(Interview – Confession)
BEWINGED BY ART
“Who told you that one paints with colors? One makes use of colors, but one paints with emotions.”
My life story is both complicated and fascinating. My name is Olga Sheveleva, I am an economist by training and have been through many ups and downs and managed to overcome many hurdles in my life. I would like to share my story in the hope that it could help some people conquer distress.
Losing both my parents was a traumatic experience for me and, while I was trying to overcome this, I felt a surge of creative power. During my crisis, I started to receive information in my dreams. Thus, virtually, I learned the basics of art. I learned about concepts such as composition, perspective, colour and shade palette and painting technique. I chose to work with acrylic and oil paints which determined my painting technique – light and transparent, or pastous and textured brushstroke.
Seven months later my first exhibition in Sydney was held.
It was actually a miracle, and now I would like to present it to you. Having approached several Arts specialists, I received their support which gave me confidence in my creative ability. This is what Valentina Ephremova, an art critic, an Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine, a Recipient of Platon Biletsky Prize, wrote about me (Culture and Life newspaper, July 2014):
-“Olga chose a painting style which very vividly reveals her nature and her perception of the world. Her paintings are infused with the mood of romantic reveries, which she imparts through her singular neo-impressionistic approach. At the same time her paintings can have dynamic motives, and this is when the artist uses textured brush, a certain impasto”.
As I am an admirer of the great Vincent van Gogh’s art, I am notably influenced by his work. His energetic brushstroke and his scintillating palette are a godsend for reflecting the nature of Australia, where I now live. Everything here is radically different from Ukraine: the contrasting colours of the ocean, mountains, exotic shores and lush vegetation. So I am trying to express the beauty I see with colours and bring my sensations to life.
In the Eastern philosophy there is an idea of five elements that are in constant motion and transform into one another: Earth, Wood, Water, Fire, and Metal. These are the main subjects of my art, they come to life and serve as an additional source of energy for people.
I feel the Earth from which the trees grow, mountains with winds flowing past them, places where fires raged or disasters broke out. All this turns into artistic images which chant life in all its manifestations. My paintings-illistrations are filled with vital energy. When I receive this energy, I try to share it through my pictures. It is particularly true about landscapes, which are created at different times of year.
– Let us look at the subject “Energy of Wood”, it is the special breaking through the earth in spring, when the tree awakens from its hibernation and vigorously strives to come back to life. This painting is about the direct, strong energy of childhood. To enhance the energy, I add pieces of wood and wood dust.
– To express the “Energy of Fire” , I choose a motif of the hopes of youth: the sensation of evanescence, a butterfly’s flight, the light breathing of the wind. I see it as the summer filled with warmth and a changeable flow of the day’s drift.
– The “Energy of Earth” has a particular structure of strength and durability. This is the reason behind the custom to bring a handful of native soil when moving to a new country. For my purpose I use the energetically charged soil taken directly from the Australian Blue Mountains.
– The “Energy of Metal” is the peace of mind, the sensation of the evening, autumn, a certain completeness. To convey these themes I use a palette-knife, it is the most effective way to show relief or big planes.
– The “Energy of Water” is a deep seated energy, immersion and fluidity. The water has the ability to preserve information and change under the influence of words or thoughts. In such cases I splash spring water on the canvas.
When working on a painting, I improvise, light candles, turn on music, all this creates a special aura and enhances aesthetic perception. I want to focus people’s attention on the protection of our planet Earth, it is but a small fragile particle in the Universe, and it is our responsibility to preserve it for the next generation.
In many of my paintings one can see eucalyptus trees in the centre of the celestial beauty. Another subject that fascinates me is trees damaged in a fire. I find their urge for renewal inspiring. These are more than a painting, they symbolise spiritual renewal, and they are my declaration.
I see the clouds floating in the sky – these are my hopes and dreams, my wings and my energy pathways. When I create a picture, I very quickly mix together colours to get a particular colour scheme, and then add wood, sand and rocks directly to the work on the canvas, and use lacquer.
I work fast, but my paintings–installations are labour intensive and filled with the joy of creation. Then another day comes, and with it, a new theme, the essence of which came to me in my dreams. These transformations of dreams into reality captivate me, they give me the strength to live a complete and exciting life through creativity. This particular kind of art therapy helped me to discover a new level of life, and I wish it to be of use to people who need emotional support. Art is something that can help all those who find themselves at a crossroads and need a helping hand.
I am Ukrainian, and I am deeply concerned about the grave situation in my country. I express my feelings in such themes as “Ukraine’s Tears” (where I depict the Maidan events), “Two Countries, One World”, as my pain and memory of those killed in the MH17 Boing-777 disaster. Only striving for peace and tolerance in relations between countries can we save our planet from destruction.
The new round of my life has made me happy and filled with creative energy. Regard it as a source of useful information.
Creativity has the power to change us, to influence our perception of the world and our emotions, and to renew our soul. It is true that beauty saves us all…
Olga Sheveleva, artist from Ukraine, Sydney 2015
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Translator : Nina Chernova.