By likemindblog



ARINA ARTISTE!  Part One.  This is a wonderful story of courage, determination and the power of a dream.  Arina is an excellent role model for those who want to follow their bliss.  Nothing has been modified or corrected in this article because its story is just too inspiring.  So with joy, this is part one of Arina’s quest!

Arina, thank you for doing this!

No. 1)  What is art to and for you?  

Art is something that I am breathing with, something that is vital and absolutely essential for me. Art takes such a big part of my life that I would say it is my life. If I wasn’t a professional artist I don’t know who I would have been now and what my life would be like.

Art has totally changed my life, when in October of 2005 I started to study at the Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, where I arrived from a little Russian town in the Ural’s Mountains area. I had an absolutely different life in my little town and if somebody would have told me 5 years ago that I will be a professional artist based in London, exhibiting in the UK, USA and Europe at the venues like Saatchi Gallery, Mall Galleries and Venice Arsenale and having recognized with several International Painting Prizes and Awards – I would never have believed it.

I finished a part-time art school in Russia in my twenties and afterwards I had always been working in fields related to art, yet never having the chance or sufficient time to become a professional artist. As far back as I can remember I dreamt about it, but I don’t regret that I didn’t become an1 artist earlier, as I believe that nothing in our lives is accidental. The Universe wanted me to become an artist as well, and for exactly this reason I needed to have gone through all of the experiences in my life before to take the opportunity to stand in front of my canvases with my brushes and oil paints – to create my art works.

I believe that everything in our lives happens at the right time. I don’t think I would be able to create anything like my ‘Trinity’ or ‘Silence’ or ‘Wide Shut Eyes’ if I would have become a painter earlier. Only when grapes are perfectly mature there is a chance to produce the best wine that gets better over time.

In 2005 I reached a crossing point in my life. Everything around me at that point seemed to crush and change – it was a very frustrating time for me. Though in my professional career it was all successful, it was all good, but I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I wasn’t living my life, but somebody else’s life and one day, at a crossing point, I decided to start a new life from zero  – the new ‘ARINA the Artist’ one! I decided to change my life completely and, as I had nothing to lose, I ventured to apply to a dream place to study – the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London that is world known for its famous alumni such as Peter Doig, Anish Kapoor, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQuinn etc.

Despite the fact that I could not speak any proper English, knowing at that time only some basic words and phrases, and having an interpreter to assist me during the interview – I was accepted for studying with the requirement that I have to learn English and pass the international students English Language exam. I hadn’t a clue if it was possible to study English up to this level in such a short period of time, but I wanted to study so much that I had no choice, but to learn, and 7 months later I passed my exam. In October 2005 I began my studying at the Central Saint Martins College, being probably the oldest, but certainly the happiest student on my course.

2Now, after completing my education at the University of the Arts London with Masters Degree in Fine Art, I am a full-time professional artist. I work at my studio in the very heart of London and constantly exhibit my works around the world. My paintings have been recognised with international Painting Awards in London, New York, Miami, Venice and Hamburg etc. I work every day on my paintings, and sometimes it is a hard, but always a happy work.

I enjoy every single minute of my work, I love the smell of oil paints and mediums, I love the blank new surface of a canvas, I love wooden frames and stretches, I love my brushes and work clothes covered with numerous stains of paints – everything. I love every single moment of being an artist and I feel that finally I am living my own life. Art gave me the hope, inspiration and energy to cope with all of my circumstances. Art helped me to bring my life back. I believe that nothing is too late in this life, nothing is impossible and unachievable.

No. 2)  What inspires you?

An endless source of inspiration for me are masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer and  all the Old Masters of Renaissance – Del Sarto, Jan van Eyck, Giotto, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio , Perugino, Fra Angelico etc. alongside with the Renaissance Humanist philosophy.

What fascinates me most are the human faces with a fleeting expression of3 the eyes or a transient smile, human emotions and feelings – are they still the same through the centuries? Have human feelings changed at all? Can I, the artist ARINA from the 21st century, still feel what these people depicted on Masterpieces of the Old Masters have been through? This is what always fascinates and inspires me.

When I see a portrait that strikes my eyes, my soul and my mind-I try to put my imagination inside of an image and live within it until I can feel the story behind it by my skin, from inside, as if I was an actress who must play a character of this image in a theatre. Then I am doing an action that always inspires and mesmerises me – I perform the image through the prism of my own imagination and life experience and then I paint my own version of the image on canvas.

What inspires me as well is a painting itself as such a mysterious creative media that enables me to express a human’s inner, an emotional condition that can stir a soul of any human being and can be understood by anybody from any part of the world.  Painting has no boundaries like borders or languages, countries or races, gender or age -it is a powerful Universal Language.

My paintings are full of symbols helping me to convey my philosophy into my work and often I germinate creative ideas for my work from my perception of the world around – from reflection of my thoughts and philosophy. My belief is that a purpose of art is to keep the world in balance and harmony and awareness of that gives me an entire inspiration as well.

