when I had a year of no working break. I used that time to think about the really meaningful things in my life, to find new goals. Then I found out how much art can change in me. It's a huge emotional resource that I can use for anything else.

Which mediums and genres do you gravitate toward? Which ones don’t appeal?

As usual I use oil. My favorite genres are still life and portraits. I also combine these two genres to create a scene of daily life. Like people eating or children playing with fruit.

Fish Mosaic
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I was very inspired by Carol's book "Daily Painting". From it I drew some conclusions for myself. First, I allowed myself to make mistakes, to make unsuccessful pictures, but to try again and again. Secondly, I took a small format of paintings so that I would have a finished work every day. So I felt the movement towards the goal and my artworks improved every day. And last, but not least, I began to listen to myself and choose themes for the picture that ignited me. Every day, going out for a walk, I looked with my eyes for objects and situations that raised pleasant emotions in me. I realized that sunlight, the play of light and shadow, bright colors most of all correspond to my nature. So I started painting with all my heart. Each picture is a part of me transferred to the canvas. I give my best and get great pleasure when there are people who are able to share my joy, my outlook on life. 

Name an artist (or artists), well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

It's Claude Monet. He really knew how to capture the impression of the moment on the canvas.

Strange Tangerine
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Don't be scared of creating crap. It can't be crap if you do it with your heart.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

First of all it's important to start. That's the most difficult part. And then I just do what I want first to be done on my painting. This action involves me in the process and inspiration comes!

Cup of Cherries
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I do things that bring me pleasure. Long walks in nature always help me find myself and return joy in life.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

My long term goal is to find my place in the art community. Be known and familiar with other contemporary artists.

My short term goal is to sell enough paintings to cover my costs for canvases, paints and everyday visits to the coffee shop. :)

Coffee Time
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

To be a person whose opinion matters. Be in demand.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

The moment when I was able to surprise not only myself, but also people close to me with my success in painting. It was really an achievement, because I never knew about my potential.

Thanks, Lena!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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