Hi Volodymyr. Can you tell us how your artistic journey started?
Since the age of 10, I’ve independently pursued painting, recognizing it as my genuine calling and a boundless source of inspiration. My inaugural artwork featured a horse, its beauty and grace leaving an indelible impression. Throughout my first sketchbook, I meticulously captured scenes from reality, translating everything I observed onto paper. Additionally, I frequently depicted characters from beloved literary works like Raffaello Giovagnoli’s Spartacus or Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. As I delved into the techniques of various masters, I continuously refined my skills, immersing myself in the diverse artistic approaches embraced across different disciplines. Today, painting remains both a refuge and a beacon of optimism, reminding me that even amidst the darkest moments, the promise of dawn persists.

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
I am originally from Ukraine. The terrible war forced me to leave my homeland, and hospitable Scotland became my second home. Here, amidst the breathtaking landscapes, I discovered a sense of serenity and inspiration. The splendour of the local nature not only allows me to unwind but also ignites my creativity. I firmly believe that the vistas and scenes of Scotland are destined to be immortalized on canvas. Each rolling hill, misty loch, and windswept coastline offer a canvas of inspiration, simultaneously soothing my spirit and igniting the flames of creativity within me. Presently, I devote much of my time to capturing the essence of Scottish cityscapes, landscapes, and seascapes. I relish the challenge and richness inherent in landscape painting, endeavouring to convey my distinct vision and interpretation of reality, influenced by the ever-changing weather, the passage of time, and my prevailing mood.

Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative journey begins with inspiration, sparked by the beauty of nature, fleeting emotions, captivating stories, or ordinary objects. I mentally visualize the composition, considering elements like perspective, lighting, and mood, refining my vision through experimentation. Before painting, I gather materials and set up my workspace, ensuring everything is ready. Starting with broad strokes, I work in layers to build the composition, focusing on colour mixing, brushwork, and texture to capture the scene’s atmosphere. As I near completion, I add final touches to enhance the visual impact, adjusting highlights, shadows, and colours for harmony. Throughout this process, I embrace spontaneity and experimentation, welcoming unexpected discoveries. It’s a continuous journey of exploration, refinement, and self-expression that fuels my passion for art and drives me toward creative excellence.

Port Stoth by Volodymyr Durytskyi

How has your practice changed over time?
Initially, I embarked on my creative path with simple tools, primarily relying on pencils, watercolours, and gouache to bring my artistic visions to life. As I delved deeper into my practice and sought to expand my artistic horizons, I transitioned to oil painting. With oil paints, I found a greater sense of depth and complexity in my work, as well as the ability to achieve subtle nuances of light and shadow. Then using acrylic allowed me to explore new techniques and approaches, adding another layer of dimension to my work. Although oil paints remained my primary medium, I found that acrylic had its own unique advantages, such as fast drying time and versatility in application. Today, my practice predominantly revolves around oil painting on canvas. The rich, luscious texture of oil paints and their ability to blend seamlessly on the canvas continues to captivate me, providing endless opportunities for exploration and expression. However, I still occasionally incorporate acrylics into my work, drawn to their fast-drying nature and ability to create crisp, bold strokes when needed.

How do you overcome creative blocks?
To overcome creative blocks, I employ a method of persistent revision, refining my artwork until it resonates with my vision. Within my creative process, I’ve encountered instances where I’ve redrawn paintings multiple times, often revisiting and reworking them up to seven iterations. This iterative approach allows me to explore different interpretations, refine techniques, and ultimately arrive at a final piece that fully captures the essence of my creative intent.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Art is a journey of continuous growth and learning. Be open to experimentation, make mistakes, and view challenges as opportunities for improvement. Draw inspiration from the world around you. Explore different art forms, visit museums and galleries, immerse yourself in nature, and engage with diverse cultures. Inspiration can be found in unexpected places. While it’s valuable to study the techniques of established artists, don’t be afraid to experiment and develop your own artistic voice. Your unique perspective and experiences are what will set your work apart. Remember that mastery takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks or slow progress. Stay committed to your practice, trust in your abilities, and keep pushing forward, even when faced with challenges. Remember to enjoy the process of creating art. Let your passion and love for the craft guide you, and allow yourself to find joy and fulfilment in the act of creating. Additionally, don’t hesitate to express your unique vision and emotions on canvas through painting, regardless of others’ opinions. A fundamental piece of advice is to recognize that art is a lifelong journey. It’s this lifelong dedication that defines one as a true artist.

See Volodymyr’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find him on Instagram

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