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When I was small, growing up in Russia, I was taking painting classes. As you can imagine, in Soviet Russia there was not much inspiration around – constructivist architecture, abundance of bureaucracy and creativity was not a thing (unless you count hanging carpets on walls).

There was no shortage of opportunities: my painting teacher took up teaching in exchange for a personal art studio. Being a student of his class, it quickly became apparent that he was more passionate about his own art studio than sparking our creativity. One task involved painting different stroke styles within tiny marked out squares on a canvas. However, I quickly discovered that staying within limits is not my style and stopped going to those lessons.  

Life went on and I had worked as a programmer, manager in a building society and eventually, as a director of a mid-size construction company. I started travelling and… Here it began: breath-taking views of oceans, powerful stillness of mountains, beautiful chaos of cities with centuries-long architecture… I wanted to preserve the emotions I experienced in every one of those places.

Thus commenced my painting journey.

I have been influenced mostly by works of Claude Monet and Vincent Willem van Gogh, visiting the world’s most amazing art galleries and exhibitions, studying works of most talented artists and my desire to be able to relive those emotions have made me realise “I know how to do this now”. Having retired about a year ago, I have finally decided to buy paint, brushes and a canvas. I was surprised to see my hands expressing a vision in my mind on that very canvas. I cannot imagine my life without painting. As Vincent Willem van Gogh said,

“The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting”.

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