Irina paints for herself. It is the way she expresses her joy for life and love for nature’s natural beauty. Next to her own life and the forever-changing environment around her, she says her greatest influence is Georgia O’keefe. Originally, the Russian-born artist dreamed of being a fashion illustrator. She studied at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, took private art classes in order to get her portfolio together, and ended up falling in love with oil painting. "I have done watercolours and experimented with different media and found that oil paint is something I always come back to." She says it’s the way she can blend and manipulate the pigments that really make her attached to oil. Working in thin layers and adding colour as she goes, Irina creates a unique colour story with every piece. However, her fashion background comes across in her art, most prominently in her flower paintings.
Her flowers resemble the movement of fabric. "Flowers are so delicate and transparent in the light, you can always see the texture and the colours that are intertwined together." Irina has always enjoyed art, and painting has become her life's joy. It is the driving passion of her entire being. She is always pushing herself to try new things in her work; challenging herself to paint difficult subjects in order to continue her growth as an artist. No matter what she paints, the starting place of Irina’s inspiration is always the same – colour. "It can be a flower, landscape, a person sitting in a field, but the colour is where it all begins." Irina fills as much of her days as she can with painting; creating detailed, vibrant works of art. She notes, "Flowers are like portraits, they have so many important details." She paints from her own photographs to guarantee accuracy of these details. "When I take a photograph I am looking for the flower to do a dance. Movement is so important to my work and I want my flowers to continue that motion right on the canvas." Irina’s devotion to nature and passion for painting is illuminated through her work. She creates her art in hopes of leaving her viewers feeling moved by the energy and the language of the colours.
above, Fading Beauty, oil on canvas, 48" x 60" right top, Pizzazz, oil on canvas, 40" x 60" right bottom, Enigma, oil on canvas, 48" x 48"
left, Blushing Beauty, oil on canvas, 42" x 54" above, Romance, oil on canvas, 48" x 48"