By likemindblog


IRENA SHKLOVER, is originally from Russia, where she studied Fine Arts at Moscow’s University of Textiles.  She has been living in Canada, British Columbia since 1996.  Anyone who looks at the sparkle in Irena’s eyes will recognize that spark in her Wonderland of Whimsical Art.    Art she says is like a shot of Artitamins, powerful medicine for the body, mind and soul! 

I don’t usually do this but Irena’s personal story is so colourful and fairy tale like and fun in the way she’s written it that I am leaving it as is and have decided to publish it under Health and Wellness because anyone who reads it will feel better, I promise.  So when you’re done here, check out the Health and Wellness topic! 

Irene,  your article being quite long, it will be published in two parts, therefore let’s get to PART ONE  immediately!


No. 1)  What is art (painting) to and for you?

Painting is some kind of meditation and worship for me.  It’s like listening to  the Universe and talking back to it.  I paint every day and I have a greatIRENA BlueTurtleBg desire to do so.  Even, in some rare days, when I don’t feel this desire, I still think that I have to practice and the brush jumps in my hand.  I don’t really care about results.  Uninterrupted practice – this is important. 

Very often during those sessions inspiration comes along and brings some magic.  I will be very happy with the results in this case.  If  inspiration will not visit me, the outcome will be unacceptable, it will be over painted with heal-it-all-immediately White Paintand I’ll use this canvas next time as it’s already textured.  Very often those textured canvases work just excellent. 

During my painting session I go away from my painting very often (to check my messages, to drink some coffee, to have a nice walk with my dog, to play some Wii…).  Then, after a small break I return and with fresh eyes see what has to be changed.  Even when I think “OK, that’s enough painting for today!”, I still come back a dozen times to my studio to revisit my new painting.   And I can’t stop myself from doing it, and from adding or fixing something every time I see it.

When my canvas is new and white – it is perfect.  Then I start drawing on it and perfection is ruined…  Everything that is done later with the help of pencil, modeling paste, paints and varnish – just trying to bring this canvas to new perfection, the perfection that exists in my mind.

I feel so sorry for this canvas in process, it’s so unbalanced and chaotic…  So BLUEGitaremy goal is to blend everything together and “cook” it, “roast” it, “simmer” it until the very end. Then – I add some “spices” (final strokes, accents, lights)and it’s done.

When it’s done I hear “bells” ringing…

I love bright colors. I just LOVE them.  They give me energy, make me “high” when I look at them.  Combining them together is such a pleasure!   The same colors when they fill different shapes give the viewer a very different feeling.  It’s very important for me that the right color will go into the right spot. Colors are my best friends. They are very open minded, sincere and always ready to listen.  My favourites are Orange, Red and Blue. I can call them my full time friends.  Others – are my part timers, but they are still very important in my life because…I can’t I do anything without them.  I’m totally mute if they are away from me.  And what I really want to do – is to thank them all for their cooperation and support.  Sometimes I’m gentle with them, sometimes  – not, but they are always giving me their best effort and are ready to play…  And don’t even dare think that they can’t speak!  They can speak, whisper, yell, sing, ask the questions, answer them – all depending on the situation. 🙂

My paintings do not match sofas in most houses and I’m proud of it!  Some08flyingelephant people think that the “matching” part  is very important when they hang art on their walls.  They don’t buy art that they love, that talks to them, asks uestions, tells stories,  but they buy art that “nicely blends in”.  My opinion is that the painting on the wall should be a window to a different life or to a different perspective, it should inspire you, lift your mood, challenge you.  If it has a little bit of a different shade of beige than your favourite arm chair or toaster – it is not a reason to have it and call  it “my beautiful piece of art”.  In my mind it’s a “beautiful piece of shit”. Sorry. :)))

 No. 2)  What inspires you?

Everything can inspire me.  It’s just to have been seen or to occur at the right place, at the right time… Inspiration is like a delicate snowflake:  it can become a snowball or it can melt without a trace – it all depends on conditions.  Inspiration is a very strong, striking emotion that a person can feel, that for a while takes over his mind and his body.  Usually it gives a feeling of unique treasure captured inside the heart and in order to preserve this feeling people create paintings, poems and music.  The person who saw a magic sunrise inside himself often just wants to share this vision with others. It doesn’t really matters to him if others will see only fool’s gold instead of his treasure…

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

Painting takes me to the Land of Wonder.  Alice has her Wonderland and I definitely have mine.  I always look at the real life through my own never-taken-off multidimensional glasses. They transform the boring routine into an entertaining adventure and add lots of excitement.

IRENA HarlequineandhisMaskBigWonderland is the Land that can’t be explained by smart asses. It has no rules, no logical explanations, no standards.  The Lord of this Land is HisMajesty Absurd; he creates his surreal world with the powers of Exaggeration and Overplay. If you want to get there you should break the standard way of thinking.

No. 4)  Do you think painting, music and health are related and if so, how, on what level?

Combining colors together is like composing music.  When I paint I feel myself not only as an artist but as a composer too.  And also – a little bit as a writer, because every painting has a story behind it.  I can’t really tell the story with words – there are not enough words for me and I’m unable to put them together nicely 🙂  But it’s pretty easy to create an image that tells the story on many different levels…

When you look at good art you are feeding your eyes and your soul with very unique vitamins.  Let’s call them Artitamins.  They create an invisible but powerful aura around paintings.  Artitamins can speed up the healing process, balance the mood and boost immune system.  Why?  Because they awake hidden powers of the body and become a special treatment.  Imagine a person, spending all day long in the grey and boring room with very-average-quality-low-energy reproductions around him.  He could easily get depressed, his body functions will be slowing down and his health will slowly melt… Imagine the same person spending time in a bright room with awakening art around him.  There will be a huge difference!  Art, that permanently challenges and sends powerful vibes, can help to keep great mental shape and good health.  I’m not a doctor but I think that the concept of treating diseases with Artitamins instead of pills will have a big and bright future!

Thank you so much Irena for your direct and honest answers.  We’ll see you again next week with part two of this most informative and interesting article!  Until then, keep well.

Irena’s links:

fan page – facebook


Hope you’ve enjoyed this  article.  Part two will be published next week.  And now, please go to Health and Wellness to read a real good story!  ENJOY!

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Filed in: ART • Friday, May 21st, 2010


Thank you very much Michele!

I don’t know where to begin… This and the wellness topic, as well as your art are truly inspiring. I love the vibrant colors of your words and paintings… they inspire and brighten all who see and read. Having been involved in all three this part really intrigued me for I find the thread of creativity vibrates through all. Thank you for sharing. Really enjoyed and look forward to next week.

“When I paint I feel myself not only as an artist but as a composer too. And also – a little bit as a writer, because every painting has a story behind it. ”
.-= Cecelia Gay´s last blog ..How Can I Tell You =-.

I like very much your work!!!Very nice painting. this interview is very interesting………best regard

Thank you very much Cecelia and Beatrice!!!


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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