Stopping to enjoy the beauty of the flowers

Saturday August 18 2018

Yulia Chvestova artwork

Flowers, by Yulia Chvestova. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NMG 

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In her classic style, Russian-born Yulia Chvetsova makes you stop and enjoy the beauty of ordinary flowers.

Chvetsova was brought up in an industrial town and has lived in cities all her life, still she says nature is close to her heart.

“There is perfection in any flower, plant or animal. The closer you look, the more you are motivated by Mother Nature,” says Chvetsova who currently lives in Kenya.

Flowers is an impressionist picture of blossoming red flowers and unopened buds on an ashen white background.

White poppy flowers with yellow centres bloom against deep green foliage in the painting Poppies.

Chvetsova selects flowers, arranges them to compose the picture, takes photographs and then paints from them.

“The key to executing a good still life is in finding a balanced composition, lighting up the subject in interesting ways and reproducing exactly what you see. Sounds easy but the process demands a lot of practice, which is joyful,” says Chvetsova.

There is simplicity in the way she depicts everyday objects such as a pair of ballet shoes in pastel colours, a red apple with a single green leaf, and a yellow lemon half-wrapped in crushed paper.

Chvetsova studied art in her home city of Perm. Besides still life, she also paints landscapes, abstracts and portraiture in both oils and acrylics. The abstract diptych Summer is of a burnt yellow landscape against a clear blue sky.

Water is a three-panel abstract of light colours reflected on a lake surface. Roiling, reddish blue clouds seem to duplicate the feeling of the choppy sea crashing onto a beach in the oil painting called Sea.

“If your work finds an echo in the outside world that’s wonderful. If not, at least you feel happy to create,” she says.