The stories behind art are fascinating. Artists use their brushes, paint, canvases and tools to create visual stories like writers use a pen and paper. Here artists reveal the inspiration behind their masterpieces. It’s a rare opportunity to not guess, but hear how the work was born first hand.
One Artist. One Story
Marina Pneva is a Russian artist based in Moscow. She is famous for her medium-sized still lifes. She gets her inspiration from life-changing events, photography and objects around her. Marina finds beauty in simplicity: a bowl of fruits, blooming flowers or a cup of tea.
Long-awaited return by Marina Pneva. Oil Pastel
“My name is Marina and I live in Moscow, Russia. I paint with dry/oil pastel and I am absolutely in love with the material, and get a high each time I do a painting. I wouldn’t say I have a motto in my creative work, but what resonates with me is Jean Baptiste Chardin said, “Artists make use of colors, but paint with feelings.”
I took up painting after a tragedy in my life, and it really helped me to keep going and restart enjoying life. Painting is my most effective painkiller, in the literal and figurative sense. This painting is one of my favorites. I started doing it when I expected a call from a surgeon operating my school friend, who is like a brother to me. It took a longtime for the call to come. I was in anguish and I decided to paint something to distract myself.
Unlike other painters, I can’t imagine what the final result of my painting will be. I can’t even pick the colors consciously. It always seems to me that something or the picture itself chooses the way it wants to be painted, and very often, I’m surprised to see how it played out.
In this particular case the picture demanded gloomy colors. I was even a bit scared, because I want to create things that are positive and uplifting; not pour out negativity on the paper/canvas.
Artist Marina Pneva with her painting “Long-awaited return”
But after the doctor called with good news in the middle of the process, the colors quietly changed without my noticing the transition to the lighter side. So, when I looked at the result, I realized two things:
- The picture would have an optimistic name “Long-awaited return.”
- Subconsciously, I also painted my dream of another man’s return, the man I loved, the one whose return from his business trips made me so happy, the man who went to the place from where no return is possible…
My school friend has totally recovered after his operation. As for me, I am grateful that there was such a beautiful love affair in my life. The experience opened a path to paint, the ability to create. And isn’t creative work the highest form of happiness?”
Follow Marina Pneva on Social Media: Instagram @marina_pneva_art