Interview with Tatyana Palchuk

Interview with Tatyana Palchuk

 Tatyana Palchuk was born and has been living all her life in Riga, in a small area between the Art Academy and Elizabeth Street. Already during the kindergarten teachers predicted the little drawer an artist's destiny. Although, nobody was connected to arts in the family, she was constantly drawing in sand with a stick in hands. Tatyana lost her father at an early age and has been growing independently as other 50ies - 60ies kids, and she was the eternal engine and captain of the yard kids. Tatyana enrolled Rozentals Art School by herself even not informing her mum. The artist tells that becoming an artist was not as easy as a pie for her and she had drawn on to the level of the more talented school and academy members, in her opinion, only by thorough and accurate work.  

Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? And your first experience in art making?

I have been lucky .All my life I have been doing the work that I truly love. I don’t start my day by realizing that I have to attend the work I don’t love, but I begin it by having a feeling of happiness to have the work I love and can go on by doing a deed that gives me joy and satisfaction. I am certain that only loving the deed you do, in my case it is painting, it is possible to create something truly valuable and beautiful. Of course it refers to any profession.

As the majority, as a child I loved drawing very much. However, there was one important thing. In an incomprehensible manner I was absolutely sure that I want to have ability to draw. I was clearly certain of that and I remember it very precisely.

Therefore at the age of 11 I made my decision to enter the Art School (meant for the 5th grade pupils and situated only 100 meters from my living place).There children could obtain art education in parallel with the studies in comprehensive schools.

I was 9 years old when my father died and during the hard post-war years my mother had to raise me and my elderly sister all by herself. Mother didn’t object and using the scarce resources she bought a drawing album, colour paints, pencils and brushes. That was an indescribable feeling of happiness when we were going home from the shop having all the goods in the bag. It was mom’s support. All the rest was accomplished by me .I collected all the necessary documents and certificates to enter the school. I also attended the training classes and examinations all by myself while other children were accompanied by their parents. My mother had to work and therefore she had no extra time for the children. I had absolute freedom to make my choices at that time. And then there happened a miracle. I, a child orphan from the most poor grounds, was enlisted .11 out of 75 children were enlisted .That was the first very important step into my field of artist.

I remember I realized then that something important was going to happen and my life was going to change for good and a new one was coming instead of it. I even remember the clothes I had going to pass my last examination, mom to her working place and the little, big daughter to the art school.

It seems so long ago. Afterwards there was the Academy of Art, then USSR ART Academy Master Class, finally the second title MA (Master of Arts) that was defended already during the years of the re-established Independent Republic of Latvia in 2003.In general my artist’s school has lasted for 18 years. And I ‘m still learning – and I am going to do it all my life.

But I will never forget the first steps on the way towards my professional artist’s profession.

How would you describe yourself and your artwork?

It is a difficult task to describe myself and my pieces of art. With the years I have realized that I don’t know myself, an artist Tatiana Palchuk, very well.

‘’Get to know you and you will get to know the world’’ have been said by the wise ones, therefore I haven’t yet gotten to know the world and I know that I will never get to know it to the end.

Whereas , my pieces of art can be better described by the audience and the art critics. I can only add that I paint the same way I breathe, it’s absolutely naturally, organically, having pleasure and having no torture of creating.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

In the life itself that surrounds us and there is nowhere else to look for it. Consciousness, sub consciousness-that is something abstractive to us, ethereal and at the same time so closely tied with life. That is life. Colours of things, the sky, fog. Sounds, scent, a ray of the sun, a form of some associations, memories, objects. A bird’s flight, noise of the city, footsteps in the park, an event –and thus to infinity.....This amount is an impulse to create.

A great importance to my creative work can be given to the art works of those artists who have lived before me .The art I have gained as an inheritance, the art that has no nationality and the boundaries of state. The best that the mankind has created for me in my sphere, and what to observe is a great honour and happiness, has been situated in the best depositories of art, cathedrals, museums, galleries.

What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?

I hope that my art evokes the feedback. Absolutely positive emotions .The feelings that I had when creating my pieces of art are now felt by my viewers .First it is harmony and the beauty of the surrounding world the way I see it in general. Certainly, praising the world, absolutely positive and kind-hearted emotions. As in childhood fairy-tales where the evil is always beaten by the good offering the hope. I’m sure that real, true art can find its way to the human’s soul straight, fast and having no explanations of mediators .It talks to you straight on, you accept it and the piece of art becomes a friend of yours, or it’s hanged on the wall at home, your family member.

