Born in Belarus, and now a Slovakia-based artist, teacher, and interior designer, Sviatlana Psenickova Krepsky works primarily with acrylic paintings and drawing.
Art and in particular painting which is her life’s passion formed her humanistic viewpoint of the surrounding world. Art became the perfect supporting instrument for her to communicate with the world in a nonverbal manner. This passion pushed her forward – from architecture and architectural practice to more humanistic communication with society. From a young age, she has believed, “You can achieve anything once you want it and visualize it in your mind.”
Painting for Sviatlana is a powerful source of energy and dialogue with the world as well as a research tool for the inner world where she can represent her feelings about today’s problems. Themes such as people, love and hate, war conflicts, and refugees are confronted in her art. Her signature painting style combines purposeful colors and abstract figurative shapes to delicately balance naivety and understated sophistication. No two pieces are alike, and yet all the artworks have a common thread: colorful and playful. Using interior design skills, and attention to interior surroundings, she imagines her work, and places it in images of specific interiors, for a sense of how it will fit.
Hello Sviatlana! When did you begin painting and how did you get started? What was your earliest memory of creating art?
Sviatlana: Hi Lisa, as a mostly introverted person, art is a way for me to communicate with my surroundings. I started painting as a curious young child. I continued this fascination at an art school in my home city of Brest, Belarus, situated on the border between Poland and Belarus, between the European Union and the former Soviet Union. Brest’s location had an impact on my worldview and served as a bridge between different cultures: Slavic, Jewish and Anglo-Saxon. At 18, I was chosen for a scholarship by the Pregowsky Foundation and accepted as a student of the Faculty of Architecture at Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland. After my studies I got married and then experienced a great change in my life. I moved to Prague, the magical heart and soul of central Europe. During this period, I continued creating art.
My son’s birth was a moment of great light and energy for me. After this, I became incredibly grateful to the universe and God. Sometimes my son will start to paint on a canvas, and I will help him finish it. Now I live in Bratislava with a garden studio, surrounded by nature, the trees, flowers and singing birds.
When I was twelve or thirteen years old, one event served as an early catalyst for me to continue creating. One of my art pieces was selected for an exhibition and the reporting journalist wrote that I must never stop painting. It is a small thing…but for a girl like me it was a real success and the beginning of something special.
How does your creativity manifest, how do you get inspiration?
Sviatlana: Every artwork I have created has always seemed to be a mixture of odd inspirations in my mind, ideas, and memories jumbled together. My favorite state of mind is the creative state, stimulated by my environment and free of mental distraction. Here I find myself fully conscious and in control but now the subconscious enjoys the playground of random ideas and spews out inspired connections when they occur.
Everything in the world seems to be subjected to a cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction. The universe responds to energetic frequency so if I vibrate at the higher frequency of love, then the universe will respond to me. Our universe has provided an abundance of beauty for us, all I must do is to look at the sky or observe the trees. Additionally, exploring history and examining old architecture can help us create. There is so much inspiration sitting in our hearts since birth, the great pleasure we find in painting is when we manage to give it away. My heart is full of art and it is a great pleasure to give it away, it is a true source of joy and peace of mind.
What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?
Sviatlana: Painting for me is a powerful source of energy and dialogue with the world, it is where I can represent my feelings in the here and now. Themes such as human behavior, love, and hate, war, and refugees are confronted in my work. My signature painting style combines purposeful colors and abstract figurative shapes to delicately balance. We say to it golden ratio. Design set out using the golden ratio is aesthetically pleasing. The golden ratio has been around and influenced many areas of life, including architecture, maths, design, and of course art. There is some kind of peacefulness and beauty in nature and design. Usually, there is some inspiration, it can be some conflict, or some situation, which made me feel what I am feeling inside…I have this need to put on canvas the colors that mirror my mood.
You say art formed your humanistic viewpoint of the surrounding world. Is there a message you are trying to send with each piece? And tell me more about your dialog with the world with your art?
Sviatlana: Art, especially painting has formed my humanistic viewpoint of the surrounding world. This passion to communicate through art pushed me forward – from architecture and architectural practice to more humanistic communication with society. Already during my studies, I was interested in matters of international relations. As a student, I had foreign work experience in the USA and Israel and thanks to these experiences, I acquired knowledge of different cultures and learned to respect them. I was strongly influenced by the need to communicate and provide a dialogue between cultures.
Your art is very unique. How did you develop your signature painting style?
Sviatlana: I am really pleased to hear that! Thank you, it is particularly important for me as an artist to have my own style. I have been experimenting with different styles and looking for the one which best represents me. I guess my art is a continuation of my experiences at the “Belarus School of Art”, where Chagall was an alumnus. My work developed from the mix of different cultures I experienced. It is symbolism but also minimalism which I try to combine in one. I follow many artists on social media which has been a big help with their talents.
I try to experiment with every piece, like a game with colors. As an elementary school Art teacher, I can see how kids like to experiment with new colors, ideas, and material. Introverts like to play alone, so I guess that is me and art is helping me to communicate and experiment all the time. I feel I still have so much to learn how to mix techniques and new mediums.
I have visited museums with original pieces all over the world and traveled to many destinations: India, Africa, Middle East, Canada, many countries in Europe. I visited Mexico and Egypt looking for inspiration in ancient cultures, Van Gogh pieces in Amsterdam, the British Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum of Art. I believe that it is better for the artist to see an original once than the copy ten times in a book.
Is there a message you are trying to send with each piece?
Sviatlana: The “content” of my work can be found in the senses, by which I mean the different colors and textures having experiential values. A single brushstroke could be a bearer of meaning, transferring from my hand to the viewer. Expressive, bright, and pure colors are part of my art as I want people to look at art the same way I did, with joy and a belief in the good of human nature. The main thing is to keep our own mind active and select only what is valuable to ourselves. We try things our own way, keep our guard a bit against overzealousness and maintain a desire to realize our dreams. While keeping all these lofty aspirations alive in a small corner of our being, we remain focused on our desire to be good. It is a great tool to understand our world, our fellow human beings, and to become more patient, kinder, more loving, more forgiving. It is such a great tool to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired your artwork, if there is one?
Sviatlana: I usually work in my garden studio afternoon or evening till night. Mine mood and internal energy are driving forces in the process. I painted “Pandemic prediction” in spring 2020, where all this new pandemic situation came into our life. It was all about fear, angriness, distancing between each other.
What’s your favorite artwork you’ve done most recently?
Sviatlana: That series of three pieces I have made in summer 2020 after summer holidays in Croatia and got inspired by sea and water nature beauty.
If you could choose one artist that you admire, who would it be and why?
Sviatlana: Well, I love Kandinsky, Picasso, Dali, Monet, Chagall, and Van Gogh. I have a keen interest in Klimt because he was a symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. I particularly love the Vienna Secession period.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Sviatlana: I have tried to acquire my own style and develop a simpler and more minimalistic approach. I love colors and I am not afraid to combine them and experiment with mixtures. From realistic painting and drawing (ancient Greek statues, real buildings, landscape, and nature), I have explored figurative, cubistic, and expressive styles and sometimes even decorative elements in my artwork.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Sviatlana: With the current pandemic, I try my best to communicate with those that are interested in my art through my Instagram account: “sviatlana_krepsky” and my webpage, www.krepsky.com. I do some interior design projects which can be seen at www.ars-design.sk
What’s next on the horizon for Sviatlana?
Sviatlana: I am looking forward to arranging new dates and hold the postponed exhibition, locally and internationally. Keeping moving forward and meeting like-minded people in the art world.