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Roses and poppies, cornflowers and chamomiles – it seems that so many flowers as the Uzhhorod artist Mariia Mytryk painted on her canvases, were created by none of the Transcarpathian artists. “Perhaps someone has been already bored with my flowers, but I really like to portray them,” the artist admits. Then she takes a thin brush and in a moment we can see a little green between blue and purple shades– this is how lavender is born …

“I started with flowers. They are still my favourites,” – Mariia Mytryk tells about herself, her creativity and studio. When she was young she worked in the Art Fund together with her husband Mykhailo, but she did not paint. When the Soviet Union broke up, it was hard to find a job. “At that time I was about forty and I had no idea what to do next,” the artist says. – Then my husband offered me to try painting. He brought me ready-made canvases, art supplies, paints, and in the evening he came back to see what I managed to do. Somehow he prompted and guided me. When it came out something nice – he praised me. I can’t even imagine what I would have achieved without the support of my husband and his advices, because I'm too indecisive. He always inspired me...”

And then, the artist recalls, it was the time of coupons and everyone became millionaires - there was a lot of money, but the goods were not enough. Then everyone started buying up pictures and it happened that 2-3 works could be sold for one week. That great demand motivated the artist, gave her inspiration and faith in herself. But, at the same time there was another question: lack of space for painting. “My husband decided to look for a room, because we, both artists, were cramped in one kitchen, and there was no more space in a small flat,” - the artist says. These attics in the centre of Uzhhorod on the sixth floor of the high-rise buildings, where we work now, were built in the 80s. They were given to the Union of Artists, which actually distributed the rooms for artists to work. Thus, my husband got a place for his creativity, and only later I take the studio over from my husband.”

Along with the Mytryk’s studio, there are other artists. Some spends a lot of time in the studio, others less. Mariia said, it happened she was working here for all the day. “At home I cannot create, there I feel very constrained,” – she confesses. –  And, here I forget about everything. I plunge into something of my own, turn on pleasant background music, and time flies. Then, the radio sounds the time and I’ll be shocked at how quickly half a day or more flew, but I do not want to leave the studio…  The only thing that stops in summer - terrible heat, and in winter – extreme cold, at such time I try to stay at home. But, it is a true creative atmosphere here. Especially when I create the work that fascinates.”

The studio is filled with old things, most of which remained from her husband. On the old bulky table there are numerous jugs, bouquets of dried flowers, next to it – a spinning wheel. All these items inspire the artist in short winter days– she makes original compositions, still lifes, indulge in her imagination and convey everything on the canvas. She does not know how much time she spends on one work. Sometimes it can be one day, but sometimes – one month. “Everything is very relative: sometimes you start to paint and at a time the work is completely ready. But sometimes you work on a picture, try or add something, and then you want to re-paint everything. In such cases, I stop working and leave everything as it is. And then, in a day or two, I look again, with fresh eyes I notice something in it and keep on working ...”

For years of work the artist has tried herself in different genres: portraits, landscapes, plot compositions. She likes to paint from life, but often does it from memory. When it is necessary – she works on order, because one need a lot for painting: canvases, frames, paints and brushes. All these cost a lot of money.

The artist admits that she can spoil the work, but she does not lose the desire to paint: “I do not think in advance. Everything is created by itself, because my heart tells me what to do next.” In general, the creating of pictures for the artist is a daily painstaking work, which one should treat as follows: do not wait for a muse, inspiration, but to work, seek for one's own, realize self-improvement.

She does not know how many works with the signature of Mariia Mytryk, she did not count. When it was difficult, she worked harder to survive, when it became easier – she was working on those canvases that she likes. But, the fact that her works are now in numerous houses throughout the world makes her sincerely happy: “There are a lot of them. I sometimes recall individual works, but do not even know where they are. The important thing is that each work found its new home ...”

Text: Nataliia Petervari, Olena Onda Photo: Nataliia Pavlyk

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