Artist Feature Galina Lukshina

Статья на Русском

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By Iryna Petrenko

Artists are people who live in their own world of fantasy, dreams, emotions and feelings. Each one of them chooses a way to express their ideas of the universe and show their inner world.

Graphic artists choose sharp lines, creative thinking and unstable space. They are able to reveal the infinity and variety of such laconic graphic work. Traditional painting requires the artist to obey the established canons, but it is the graphics that open up the whole breadth of possibilities, freeing the imagination of the artist, limited only by the white sheet of paper.

Galina Lukshina is a visionary artist. She is an amazing woman who creates truly beautiful, mystical and unique pieces, expressing her own perception of the world, revealing feelings and emotions, flaunting human weaknesses and joy. Because of her talent, skill, desire to create and irrepressible imagination, these incredibly beautiful, bright and at times bizarre drawings make it impossible to remain indifferent.

The secrets of the artist are very simple: the creation of an image, regardless of the subject, must pass through the prism of their own sensations and emotions. By investing part of her own soul in each painting, Galina fills it with positive energy and feelings that she wishes to convey to the viewer. What makes her work entirely different from other artists, is the sincerity with which she animated her subjects. The author chooses unusual angles and creates dynamic images. Sharp hatching makes the picture come to life, the characters soar, taking the viewer into their realm.

The main theme of Galina Lukshina’s works is the inner dialogue of Man with God. These conversations encompass the whole universe in her paintings, where you are greeted with silent sadness, hopes for the future, parental joy, and childish naivety. All this is closely intertwined with surrealism, mysticism, and sometimes esotericism. Somehow, surprisingly, this emotional whirlwind is brought into balance and harmony by the artist.

There is a deep connection with folklore in Galina’s art. Belief in one’s own creation is present in many ancient rituals. Ukrainian folk embroidery is one of them. Our ancestors believed that you can embroider your destiny. In the modern world, we call it visualization. Galina found her way to create the future. She embroiders it in her paintings, and it projects into her life. When she was a child, Galina painted her daughter, and this drawing became a reality. Her daughter Alisa is not only the artist’s favorite creation, but also an endless source of inspiration for her work.

“I drew her when I was a child and was working on finishing this drawing for a long time. And now we often draw together, and together we see much better vision ahead. Alisa now lives in another country, married, but space does not separate us at all. On the contrary, the world in our minds is compressed to convenient values ​​and this does not affect the quality of our communication. Here is Alisa, this is my most Important, the Best and most Significant Creation. I understand the world more clearly and distinctly through her now. I had a quantum leap because of her birth. Transition to a new level of consciousness. “(From an interview with the artist)

Alisa Lukshina is also an artist, and an actress. Actively filming, she also helps with sales of her mother’s paintings and organizing exhibitions.

Galina Lukshina has repeatedly participated in international art competitions in Spain, France, Germany, China, Australia, the USA and Mexico, and in 2004 her personal exhibition in Russia was held. Her works are in private collections in Ukraine, Europe and the USA. Among other things, the artist and her team are now working on preparing for another personal exhibition in Moscow.

There is a wonderful person and a musician, who needs to be mentioned. Alexandr Balunov, the founder of a famous music group Korol & Shoot (The king and the jester). He loves Lukshina’s art and has commissioned a few paintings. He decorated his new house with the art.

Today, Galina’s works can be seen and even purchased on the pages of the Internet store where the detailed photo gallery of the finished works is presented, and there is an opportunity to make an order for original artwork, as a custom order printed T-Shirt.

Unique presentation, bright and memorable images, kindness and true human warmth are all present in the artwork of Galina, who invites everybody to travel through her magical worlds.


Folktales and Faerie Stories-An Interview with Melissa Mary Duncan

By Alyssa Laube


About: Melissa Mary Duncan is a Mythical and Faerie Artist living on Canada’s West Coast and working in the northern European tradition of Faerie Tale and Celtic Myth . She is delighted to be taking part in this year’s Art World Expo at Telus Science World, in Vancouver. She looks forward to welcoming you to her inner landscape


Your mother taught you to paint. Was she an artist? Was her style similar to yours?

Mom painted in oils and taught painting to children. She tried to interest me in painting but I was a most recalcitrant student preferring the wild out of doors to the inside of her studio or the classroom. And my style, subject and use of medium are nothing like hers.


Youve been influenced by Celtic legends and Brothers Grimm. Are there any in particular that had a lasting effect on you?

Celtic Legends are an interesting mix of oral history, hero tales and magical happenings. They are different than Fairytales in that the stories are believed to have happened. The characters are varied and often rather intense in their passions and motivations. I would say that my love of history and traditional Celtic Music drew me to Celtic Mythos as much as my passion for a damned fine yarn.

My favourite tale from the Brother’s Grimm is “ Hansel and Gretel”. I have always delighted in a good wicked witch and who can not be charmed by spunky little sister Gretel. The children best this witch not through any use of magic but through their own pluck and daring. I think that if the material in Hansel and Gretel was taken as the plot line and produced straight-up, as a film, it would be terrifying.

