Long-distance Trip with a Palette in the Hands

  • G’Day, Liubov! If you would be asked to describe your life journey in just 5 words what nouns would it be?
  1. Inspiration
  2. Dream
  3. Mystic experience
  4. Self-actualization
  5. Adventurism
  • This is what Liubov Lastochkina pointed out first in a small interview with her.

I also have my favorite motto-quote by Mark Twain which is reflecting my exploratory nature so precisely:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

 

  • What has led you to paintings?

I went to Yamal being a student in my final year at Uni. I went for stints as an accountant working with source documents and it was unspeakably boring. Actually, I have realized that economic and financial spheres were not of my interest at all far earlier, when I was in my 2nd year. Nevertheless, it didn’t help me to choose the right profession for me.

Polar Night’s season in Yamal is remarkable for its long-long evenings, I got keen on Photoshop at first, and then I got enlightened with the thought to buy a reflex camera! And to become a photographer. Yes, I wanted to live more bright, more creative life with a free time-table and labor mobility.

The same time I started visiting one extravagant lady-masseur. She was into untraditional methods of working with energy flows and was also a Reiki Master. Once after another singsong working day, I came to her for massage having a question: how does she see my future. What do I do? Can she advise me what to choose as the main activity? As far as she gets the answers spontaneously, she had the one for me only by the next visit. She said she sees paintings in a gallery and this gallery looks like foreign one.

I got very excited because my wishes come true but I clarified if she has meant photos, not paintings. She repeated that she has meant paintings. My flight of fancy was always high but it didn’t help me to picture myself as an artist because our flat never had a simple pencil in it. So soon I forgot about her words. But! Some mysterious force pulled me to canvas and colors just in one year time. Having no plan for my further actions I just bought a set of oils and canvas and 4 paintings created on a hunch saw the world  and world got to see them :).

They are of a low quality but my delight from the process was limitless.

By freak of chance the same time, my aunty meets one talented artist Natalia Polyakova by virtue of office. Natalia is not only talented but charismatic as well. Aunty got 2 splendid paintings from her and soon we both decided to study art under Natalia’s direction. Artistic goods were in short supply in our small Northern town and we had to order it from so-called civilization in stock.

To tell you the truth I wasn’t ready for such expenses and wasn’t ready to get that serious at all. Nevertheless, artist in chief insisted in the necessity of acquiring the whole inventory. I vividly remember it as it happened right now. I had to save up 2 salaries in a row. In return, I learned how to gather frames, strain and ground canvas and had colors for 10 years in advance without kidding.

I started learning applied painting techniques simultaneously and was especially successful in doing it on bottles with individual wishes. It was not that easy to find an original gift or gift card in our town and that is why it was in demand. Sometimes I even didn’t have enough time to serve all orders. For example, I was asked to paint on cognac’s bottles for the whole organization for the 23d of February and to décor champagne chest by 8th of March. I was literally talked by Natalia to participate in one exhibition. She helped me to organize 2 stands but I had bottles ready only for the one. Thankfully, my mom assisted me in getting the second stand done. She got so much into it that later on, it led her to the world of author’s doll. Now she gives master-classes on different techniques of handmade dolls’ creation.

Art Yamal regional exhibition took place in Salekhard where Natalia could place my works as far as she was assisting in its organization. It was quite awkward for me to apply due to the dominant presence of professional artists from the whole region. Thanks to Natalia’s support my art journey has started. Two of my early paintings participated while I was sick at home and couldn’t attend exhibition myself. Later on, to my great surprise, I got to know that a lot of people stopped by my works and one of the artists from jury has shown a desire to meet me. I was shocked because I realised the true level of my paintings. But back then, 10 years ago, there were not all these studios and master-classes of right hemispheric paintings J Artists’ works were basically executed in classic style and had cold color spectrum. That is why my textured works in a la prima style looked bright and unusual and stood out against winter landscapes’ background. Owing to this exhibition first buyers showed up and first sales were made.

  • What difficulties did you face along your creative development?

Still looking for my real calling and self-realization I moved to Krasnodar and found a studio where I could continue to study painting under guidance in half a year. The essence of lessons was simple: you choose any painting of your liking and just copy it from photography learning artist’s technique. I presented finished works as birthday gifts to my near relations, then orders have appeared and word of mouth started making its job.

In 2 years I realized that studio doesn’t fulfill me anymore and that I have to move forward. I felt missing out on knowledge of academic painting and composition, structural and systematic approach. Paintings are based on graphics while graphics is all about technical techniques. I like how did Van Gogh put it: “What is painting? This is a skill to break through an iron wall between what you feel and what you can”.

So I went to art school where I was studying for 2 years and was attending one private art studio by weekends. It was not easy to combine that time-consuming hobby and often working off-hours.

What is good I always had had orders for paintings: one was barely finished when another one was ordered. However, the cost was also affordable. Not everyone can afford original work whereas the one made by well-known artist’s motive is quite ok. Don’t you agree that it is not bad at all to have a «live» painting with individual requirements in regards to style, plot, size and all that is not expensive?

 

  • How did you make your mind to move to the USA?

One day I understood that it is impossible to live like that anymore and that radical changes are required. This understanding didn’t fall on my head as a snow in May. What it took was a long way of introspection and self-development. Yet this fact made following events to move in favorable for me manner. When we are in the Flow, the most unusual things happen to us. I remember this period now as a fairy tale were I was appointed as the main hero. Mysterious hand walked me to the place where I became happy.

  • What inspires you for new plots?

Inspiration for me is some state of flight. To acquire this state, to inhale a flow full of fresh thoughts I travel, get new impressions, make acquaintances especially in art crews, I meditate and get spiritual experience.

  • Your story proves that magic is everywhere in life if you believe it. Is it true?

I think that magic happens when you live in a Flow and in accordance with your predestination. When you feel your uniqueness, realize your potential and get satisfaction from what you are doing. Then, it seems, the very sky does support you. I met my beloved man in the US and got married to him. And my husband’s brother is a professional artist (believe it or not) who contributed to new insights.

  • Do you agree that talent is about only 10% of a gift and 90% of persistence?

I actually agree but I would add Faith in yourself and Courage as ingredients. Each of us has got unique qualities and gifts. If you understand your nature and live accordingly by perfecting skills and hard working in the right direction, you can achieve results you want.

Talent may lie out of music or art, it could be strong leadership qualities and capacity to manage or language skills and good memory, skills to analyze and systemize. Creative activity for me is only a tool to work with my inner child, constructive process.

  • Is it possible to buy your paintings online?

I’m in the process to create online pages but you can look at my works here:

art.martleta

PS. PeaceDaBall can’t stop admiring many of Lyubov’s works but this one rock!