When do you know that an artwork is finished?

When I think that the painting is finished I put it aside and let it stand there for some time so that I don’t see it and have forgotten of its existence. It can be a period of about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards I state the painting on the easel again and watch it with a fresh sight as from aside. If I’m satisfied with my work and don’t want to add anything, change or correct it then it’s satisfactory and the painting is finished. However some tiny changes are being made until it seems to me that everything is o.k.

And then I can tell to myself ‘’Well done, Tatyana!’’

What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?

There have been several ,important  to me, holds, stops .The first one was participating in the exhibition of the young artists of state in 1981.I had a feeling of my heart jumping out of my chest because of the great happiness and joy that i had then. I was 26 at that time. The second moment was in 1993 when I had my first solo-exhibition in Riga, I was 39 then and while going to the exhibition I thought I wasn’t going to reach the opening of the exhibition and if I was -I would fall unconscious.

The third moment .I belong to the crowd of people who consider and wish everyone to be involved into the one and only  sphere  the person belongs to. I can paint but I’m absolutely unskilful at selling, advertising and promoting them. I don’t have an ability to organize exhibitions, create contacts, participate in competitions, fill in all the necessary forms, inquiry forms etc...Therefor there are such people as art agents. They have a taste of art, talent of a viewer and a talent to acquaint the audience with the artworks. And the best thing is that such a person has come into my life first by purchasing my paintings, then by becoming my agent and afterwards by ‘’purchasing ‘’ my heart and becoming a husband of mine .Now I think only about painting and the rest is in the hands of my husband Peter Rikans .It’s easier to go along the hard path of a nowadays artist together and it’s a great luck to have a shoulder to lean against.

How long does it take to produce one work?

 It depends on the moment that you consider to be the beginning of painting a piece of art.

The idea of the painting sometimes lasts for years. The Initial Idea, a thought, but it has to mature, to get covered with content like a fruit stone that has to get covered with the fruit itself. And then, finally, it becomes clear what the painting has to look like. Then it goes on with gathering the materials, collecting them, sketches, drafts. If I have thought of people to be foreseen in my paintings then I have to think of searching for faces, types followed by the development of the appearance, colour gamut, composition. Then I summarize it all by creating the so called ‘’cardboard’ ’a black-and-white ready, graphical development of the painting ranged a 100%.Everything is, actually, developed there –a format, composition, details etc.....

Then there follows the copying of the material onto the canvas in two stages.

I fact that was the way the ancient masterminds of Renaissance used to work creating their frescos. All the listed before appear s to be the main process of creating a painting. In the end all I just have to do is to paint the painting onto the canvas. Finally it’s only a question of technique and skills. So, adding to the mentioned before, in order to give absolute birth to the painting, 2-3 months go by, sometimes even more (it depends on the difficulty of the format and details of the painting).

What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?

At the moment I’m working at the series of 9 paintings ‘’Still Life’ ’Two works are being put aside ‘’ to mellow’’ and are almost finished. Still 7 more are placed in my mind, in sketches, materials. These are the nearest plans and intentions but what is the outcome-we will see. I hope it’s going to be good. I have put down much intent, but while I haven’t begun realizing them with a pencil in my hands, I am going to stay silent. There is a saying’’ if you tell your plans to anyone they will fail’’.

There are lots of ideas and thoughts but everything depends on the mental and physical possibilities. Sometimes artists need to do nothing but be lazy, to lounge about, to listen to music, to read some criminal novels, to do the so called nothing. But still the head does its work and this’’ zero-gravity flight’’ gives lots of strength afterwards to realize ideas and helps the ideas to be born.

There, how easy it may seem outwardly. The phrases of the ideas are being written in my notebooks, on small pieces of paper to serve many more human lives. I hope I can realize at least a bit of that all.

Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?

I am constantly exhibited in Artprice, ArtSpecifier, ArtFinder, CircleArts, SAATCI, Lada Stone Investments and many more sources of Internet. They are great helpers when promoting the artist’s recognition. An Italian publishing house Bianascuro is going to publish a book about me. So everything is in process and an accent is more to be applied to my agent.

Where do you see your art going in five years?

I’m smiling. It‘s a matter of dreams. Of course I wish to see my artworks to be exhibited in serious, of high-quality collections of art collectors and art lovers, in museums and art galleries. Also every artist wishes to find an owner for each artwork so they found their place in the houses and hearts of people thus becoming members of families. I want my paintings to bring joy, love, piece, not discomposure and negative irritation. In the modern world it’s long ago too much of negativity.

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