Voices of Experience - An Interview with Anton Pavlenko
Voices of Experience
Self-taught oil painter, Anton Pavlenko, creates expressive works evocative of the Oregon landscape near his home and studio. The paintings are very personal, an exploration not only of the subject, but of his deep sensual connection to the moment he is observing and painting. They border on the abstract while retaining a strong connection to the landscape. His work has been included in many juried exhibitions across the country and has been featured in national publications. He has won numerous top awards for his paintings.
Pavlenko was born in Ukraine, but moved with his parents to the United States when he was six years old. We asked him to begin by telling us if art was an important part of his childhood.
I was involved artistically since childhood—mostly drawing with pencils, pastels and some water media like many kids. But I was really into it and eventually I took up painting in oils as a teenager. I spent most of my early time behind the easel copying other paintings I liked. That’s essentially how I taught myself to paint. I never really thought about becoming an artist though. It just never seemed like a reality until my early 20s.
When you do work outdoors, what are you looking for in a subject? How do you retain your initial emotional response to the subject within your painting?
What is your painting process (from first idea to canvas) and how has it evolved? What are your preferred materials?
I used to start with a lot of planning and thumbnail sketches but lately I just dive right in. My process has shifted from a blueprint mindset to a more visceral gut action. More of my work tends to go astray this way so I end up destroying or painting over a lot of it. But when a painting does go right it makes up for the waste. It feels like landing a wild trick shot in sports—difficult to repeat with ease.
Where have you found inspiration—in the work of other artists and/or books, etc.?
Do you teach any classes or workshops?
To see more of Anton Pavlenko's work, go to:
All Artwork © Anton Pavlenko
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