Tell us about growing up in Ukraine?
I was born and raised in Ukraine. My parents did not share my dream to be artist and my painting class had to be postponed for many years. I went to Russia for study in College of Art and later. Finished Institute of Culture and getting an education as a theater director. Immigration to Iceland was the beginning of my Art or rather it was the birth of me as an artist. The first six years I was study painting in local Art School in Iceland and also attended many different courses of painting: in Iceland and other countries.
When did you know you could create art?
I know than I create art when I was 7 years old. It was really funny situation. I was going to school at first day and I took photo camera from my older sister to take some photo of all my future classmates but I didn’t know anything about photo camera. I asked all children posing me and I did took a shoot of all 40 children together. When I came home and ask my father to make photos, he said: “there is no film inside of camera!” I think: “How should I come to school without photo?” I bought paper by size 16”x20” and I did drawing all of them with colored pencils. Next day I’ll come to school and show my big “photo” in front of all children. It was big silent! Then come first boy and ask “Where am I?” -and next one and all my class has so much fun about this drawing. I even forgot this first drawing but my classmates remained me about this.
Why is art important to you?
It’s my life. I love to paint because I want my work to reflect serenity and joy in life and living.
What is it about art that allows it to heal the soul?
Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. Art and music affect every cell in the body instantly to create a healing physiology that changes the immune system and blood flow to all the organs. Art and Music also immediately change a person’s perceptions of their world. They change attitude, emotional state, and pain perception. They create hope and positivity and they help people cope with difficulties. Art take us into our inner world, the world of imagery and emotion, of visions and feelings. This journey inward into what used to be called the spirit or soul and is now called the mind is deeply healing. This is the contemporary version of freeing our healing energies and is now recognized to be crucial to healing.
Who was your biggest inspiration?
The endless and harmonious beauty of nature with its charm, poetry always inspires me to create paintings. Our life is full of beautiful things, even ordinary things that seem to blossom into sounds, poetry and beauty.
What color would you say is your favorite right now?
My favorite color is Orange. This is warm, inviting color is so optimistic, uplifting and rejuvenating our spirit.
How has teaching changed your life?
In the summer 2000 I start teaching people to paint with oil. The teaching gives me more knowledge about demonstration, creation, and explanation. I learned how to be patient – shows the student what to do and the student learn by doing it. I learned how to give them new idea or technique and give them inspiration, encouragement and made it fun.
See more of Vera’s work at her website, artgalleryvera.com.