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I was born and raised in Kazakhstan. From early childhood I was drawn to art and mesmerized by paintings of nature done in the realistic style. I was drawing with pencil and painting from early age. My favorite was portraying animals and birds. Sometimes, instead of paining on paper or cardboard, I covered wood shelves, benches, and closet doors at my home with paintings of nature--with my Mom’s blessings. I always was very attracted to wood.
While being in high school I attended and graduated from the School of Young Architect at the Kazakh State Architecture Institute with the main focus on drawing and drafting.
After graduating from the Kazakh State University with advanced degrees in applied mathematics, my professional life had crossed the art path when I got an opportunity to work as a graphic designer for a short while. During that time, I was privileged to create a website and Newsletter for one UNESCO project. It was 1500 Anniversary of the City Turkestan. This event was included in UNESCO List of Anniversaries.
In my earlier years I hadn’t pursued art seriously because I “knew” that I would never be able to paint nearly as good as Robert Bateman or any other great wildlife artists, so why even bother? I still was doing some sketching, drawing, and paining but rather sporadically.
One day I was painting a pinecone that I picked up in my back yard. The process didn’t go well, so I was getting frustrated. But then some magic happened, and the flat, lifeless two-dimensional “nothing” all of a sudden got transformed into a three-dimensionally looking pinecone! The transformation was so fast and drastic that I was staring at the painting in disbelieve, I got tears in my eyes, I couldn’t breathe. It happened many years ago, but I still vividly remember that moment. That was my turning point when I had realized that I could become a real artist and made a decision to pursue art seriously.
I have been gaining and deepening my knowledge and experience by studying drawing, perspective, and light theory from different sources like books and workshops, and, of course, sketching and painting from life. My art was hugely influenced and inspired by artwork of outstanding artists such as Robert Bateman, Daniel Smith, and Ivan Shiskin.
I have tried almost all media, but my favorites are pencil, acrylic, and watercolor.
I live in California and love being outside enjoying our almost always perfect weather. Our local farmers’ markets are full of fresh produce all year around which adds even more appreciation for the place where I live.
A couple of years ago one vendor commissioned me to paint a few signs for his vegetables. That was a wonderful project. I used photographs of his green organic produce as reference and inspiration material. It was so rewarding to see my own art exhibited at the Farmers Market.
One time a friend was making a steel gates for his property, and I got inspired to create a simple rural designed for his gates. It was exciting and challenging because I needed a design that would look good and at the same time the gates had to hold securely the whole art piece—my designed was cut on the steel sheet which was welded to the gates. It was very satisfying to see the final work implemented.
Some of my paintings were selected for 24th and 25th Annual Juried Art Show and Competition at Breckenridge Fine Art Center, Texas, and published in their catalogs.
My childhood dream of becoming a wildlife painter has broadened into a desire to paint more than animals. Now I enjoy painting landscapes where animals and birds become an integral part of a greater and bigger picture. My initial decision to build skills in landscape painting to bring more realism and depth to my animal paintings led me to fall in love with studying and painting landscapes. Therefore, I have two favorite subjects for creating art—wildlife and landscapes—and I do enjoy painting both!
I approach each painting as a portrait. Either it is a single animal or a tree, or a vast landscape of the Grand Canyon, I aim to depict the unique essence and spirit of that particular animal or that particular place. This requires study and meditation for deep tuning into the painting subject. By the time the painting has been competed, I know so much more about my subject, and not only on the intellectual level.
I strongly feel that a frame is a very important part of an art piece. I’ve seen frames that just “kill” paintings. At the same time the right frame will always enhance the painting. That’s why I am very carefully choosing a frame for every painting I create. I often make some touches on frames with my brush to make them bland better with the paintings, so the frame becomes an integral part of the artwork.
For reference materials I use my own photographs as well as images obtained from very talented professional photographers.
My very special project—the Art Composition named The Magic Window into the Beauty of Nature—was born as a result of my love for paining nature and working with wood. Wood is an amazing organic material to work with. It is warm. Every piece of wood is very unique and its annual rings store the true live records of that part of the world where the wood came from.
Each Art Composition has two pieces. The central “window” piece is a highly realistic painting on wood, framed by its bark. It allows the viewer to peek at a hidden life of the wild world. Since all wood pieces come in different shapes and sizes, I thoughtfully select every one of them to be just the right fit for the central painting.
The second part is a board, where the native environment of the main piece is overflowing to.
I stain the wood on both sides before I put several layers of gesso on the front side. I also paint over the entire bark with acrylics to protect it and make it bled better with the painting on the board.
After each piece is varnished, the wood piece is securely attached to the board. Each frame is carefully selected not only to enhance the Act Composition but also to protect the protruding wood piece.
The Art Composition is 3-D, that’s why no 2-D copies can be done. The uniqueness of it lies in its nature--each piece of wood is individual, as every nature creation, and it just cannot be replicated.
I think the best definition of my painting style is a “romantic realism.” I hope my interpretation of flora, fauna, and landscape in my artwork evokes a desire to even more enjoy and appreciate the magnificent and richly diverse world around us.
What I offer
- My original paintings of wildlife and landscapes on boards
- Prints made from them
- My original Art Compositions. Due to their 3-D nature, I do not make 2-D copies from them. Each Art Composition will always be one of a kind