Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 10, 1445 H
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Colouring feelings


Dandelions, lupines, sunflowers, poppies and nature enchant this amateur artiste. Ukrainian Olga Velikaya paints the world not the way she sees, but the way she feels it. Very often her perception of things is different to their actual appearance, texture or colours — a kind of therapy and a way to release her emotions.

Her common technique which brings out the best is the use of vivid brushstrokes as well as extensive use of dots and splashes. To add that extra texture, she uses a modeling paste.

All her paintings are easily recognised by themes of floral patterns, sun-lit forests and birds, which catch art lovers’ attention.

Her recent solo exhibition saw her exhibiting 15 of her acrylic paintings on warm sun rays between the trees, fresh wild flowers, water shimmering over pebbles, pirouetting golden leaves, dancing rain drops and steaming hot coffee.

“I feel the beauty of little details and add those pure, intricate elements to my art,” she says.

Olga paints the world the way she feels. Her main inspiration comes from the nature. Her paintings have a magnetic pull because of the captivating colours and intricate use of brushstrokes.

Inspired by Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline and forested mountains, her paintings can be described as peaceful, inspiring and pure.

Olga says while creating these paintings she goes nostalgic about her childhood days growing up in the countryside. She was always fascinated with the sun bathed forests, and colours dancing on leaves and wild flowers.

“I do not limit my self-expression to one particular style. Of course, there are common patterns in my paintings such as use of vivid colours, dots, prominent brushstrokes and floral motifs. If I had to choose the painting styles which I tend to use, then I would say most of my works are abstract or impressionistic.”

She recently painted a series on the four seasons coming out with bold, colourful works.

She usually chooses 3-4 prime colours and only adds their shades, so her paintings are colouristic, but at the same time not multi-coloured. Vivid brushstrokes as well as extensive use of dots and paint splashes are the most common.

Acrylic paints are her favourite. She is able to apply many layers in no time, besides changing its appearance and texture. To show texture, she adds modeling paste or gels and loves its creamy and fluid nature, which can be easily switched from brushstrokes to palette knife.

Elena Romanovna, another Ukrainian, introduced her to the magic world of art. It was Elena’s calmness and peaceful aura that inspired her to work. “A feeling of serene calmness washes all over me once I pick the brush, and it has nothing to do with knowing or learning painting techniques,” she recalls.

Olga feels the world in colours. Layering hues, blending shades and splattering drops of paint onto the canvas releases her emotions and helps regain balance. As she stands behind the easel, the outside world with deadlines, anxieties and pressures gradually fades.

Her mind drifts into a dream-like realm and later when her eyes shift back to reality, everything seems authentic, atmospheric and serene. That’s how she comes out with some brilliant works of art.

For Olga, painting is that moment when time stands still. It is the time to be free and the time to breathe.

Visitors at the her exhibition who turned in large numbers took a closer look of her imaginary work. She admits connoisseurs of art will feel peace and warmth from her works. “I hope you’ll breathe a little lighter and feel a little deeper. Through colours and brushstrokes, I show my feelings.”

The colour of the paintings depends on her emotional state. One notices a series of red, blue, green and yellow paintings. Sometimes, if she remains in one emotional state longer, she comes out with several paintings in the same colours. Once the mood changes, so does the colour palette.

Olga has always been fascinated by the Arab world, particularly its culture, architecture and traditions. She loves exploring new cultures and experiencing authentic life in a foreign culture not as a tourist, but as a local.

She moved to the Sultanate from China, where she was teaching English. Presently with Modern College of Business and Science (MCBS), she plans to hold workshops for her students and also cooperate with a children’s museum to organise workshops.

Olga plans to devote her next exhibition in Muscat to Omani themes, namely sun rays in the desert, flying sea gulls, marine world, nature, mountains, colorful mosaics and lanterns.

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