Oksana Chumachenko is a talented young artist from Ukraine. She was born in Kryviy Rig, a big industrial Ukrainian city. Since her childhood, she has been fond of music and painting. As for now, Oksana has been accepted to an internship at the University of London Arts, Central Saint Martins Department, the Faculty of Fine and Contemporary Art. It was a great pleasure for us to take an interview with Oksana Chumachenko, and we wish you a pleasant reading and viewing of Oksana Chumachenko’s paintings.
AP: Nice to meet you, Oksana! We hope you’ll enjoy the questions we’ve prepared for you. Please tell us, what got you started? What were your first steps in the field of art?
Oksana: I got interested in painting when I went to music school. The neighboring class was a drawing class, and every time I passed that room, I was always looking at children’s drawings. At those times, I was strongly attracted to the process of the birth of a new landscape or still life! When I was 15, I went to Paris, and everything started for me in that city! When I visited the Louvre Museum and discovered the beauty mecca, I started trying myself in art.
AP: What an excellent start! Tell us about your first works. What did they look like?
Oksana: Originally, there were copies of famous paintings in pencil. Then, I had classes on psychological drawing dedicated to people’s emotions, events, ideas, and thoughts through the lens of my perception. And…Suddenly, I discovered oil painting!
AP: And how did you learn oil painting techniques? Who did support you when you made your first steps in this field?
Oksana: I found and read tips on painting with oil in various books. I spent a lot of time studying myself. All in all, I think I have succeeded only due to my efforts and wishes. And, of course, the most important thing for any person is that some people believe in me. You cannot imagine how it gives you strength and motivates you to be even better. For example, I decided to organize my first exhibition after hearing the words of an art critic from St. Martins. He was the first person from the field of fine arts who said that I had a great chance. My friends give me tremendous inner support, and my colleagues, too. We hold discussions and share experiences all together. It leads to the emergence of new art products. It is so interesting when you push personal contradictions and give them a challenge.
AP: So, as we’ve understood, you are self-taught in oil painting?
Oksana: Initially, yes. Later, I joined some learning courses I was interested in. And now, I’ve started paying attention to almost everything in oil painting. I usually take master classes with the Ukrainian masters.
AP: And can you tell us about the source of your inspiration? What inspires you daily?
Oksana: The source of inspiration for me is anything! Anything that happens in my life, the lives of others, and other artists’ paintings.
AP: What genres are your paintings? Can you consider your style as unique or unusual?
Oksana: I am a person who prefers artistic experiments. I think it is better to try everything in creativity. Only experiments can help you to find yourself. So, never be afraid of experiments in art as they open your talents.
However, when choosing the paintings for my exhibition, I tried to stick to one style and direction. At the moment, it was the symbolism and abstraction. While sending artworks to the exhibition, they passed “quality control.” As for my experimental paintings, they decorate the walls of my art studio and my house. These paintings can be seen only by my frequent guests at home.
AP: It’s good that you like artistic experiments! We’ll be waiting for your new artwork in various styles. All in all, how can you describe your paintings?
Oksana: They’re fresh color paintings. They are ‘monochromatic,’ and some, along with it, have a tonal interaction, which gives the painting an extra volume. This is not typical for abstract art. My artworks are harmonious and based on complex but legible compositions. These paintings create a cozy space, giving us various associations and novelty.
AP: You’ve just told us about what your paintings mean for people. But what does the art mean for you? Could it be called the part of your life?
Oksana: I believe that only the soul knows what we are accustomed to calling ‘feeling.’ Not all can be expressed through fundamental concepts and existing words. Fortunately, people have a way of universal expression throughout art. I’ve chosen painting because when any event happens in my life, I attribute a color to each event; I even have my own etymology and color scheme of mood. Very often, an ample palette of colors or saturated colors may significantly impact me.
I agree with Goethe, who wrote that color is a product of the world that helps to express our emotions. So, everything in life has its emotional color, scale, and light! People love different colors; every color has its own ‘range of the soul.’ And I can’t be an exception. My soul is in my paintings, and they tell a story. My paintings for me are the rainbow of my life. I often see colors and shades in my dreams instead of stories. As a result, I draw new abstractions imbued with the ‘smell’ of these colors.
AP: Your color theory is breathtaking! Are there any colors you don’t like at all?
Oksana: Yes, I used to be afraid of some colors. Then, I realized that falling in love with those colors was a good way to fight my fears. I began to use it on the canvas, and now they have become one of my favorites.
AP: It’s an excellent way to change your mind and overcome your fears. Your advice can help many people. Thank you. We also want to know about the technologies and equipment you need for your job.
Oksana: Technology is simple: oil, canvas, and the soul.
AP: Cool recipe. What are your plans for the future?
Oksana: I’m not particularly eager to talk about something in advance that has not happened yet. Of course, I have some specific goals in my life. I’m trying to grow professionally and will continue developing myself. Now, I’m working on new artwork. I generate new ideas. I think I will have recent exhibitions with an entirely different format next year. I hope a large audience will know about this event. And I do not want to possess just the title of an ‘artist’. I want to try myself in other areas, for example, Fine Art, Art and Science, Moving Image, Graphic Design, and Communication Design.
AP: Great plans! We hope your dreams will come true. Can you tell us about your past achievements?
Oksana: The first was participating in the St. Martins training. The second one was my first personal exhibition in December 2011. It was the first trial for friends and relatives and the first big statement about me in the world of art. And after that, I’m not stopping.
AP: You have a bright and exciting working experience. Do you consider yourself a professional in your painting?
Oksana: The art cannot be decomposed into something plane. We can’t define who the best is. Of course, every artist has a classical education; the only difference is how the artist represents his/her world vision. Poetry has a central role in art. Painting can turn poetry into something that can be touched and seen. And we become poets and magicians by ourselves. A good artist is a person who can find the right rhyme for the human heart.
Oksana, we’d like to thank you for your time and for sharing such deep thoughts about painting. We are very grateful to you for that! We wish you continued success, brilliant ideas, and, of course, inspiration. To learn more about Oksana Chumachenko’s paintings, visit her web page.
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