Inside the Studio

Iryna Yermolova

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I love to paint people. However, my inspiration isn’t a person but the movement, light, composition, or pattern. I like when light disappears and appears when it is not expected. This effect often breaks the anatomical and academic rules, but it can create dramatic effects and help the composition. When I start on a new canvas, I see the composition, main objects, light, and shadow, and only then do I add some details. I love “breathing,” living canvases. And I have to say that I quite often cannot explain how I’ve created the painting. My paint flows, and my fingers (I prefer fingers and a palette knife to brushes) do the work for me. I have a rather emotional approach rather than a rational one. This is why I feel that the art isn’t my job, but my addiction.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To diligently study academic painting, anatomy, composition, graphics, and materials, and to be in the framework of classic art. But when you’ve finished your study, forget all these rules and create from your heart!

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
My iPhone playlist has passed 2,000 songs. I love French, Italian, Spanish, English, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, and Arabic music and artists. I often don’t have a clue what the song is about, but emotionally it captures me so much that I download an artist’s entire album!

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
The Blessed Virgin Mary in the St. Vladimir Orthodox Church

Who are your favorite writers?
Vladimir Nabokov, Ivan Bunin, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Sergei Dovlatov, Mikhail Veller, and Lyudmila Ulitskaya.