Anastasia Fedorova is an established Ukrainian-Canadian oil painter based in Vancouver who creates beautiful multilayer oil paintings using the traditional Italian technique impasto. Her oil paintings have many layers of different oil paintings and are very pastous with a thick and rich texture. The main subjects of Anastasia’s oil paintings are conceptualized landscape, cityscape, and floral pieces. We interviewed Anastasia to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.
1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art? Has your creative day changed due to Covid-19?
New Covid reality actually allowed me to focus more on my work as an oil painter. I paint every day and when I am not working, I am researching a new subject matter for my next painting. Usually, I draw my inspiration from everything that surrounds me, everything that fills my heart with joy and excitement. Even a common everyday object can inspire me to create a new piece.
I have a specific rule in my practice: I paint only when I feel happy and am in a positive mood. Before starting to create or continue any of my paintings, I always put myself in the right mindset. This allows me to achieve incredibly powerful results in my work. All my clients admire the “contagious” positivism that is always present in my oil paintings.
I was always painting a lot outside and with Covid's situation, it did not change much. I adore nature and love doing my plei-airs in nature because immediate presence is very important to me and to my practice. All my paintings start from nature where I am trying to transport the viewer to the better, sometimes idealized world. I see nature as a teacher, who makes me investigate the color and ephemeral movements of the environment. By using a vibrant color palette and thick loaded brushstrokes I am emphasizing the dynamism and movement in nature.
2. Tell us more about your art studio.
I live and work in Vancouver, Canada. And I am very fortunate to have a beautiful studio with “floor to ceiling” windows that give me lots of natural light during my long day work hours. I am absolutely fascinated and obsessed with color, and its ability to fully transform our experiences. All my multilayer oil paintings are filled with vivid and vibrant colors. That is why good light is absolutely crucial to my practice.
3. How did you first get interested in your medium/s?
I was very lucky to be taught by celebrated Ukrainian Master oil painters for over a decade. That allowed me to really absorb and learn unique skills. I love and primarily use oil paints that stood the test of time and showed their incredible durability and stability, not changing color. No other medium can give me such an incredible variety of colors and tones when I am mixing pigments together. There is only one drawback to oil paints, and it is the price. The high-quality oil paints that I use, are incredibly expensive. I create not just one but from two to six layers of oil paintings in a single work which I methodically apply one on top of another. This unique technique gives my multilayer oil paintings an incredible depth and makes my works so colorful, textural and pastous, that nobody can resist the temptation to touch my painting when he or she sees it.
4. Describe your style in one sentence.
My bold impasto technique with brushstrokes loaded with oil paint, and each of my paintings carrying a unique textural quality.
5. Has your style changed over time?
I would say I learned to trust myself more and became more confidant in myself and my genius. I paint almost twenty years now, and the more I create the better results I get. I try to develop and progress every day to become the best possible version of my creative self so that people can enjoy and appreciate my work.
6. What are your main artistic tools?
I love working both with knives and brushes for my oil paints. Almost every painting I create has the presence of knives and brushes. Knife painting allows me to mix oil paints directly on the canvas, which gives my paintings more pure and vivid colors.
7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?
Positivism is essential to my work. I am painting only when I feel fulfilled, happy, and in harmony with my inner myself. Many of my art collectors say that my paintings literally shine. And I believe that is because they feel incredible positivism and positive energy that I put into my work.
The fastest and easiest way for me to be in harmony with my inner self and to feel happy is to be grateful for everything that I already have in my life. Even though my life could be hectic from time to time, I try to find some time only for myself in order to pause and reflect. This allows me to see all the beauty and abundance of life, and then to portray this beauty in my works.
8. What artists - either contemporary or from history - have had an impact on you and your art practice?
There are many incredible artists that I really admire. But I would say the most impact on me and my art practice had Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Jan van Eyck, and Albrecht Durer. These great artists came from different times but each of them taught me invaluable lessons that I use in my everyday practice.
9. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?
The art world has definitely changed due to the pandemic. And while it is obvious that last year became a challenging one for everybody, I believe that there are some great opportunities appeared as well. Firstly, art became even more important now than ever before. Art always helped us to express and understand the world around us, while at the same time allowing us to process our experiences. Historically, artists have always been the tool to deliver those experiences. Therefore, I believe that the need for artists is rapidly increasing.
Secondly, with the rise and development of technology, it became easier both for artists and for collectors to sell and buy art. I believe that the pandemic became a catalyst for the online art world to develop rapidly and become more advanced in order to satisfy even the most sophisticated collectors.
10. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?
Right now I am working on a series of paintings devoted to love and our life paths. Obviously, love is one of the most important things in the world. I believe that love is the shortest path to self-discovery, love gives us meaning and purpose in life, love makes us inspired, love brings us joy and happiness, love teaches us compassion and gratitude, and this list is endless.
My series devoted to love and life paths include twelve oil paintings which are showcasing night scenery "Night of Love", "Night of Passion", "Mysterious Night", "At Night" and day scenery in paintings "Road of Love", "Gentle Love", "Daizy", "Velvet Paths", "Blue Paths", "Yellow and Happy", "Path of Hope" and "Winter Paths". With these artworks, I wanted to remind my viewers about the importance of love in our life. Observing the paintings, you can see different paths, which are allegories of our paths in life. Everybody is experiencing life differently. The only thing that always remains constant for all of us is love; it is the most important thing in the world. We all are taking different paths in life, sometimes through wind and snow, through challenges and struggles. Luckily, all of the paths we take eventually lead to love.
My future series of multilayer oil paintings will be devoted to memories. I believe that our memories are essential in our lives because they allow us to grow and learn to be a better person. Memories help us continue progressing forward teaching us very important life lessons that we can use and apply in the future. And what I love the most about memories, is that they teach us to be truly present in the moment which I explore a lot in my works. Often we do not value what we already have, we do not appreciate moments we are in right now until those moments become memories. And while memories are an essential part of our lives, I also want to remind my viewers about the importance of living in the present moment.