Thursday, June 29, 2017

From Russia to the USA

I started this piece while I was living with my grandma. She has this photo of herself in her 40s that she really likes and she wanted me to paint her when she was still young and beautiful.

I wanted to paint her in her own apartment, using the things that surround her in her daily life and add elements of the house she spent 20 years building in the country side which she has now sadly sold 10 years ago and never stops regretting it. Originally I planned to use her tablecloth from her apartment and paint cherry blossoms and a yellow wooden house for the backdrop.

The design didn't seem as interesting as the scene that presented itself to me in her very own kitchen so I chose to simply surround her with what she lives with now. That way overtime, when she looks at the painting it won't have to hurt her with painful memories of a regretful decision to sell her house.

Boris Kustodeev is a painter revered in Russia for his depictions of beautiful and flourishing merchant wives. One of the most famous of his works and one of my most favorites as well is titled a Merchant's Wife (very original).

I saw it last year during my trip to St. Petersburg and I've wanted to paint something along its lines for a long time now. My painting from today is my first of its kind and I hope to make many more in the future. I love the abundance of the table setting, the picturesque background and the lavishness of the lady's attire. I especially aspire to the depth of Boris Kustodeev's designs.

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