Local Heart, Global Soul

December 6, 2019

Small Space, Prolific Work…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whenever I see a painting or art form, my mind often wonders about the space in which it was made.

I imagine large studios, some clean and tidy, others chaotic with things strewn around the “work in progress”.

I know that Dutch houses don’t have a lot of space to spare and so then I wonder how they manage to work in their small spaces. I was offered a tour of the paintings various rooms in Natalia’s home, and that included a look into her little studio.

Once upon a time I painted in acrylic paint too, loving the fact that it is a quick drying medium, and that I could build up the images using layers.

I was delighted to see that acrylic is Natalia’s chosen medium too, because it’s a paint often classed as a poor relation to it’s more famous cousins: oil and water colours.

In fact this is far from the case, used well, acrylic is often the favourite of many artists who paint in a super realist style, and love the near photographic results that can be achieved using acrylic paint.

For instance, check out Jason de Graff if you want to see exactly what I mean.

Natalia Stefanova’s work space is a tiny room, well organised, paints on a rack to one side of her workspace.

The width of the room is pretty much what you see in the second photograph, it’s not too much deeper either. Painting some of her bigger works must have been a tight fit.

An article written by Ine van den Boer for “ArtiBrak” was in Dutch, so Himself helped me out by providing an English translation:

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”, “Magic realism – Natalia uses acrylic paint on paper or canvas. She has chosen acrylic for a reason.

“With acrylic paint you can realise the effects of all techniques and materials, such as oil paint or water colours, depending on the substances you add. “she explains.

Often she applies a base of textured paint or gesso which gives her art a weathered wall look. At first she painted figurative still lives but slowly her work developed towards a sort of magic realism. Figures from tarot cards are a source of inspiration, and alchemy and mysticism too, about which she has many books.”

This studio space may be small, but it has a window for natural light and enough space to work…. and work it certainly does because Natalia is a prolific artist, with many beautiful paintings.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Latest work in progress…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 4, 2019

Recording Your Work…

Following on from yesterday’s post, a mostly photographic post today…

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”, “She refers to herself as a ‘visual artist’ which probably describes her work best. “I make figurative compositions with a touch of mysticism and magic realism”, she says. “I look at my paintings from a gnostic perspective; with an intuitive knowledge of the world”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 3, 2019

An Architectural Basis…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing with my posts about the Russian painter Natalia Stefanova, and the translation into English of the Dutch text of an interview for “ArtiBrak” by Ine van den Boer.

(Permission was obtained for translation and use in my blog).

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”,

“Although she graduated as an architect, Natalia started to paint in the Netherlands.

“That is not so strange” she explains. “The architecture study programme in Russia takes six years and is very broad.

Constructional drawing, but also free drawing and painting are an important part of it. So I have always been drawing.“

She also attended the art school of Julia Schult in Chimky, a Moscow suburb.

For years Natalia worked as an architect and later as an interior designer in Moscow. She married and had two children.

The younger one (now grown) has moved in with her and Bob in The Hague.

“After the perestroika there were more rich people in Russia who bought villas which had to be decorated. There was plenty of work”, she explains.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 2, 2019

Painting From Imagination Alone…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing with my posts about the Russian painter Natalia Stefanova, and the translation of the text of an interview for “ArtiBrak” by Ine van den Boer.

(Permission was obtained for both the translation and it’s use in my blog).

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”,

“Her own thoughts too can inspire her to put her colourful imagination on canvas in powerful strokes.

She points to a painting in which a butterfly can be recognized.

“Dreams are like a big butterfly; fluttering away from this daily world into a fantasy world”.

I asked during my Parels (Pearls) visit if Hatalia had any particular favourite life model for these paintings?

Natalia laughed and told me that she uses no models at all, and rather prefers to paint every face in her works from imagination alone.

I can now see similarities in many of the faces, but without a human model for reference it still amazes me how different she makes many of her faces look.

