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t is hard to believe that the modest basement of an apartment house – this is the place where among the sketches, tools, sawdust, brushes, it is appear an incredible products of wood: from decor elements, frames for paintings or mirrors to huge carved iconostases and furniture. Beauty can be born anywhere: the main thing here is not the place, but the talent and experience of the master.

The head of the Creative Association "Rainbow", artist-carver Serhii Pishkovtsii belongs to those, whose creative space is not limited to a tight room in several squares – for the flight of the imagination he only needs to stay alone and turn on his favourite music.
The future master has painted since his childhood. Summer pioneer camps with artistic direction, classes in the fine art studio of Zoltan Bakoniia facilitated to it. While all the boys was dreaming to become cosmonauts, little Serhii already understood: "I want to do what I love, what bring a pleasure."
Serhii Pishkovitsii – Transcarpathian to the depths of his soul, therefore in the Uzhhorod College of Applied Arts he chose art wood processing. He explains: "This is close to me; it is ours, traditional, Transcarpathian. In addition, our region is famous not only for its wooden architecture, but also for various products made of this material."

The walls in the studio are decorated with numerous certificates and his own paintings, as well as – a photo with family members and icons. On the shelf among the books is an album, where photographs of his works are collected. He shows: "At first he did household things, was engaged in decorating fireplaces, doors, stairs, making carved furniture, and later began to make reliefs of icons." The love of painting never faded away, so besides carving, he made wall paintings with oil and pastels.
The first iconostasis, remembers, he made for the parishioners of Ilnytsia village, Irshava region – since then, he began to fulfil orders for religious needs more often. Once he counted that he had made more than 40 iconostases – the artist's works one can see in the churches and temples of Transcarpathia, throughout Ukraine and beyond.

It was difficult to start without proper knowledge: I watched other works, did sketches. Now it is much easier to work, after the years of practice. "Everything, of course, depends on the volume. A small mask can be made for a day or two, and for the manufacture of a large complexly decorated iconostasis in Kushtanovytsia once I spent about two years – it was 12 meters wide and about 8 m in height."
Most of all, the master likes to do something unusual. He shows in the photo album carved still life, decorative lattices. "I do not keep a lot of my work – I sell something or give as a present. I only save what I gave to my children and my wife. What I really like, I will not give it for any money." – says the artist.
Among the boards, numerous tools and containers with paints, for the uninitiated person, it is difficult immediately to orientate, for what to start. The process is hard and long lasting, but it gives pleasure to Serhii Pishkovtsii – the main thing is to play the favourite music and nobody interrupted. He admits that he does not represent a studio without music and chisels – there is a lot of this stuff. In the studio, one can often hear the hits of the legendary "The Beatles", "Pink Floyd", "Deep Purple", "Uriah Heep", "Led Zeppelin", whose creativity he fell in love in his youth. 
In addition to music, the master is fond of the classics of world literature and has a good library at home – he is re-reading Remarque, Exupery, Dumas, Nabokov, Akhmatova, and Tsvetaeva.
The same how he immersed in books – the same he is immersing himself in his work. With the outside world, he is in touch only through small windows, but there are also pictures on them. "I love work alone. When I draw or prepare a sketch, where I need to think, I cannot be distracted by extraneous conversations, and even more, I do not like empty talks." – he notices.
He does not regret time for a favourite work: previously worked 12 hours a day – and so lasts for months. Vacation is a luxury for him and he did not have it for 20 years, or even 30 years. "Instead of it, I have plein airs: in the mountains I have a rest, I combine pleasant with useful." – admits the master.
Although Serhii Pishkovtsii's paintings adorn the walls of the workshop and have been exhibited for many times, the artist sees the drawing as a rest, work for the soul: "There are moments when inspiration comes. Then you take the easel and go to the mountains. And the carving – it is a craft."
Although there are oil works among his paintings, the artist likes more to work with watercolours: it makes you think, focus and dive into the process with a head. "Watercolour is done in one or two approaches, it requires speed, you have to think and be very careful here, because if you put the wrong colour, then it will not be possible to fix it – the colours just become colourless."

Landscapes of Serhii Pishkovtsii are Transcarpathian to the core, although sometimes the master perform and still lifes. Few people know, but an artist has an abstraction as well. To tell the true, one work – "Matrix. Two Worlds", was created by the author under the impression after the eponymous film. "I watched the film and thought: is the world in which we live, the real one? Maybe the real is somewhere on the other side?". Mr. Serhii does not stop at what he has been achieved: "It is necessary to study and in 90 years, do not be ashamed to ask the young one. When a person says, that he knows everything, and achieved everything, then as a professional he is over." Regarding his creativity, in general, he says: "I want to leave more after me. Not some junk, but something that will benefit the people."

Text: Kseniia Shokina
Photo: Nataliia Pavlyk

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