What is it about fantasy and folklore that fascinates you?

Fantasy can be a very effective vehicle for metaphor. I like my fantasy with real world sociological, historic and anthropological roots. I am very traditional in that regard, although having said that I must admit to often painting narrative Faerie tales based on noting more grounded than a collage of fay, mythic and human beings interacting in the twilight world, as if we, the viewers, have suddenly stumbled upon this motley collection of characters and interrupted them at their own foxy, magic and mysterious business. That kind of fantasy, at first glance, can be just for fun. I am a romantic at heart but I do not always expect or even enjoy a saccharine happily ever after. I use the fantastical as a metaphor for life, the sacredness of the environment and to make sense of our mortality. I also use it unashamedly as an escape.


When and how did that fascination begin?

It started during childhood, as a child with a love for good old-fashioned bedtime stories and a wonderful song about a Dragon with Thirteen Tails. I was a sickly little girl often confined to resting indoors and I remember my father and our local librarian engaged in a heated discussion about what I was and was not allowed to bring home from the library. I had set my heart on a gilded late Victorian edition of The Tales from The Arabian Knights translated into English by Sir Richard Burton. Now, you need to understand that these were not the tamed down nursery versions of Aladdin and Albi Baba with which you might be familiar, but Adult Folk tales which begin with an invocation to Allah. These stories informed the reader not just of a King with supreme power over the life and death of his wives but life in a harem, of monsters and seduction and … Well, you catch my drift. The librarian was scandalized. My father held fast and I brought home Sir Richard Burton’s volume. Faerie tales, the stories of Aesop and The Lays of Marie of France, Shakespeare’s 12th Night, the Opera Turandot seem to have always been part of my life so I suppose my fascination began with my first lullaby.


Are there any places that youve been to which have inspired you or had a fantasy-like atmosphere? Are there any here in British Columbia?

In British Columbia we are blessed with beauty. We live in a very scenic part of the world. Take me to the woods. Take me to the sea shore . Take me down an old narrow alley in Victoria’s China Town, or on a bus or to the supermarket. In every human face there is magic. In every aspect of the natural world there is the wondrous. In every vestige of civilization or ancient building there are the echoes of “Once upon a time…” I love the Lady Chapel in St. James Cathedral, in Vancouver. In that sacred space one can feel the tradition of prayer that has gone before and hear the echo of song from the choir singing in the Victorian Romanesque main chapel. As Fantasy is a product of human intellect and imagination it is inherent in ourselves. It is informed by the mechanics of the natural world and sprinkled throughout with superstition. It grows in traditions and in the fascination with the obscure. Fantasy is a product of the exotic and of wishes. It is the cousin of hope in the face of our own mortality. It is all around us because we carry the seeds of fantasy in our subconscious.

Your book, FAYE ~ The Art of Melissa Mary Duncan, came out in 2013. How do you feel about having a book dedicated to your work? How did it change your life?

It got me Nominated for the Canadian Aurora Award as Best Artist of 2014 for illustration and cover art…Dead shock! It was a labour of love. It taught me a whole lot about the craft of making a book. And it sold, which again, was rather a surprise to me.


You had a bit of a challenging childhood. How did those challenges help you grow into who you are today?

I am a Polio Survivor. Despite the fact that I draw Faeries and fantastical beings I am very pragmatic. I seem to possess most of the typical character traits of a Polio survivor in that I am a bit of a workaholic. I feel that Folktales and Faerie stories took me out of myself to other worlds when it was not so easy for me to go into the world. I think that is also why I find life so wonderful.


Your artistic career started with your membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism. What was it about this group that encouraged to to develop your work?

Ahh . . . The Society! I am smiling as I write those words. The Society showed me a different kind of art from what my mother tried to teach me. It introduced me to the magic of the manuscript, the delicacy of ancient music, and the earth, body and spiritual morality of the Miracle play. It gave me encouragement and a place to try ancient craft. It let me experience through doing and that gave me a visceral hint of what I might have experienced had I lived in another time and place. That is what the SCA gave me and still gives it’s members.


How did your graduation from Emily Carr affect your artistry?

 Emily Carr did not teach me what I expected it to. It taught me other things which I did not know I needed to learn, like most college experiences. It was both a positive and a negative experience for me. I was almost afraid to paint and draw what interested me most because it was so different from what the staff and the other students were pursuing. It was really long after Emily Carr that I returned to my love of Magical Realism. I think I would just have confused them at college painting Faerie tales and witches with due diligence – and minus that Disney gloss.


Explain your interest in strong female archetypes and the importance of character.

I come from a long lineage of strong women. My mother used to tell me stories, which now, as an adult, I have come to realize were fabrications about my grandmother, a woman I never had the privilege of knowing. According to Mom, my granny was one of those suffragettes who chained herself to the fences of the Houses Of Parliament, in England, to help women get the vote. Mom used to tell me another family yarn about her great aunt, who had been the last woman in Wales accused of witchcraft. With that as an example of female empowerment, how could I not be fascinated with strong women? My mother was certainly a strong woman, as well as an unrepentant teller of tall tales. I too have a certain reputation for strength of character. My husband calls it stubbornness. So do my daughters. The apple’s not falling far from the tree. I think my mother, in her own way, was trying to give her sickly daughter positive strong female role models. She succeeded.

For me, some of the best characters in ancient tales, are those of women: King Leer’s daughter Cordelia, Titania the Queen of the Faeries, Queen Guinevere, Mother Holly, and Queen Mauve of the ancient Irish…they’re inspiring women ! Having said that, all of my subjects are character-driven creations whether they are women, men or Mr. Bunny Rabbit Esquire. Character, I hope, gives them believability and makes them more engaging and thought-provoking.

What is your favourite medium for creating art?

I love egg tempera made with pigments I have ground or concocted myself according to medieval recipes and used on real vellum. Labour intensive? You bet!

How does your family – in particular, your husbands job as a landscape architect and Fantasy Author – affect you and your work?

Family and friends often end up modelling for me. Bless their cotton socks!

My darling husband and I often bounce ideas off of each other. He will read me a little taste of his latest story and I will ask him if he thinks that a figure in my latest drawing is positioned well. He will tell me if that is not how a long sword is held, take up his long sword and assume the correct position. He is a bit of a Western Marshall Arts aficionado. I get going with my pencil and correct the drawing. Then I will tell him that the woman in his story would never react that way, and explain how I would react if I was set upon by barrel-shaped aliens in a Victorian steam punk world. He then considers my statements and sets to typing. In short, we trust each other and care about helping to facilitate each other’s success. We share a passion for history, myth, and fantasy and have the same love of nature.

You will be helping AWE design their flyer this year. What are you hoping to incorporate into this design?

Any depictions of Faerie should be alluring and somewhat familiar, like putting on a comfy old sweater. They should also be just a little bit uncomfortable, like those moments when you awaken from a deep dream and can not quite tell if the dream is done. A flyer should bring that out in the public. It must be engaging, informative, memorable and an accurate depiction of the event you are creating.

I hear that you love hats. Do you have a favourite one? 

I could cheat out on this question and say the hat that I am wearing . . . Ta-da! But that would be fudging. In truth, my favourite is an old rumpled hat. It was, when new, a work of craft and art, made of soft wool felt in Italy. It is a wide-brimmed, black Fedora and it was my mother’s.

Adelle Airey shows for the first time at Art World Expo 2014


Interview With…

Adelle Airey

by Alyssa Laube

About: Adelle Airey describes herself as a “self-taught artist, typically creating acrylic paintings of single flower blooms or plant life covering the entire canvas.” To learn more about Adelle, go to


Is this your first time at the Art World Expo? What are you looking forward to?

Yes.  I am looking forward to having my work on public display for the first time.


How did you get started in art?

I have always loved to draw and create things.  My grandmother liked to paint and she encouraged me to paint even if it was just as a hobby.  I was recognized in my senior years of high school, as Seaquam Secondary’s “Outstanding Senior Art Student” and commissioned to design and paint a hallway mural.  My pencil & ink drawings and water colour paintings were proudly hung around my parent’s house.  Many of my early pieces were given as gifts to special friends.


How were you influenced as an artist by your heritage or home town?

Our family lived on a small non-working farm in Delta in the70s.  Growing up surrounded by colourful things in nature and interesting personalities of animals, has definitely influenced my art.


Who was your main inspiration growing up and how has it changed from then?

Artists like Patrick Nagel and Ty Wilson have probably made the biggest impression on me as an artist.  I admire their simplicity of style and use of contrasts and colour.


Many of your paintings are of flowers. Is there any specific reason for this?

I still have the first photo I took with my parent’s camera.  I was 9 years old and it was of a rose in our garden.  I appreciate the wide variety in plants and flowers, and they allow for artistic expression.

What do you consider your “big break”?

Art World Expo 2014 !


How have you developed as an artist, both professionally and personally?

I realize I cannot be afraid to experiment.  Researching techniques and ways to improve as a painter may not always lead to a “good” piece, but that is ok.  Personally, I have “developed” in facing my fears and gaining confidence in myself as an artist.


How did you receive your training?

I am a self-taught artist with no formal training.


You also create sculptures. How did that start?

I started a craft project over the winter of ‘93. My first Paper Mache sculptures were a decorative bowl and a prickly pear cactus.  After showing a co-worker what I had made, she asked if she could commission a piece for her home.  The sale of that piece quickly lead to another 5 commissioned pieces.


Have you ever gotten “Artist’s Block” and if so, how did you deal with it?

I didn’t do any art for a long time.  Don’t know if that was a “block” or just letting life get in the way of something I really needed to do.  I find setting a goal or deadline for a piece helps motivate me.  I try to work on my art only when I’m in the mood”.


What is your favorite (and least favorite) thing about being an artist?

Fav: I get a lot of satisfaction when I am finished a piece and it turns out the way I envisioned.  Least fav: criticism that is not constructive.


Did you always want to be an artist? If not, what did you want to be and when/why did you change your mind?

Yes.  I just didn’t really know what kind.  I thought about being a graphic artist; makeup artist; or interior designer.