I am certain that I could not paint as many faces as she does without the faces eventually looking completely alike.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 1, 2019

Russia Is Grey, The Netherlands Is Green…

Another instalment of Russian painting from one of my Parels” (Pearls) day visits. I’m, also continuing with the translation of an article written about her Ine van den Boer given for the “ArtiBrak” publication. (Text translated and used with permission)

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”,  “In 2005 Natalia (born in 1958 in Yekaterinburg, Russia) came to the Netherlands for  (her now husband). This time the move was permanent, after she had visited a few times and love persisted. Natalia loves the Netherlands, the sea, the dunes and the people. “The Netherlands is green and the people are open and they always smile”. She says. “I had a good life in Moscow, but whenever I return to Russia I think the people are sullen and the country is grey”.

Well, there is certainly no grey in Natalia’s house, it’s filled to the brim with paintings and colour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 30, 2019

Answers In The Cards?

Painter Natalia told me that she is very heavily influenced by Tarot cards, astrology and many things mystical. This is completely not my thing and the only thing I know about Tarot card is that they have pictures on them that some people believe have meaning. I’m not one of these people, but, hey, …each to their own. Natalia tells me that this painting is based on the Tarot card “the falling / hanging man” and since I had no clue what that meant I will leave the link to the site that explained it to me. Apparently this jester / fool hangs by his foot from a tree and in doing so gains a new perspective on the world. I still can’t says I am a fan, or that I “get it”, but I’m assuming that it’s an interesting painting for those who do believe in Tarot and the like.

Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 29, 2019

Loosing All Track Of Time…

In this instalment of my “Parels” (Pearls) day visits, I am delighting in the work of a Russian artist, Natalia Stefanova. She has had an article written about her in a local publication (“ArtiBrak”) by Ine van den Boer given for the “ArtiBrak” publication. However it was in Dutch and Himself, my lovely husband, helped with translation of it into English for use in my blog. (we of course gained permission for all of this).

Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”, “Magical animals, fantasy figures, dream worlds. That is what Natalia envisages when she sits down behind her easel in the morning totally forgetting the time. “Sometimes I stay inside the whole day”, she says with a smile. “Until I realize I still have to get some food.” Husband Bob knows it all too well.”

I too know the of loosing all track of time, of hours passing, seeming like minutes, of being so focused on my art work that food, and even sleep became irrelevant. It’s something that occurs whenever anyone is lost in the depths of concentration and work on their art, I’m one hundred per cent sure that thousands of people who have musical, art or craft passion can totally relate.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 28, 2019

The Russian Art Tour Continues…

The next “Parels” (Pearls) artist I find is named Natalia, a Russian lady married to a Dutch husband. They explained that because Natalia was not allowed to work when she arrived in the Netherlands, to fill in her time she put her Moscow art school training to good use and began to paint. Now the walls are filled almost to bursting with paintings.

The next translated text from a local Dutch article in “ArtiBrak” publication by Ine van den Boer. (Text translated and used with permission). It reads: “Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition. With Russian hospitality and an enthusiastic flow of eloquence, Natalia Schoutsen-Stefanova receives me in her apartment in The Hague, an apartment filled to the rafters with art. In the living room, the hall, the bedroom, wherever you look you can see colourful acrylic paintings of mythical figures which seem to have stepped out of tarot cards or the Venetian carnival. “

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 27, 2019

Natalia’s Russian Roots…

My next visit along one of the recent “Parels” (Pearls) routes, was to a Russian painter. She and her husband showed me an article written about her, written by Ine van den Boer for the “ArtiBrak” magazine and Natalia was happy for me to use the text in these next series of posts. Himself did the translation for me (Thank You Sweetheart!) which was much appreciated, but instead of dumping a wall of text (in italics) in one post, I will divide it up and add in with the paintings over the following days.

News Flash”, “Natalia Stefanova – phantasy rooted in Russian tradition”
“Natalia Stefanova used to work as an architect and interior designer in Moscow, until true love made her move to the Netherlands. Over here she started to paint, but she didn’t forget her Russian roots. Last year she became an active member of ArtiBrak.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This next painting fascinated me, not just because the lady in it looks directly at the viewer, but also because of the amazing array of brushstrokes and colour that Natalia has used to build up the image. I thought for the arty ones amongst us, a mega-close-up view of if would be appreciate and (hopefully) inspiring!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

e

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

f

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch article, translations to follow in the next posts…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 12, 2019

THIS Will Wake You Up In The Morning!

More “Parels” (Pearls) paintings, following on from yesterday’s and recent posts. Although these are not my personal style, they would certainly help to wake you up in the morning!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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