No. 3)  When you are painting, creating, where does it take you?  Where does your mind (spirit) travel?

4This is a fascinating question, thank you for asking me. I definitely feel a connection with the Universe when I paint. It seems to me that my paintings are born by themselves and I just conduct them to the world within a creative energy that moves throughout my brushstrokes with paints to the images on canvas. I feel as if I am a conductor of the energy and I believe it is a positive one. I work for about two months on each of my paintings, giving them a birth with hundreds of brush strokes, but sometimes I feel like all of the paintings have already been created somewhere at a different level of the Universe and I just materialise them – transferring them into our world.

There is a certain interaction between the Universe and creators within their art works and there are always very strong vibrations around during the creative process. My deep belief is that it entirely depends on artists which energies they are appealing to and which vibrations are around them and their creations. There are two sides of the Universe-the Light and the Dark ones and there is always the main question for any creators and a choice, which side to support and stand by.

No. 4)  Do you think visual art, music and health are related and if so, how?

Oh, absolutely! Certainly they are. I used to study at Music College as a chorus conductor and I still perceive everything in the world through a musical harmony, whether this is the harmony of singing voices, music, words or colours. I am trying to transfer the harmonies into my paintings.

I believe that all the creative media in art are related energetically and interact not only with humans’ health condition and mental state, but also with the Universe in general as well.  It is all about Energy in the Universe –6 Energy and its vibrations. Energy moves through everybody and everything – we are all connected. And, of course, it is important which vibrations of energy go through you – negative, depressive, ill or positive, full of light, health and hope. I believe that the most strong and energetically powerful vibrations are produced within a creative process, whether it is art, music, or literature etc. – within any creativity.

Creative people have to be careful with this power-we are all responsible for which energy we are bringing into the world, all the artists are responsible for every single brush stroke they produce. I based my MA dissertation on the subject of ‘The Abuse of Beauty’ by Arthur Danto and in my opinion there are too many ‘art’ works that proclaim some violent, negative or just blunt and frustrating stuff. This is bitter and sad that nowadays the ‘cult of ugliness’ seems to be celebrating its triumph at the Art Scene – through the centuries art was bringing to the world the Beauty, Light and Hope.

Artists have a choice of what to create – to bring the Beauty, positive energy and Harmony to the world or to stand by the clearly dominating in the art world in the last two decades ‘cult of ugliness’ or ‘cult of emptiness’ and produce ‘shocking’ images to attract attention of media, some certain art critics and galleries etc. Well, perhaps, they will be the centre of attention – for a while. But afterwards, when the highlights will slow down, where do you think all these dark vibrations they appealed to and materialised within their works will go?

Nothing disappears on an energetical level, and the metaphysical monsters created within any negative works will not disappear either, they will stay in the world right behind these works and behind their creators affecting their life. Was this really intention of those artists or they just did not think about it? Even our thoughts are material – imagine how material and powerful the images you produce are.

I am never tired of repeating whenever I can that it is not only an honour and a privilege to be an artist, but also it is a huge responsibility. Art is a powerful tool and I believe that it has an ability to transform reality. We, artists, all have a choice – what to contribute to the future of the Art World. I believe that the more beautiful and positive artworks created today, the better the world will be to live in tomorrow. We all create this world around us and if you bring in some positive energy you are making a contribution to the Universe expanding.

No. 5)  How do you feel when you are painting?

I feel peaceful, grateful and blessed when I paint, it is a happy feeling. There is certainly a bond between creative people and their work. When I start a new 9work it is an amazing feeling – standing in front of the blank surface of the canvas, looking at it, touching it and knowing that in time there will be a new creation, a new painting that at some point will begin its own independent journey in the world.

There is a particularly magical moment in the process of painting – at the end of the work. For weeks I work on a painting and I know every inch of the image I am working with – I look at it thousands times while working on it. I watch it changing, developing and growing under my brushes, but then, at some point I suddenly feel that the image is magically watching me back, eventually it looks at me!

I know that this moment is always coming, but it always happens at an unexpected minute and gives me goose bumps and shivers run down my spine.  This mesmerizing and precious moment means that the painting is
finished…as if it is telling me ‘Arina, your job is done, thank you and
please, don’t touch me any more – I am born and I am ready to live my own
life from now on…’

I wait for this moment and look forward to it from the
very beginning of my work, it gives me an incredible feeling that through my paintings I am actually talking to the Creator of the world – to the Genius and Greatest Artist created the Genius and Greatest Masterpiece – the Universe.

To be continued next week…


Here are Arina’s links.  Please stay tuned for part TWO next week!

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Filed in: ART • Friday, January 21st, 2011


Truly inspiring story! Thank you for getting these thoughts out. With a lot of great support to you,
Lira Kay

Enjoyed reading your story, hearing your thoughts and viewing your works..truly inspirational. Looking forward to part 2.
Thank you for sharing. Cecelia


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours