February's artist is Mariia Bashtova. You can find her pieces on display all month long in the Brick Wall Gallery.
Mariia's artist statement:
My name is Mariia Bashtova. I was born in 1978 in the south region of Ukraine (as part of the former
USSR). I grew up, studied and worked in the city of Nikolaev, an hour driving from the black see. In
2012 I met my future husband and after our marriage, in the summer 2014, I relocated to Michigan.
Although my paintings speak for themselves, I would like to take a few minutes to explain how they
came to be.
The process of visual communication seems evident: you see what you see - but no two people
interpret the same thing in the same way. It is a game of external stimuli and internal processing,
drawing on our experiences and personal perception.
The birth of a painting is usually not an easy one – it is the result of a large amount of work. Turning a
feeling, a wish or a need into an ordered assemble of colors and shapes which conveys a message is a
huge challenge, which can sometimes be pleasurable and flowing, and sometimes extremely
frustrating. But there is great satisfaction in meeting the challenge, and the search is never-ending.
What is important to me is to work with both colors and volume in order to give shape to a previously
empty void or mute canvas. To create something which will continuously draw the eye, interest the
observer. A work which though it may represent a known concept or a simple form will hold interest
even in the parts of the sum and not only in the sum of the parts. Something to which the eye can be
drawn again and again, and which may reveal new aspects each time.
My connection with nature in all its forms has always been part of me, just as I am part of it. The
shadows cast by the clouds, the movement of trees, tools and objects of ordinary day life, changes and
metamorphosis, find a place in my work. I like to abuse of colors as celebration of life, dense
expression of passion, love and happiness.
In my work, of crucial importance, after having tested decisions and approaches, is the energy which
flows and is expressed, despise its birth within a static form.
After all the hard work, and even though this is something I have gone though many times, I am always
filled with wonder and surprise when the finished painting presents itself to me. I take time to study
and enjoy it, and then my thoughts turn to the next one.
Painting is the medium I have chosen to conduct a dialogue with myself, and to externalize my
experiences and feelings. The following Van Gogh quote well summaries my source of inspiration: “I
dream of painting and then I paint my dream”.
I hope it will give you the pleasure that it gives me.