Though I dabbled in art occasionally since the time I was a child, it was only in 2012 that I began to apply myself to it almost full-time. Since then I have studied under Andrew McDermott, Michael Radford and Robert Genn at various workshops and educational trips. I also attend weekly training sessions with teacher and mentor Leo Hu, and started a Certificate in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University in 2014. With a penchant for oils and watercolours, most of my work is impressionistic, with some semi-abstract exceptions, and makes the human condition the center of each colourful production.”
With time and practice, I want my paintings to acquire a more extensive narrative. I want to tell more stories and ask more questions.
There is an undercurrent of romanticism through my entire body of work. More influenced perhaps by Tolstoy, Grimm, Chopin and Tchaikovsky than by any one visual artist, I revel in sadness. My subjects, for the most part people I encounter during my travels, appear melancholic. And they don’t protest their lot. Somewhere not far away, perhaps a rumba meanders its way from around the corner of a squalid alley, the veggie man lights up a cigar as he relishes the sight of a pretty girl, and Maria, the old lady sitting on her doorstep smiles gently as I refocus my camera. Indeed, life goes on. And the Caribbean-like and fantastical splashes of colours may depict sadness, but suggest that it is filled with profound beauty.
It is also about telling a story. Each of my subjects, however seemingly mundane, has his or hers. With a gesture of the hand, the gaze of an eye or downturn of the lips, they stir me, tug at the heartstrings of my and your stories, and somewhere, the two meet in the universality of the human experience.
And so, with Chopin’s Nocturnes to accompany my musings, a Kolinsky in hand, my Slavic soul once again wants to make life sing.