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Featured Artist | iRi

Featured Interview | iRi

Creative Name: iRi

Real Name: Irina Smitch

Social Media: IG@iri.smitch

Network Profile Link:

Brief description of self: I love life. I love getting to know people, I love watching animals go about their day to day and I truly love everything that is around us.

Long Description of self: I am a professionally trained artist who mainly works in watercolor, oil, acrylic and tempera, etc. I find it hard to categorise myself, I love experimenting with different mediums and styles, I will jump from expressionism to very academic work depending on how the mood strikes me on the day! Art is life. My main scope in life is to show people how beautiful our world is, even those things we take for granted.

Project Name: 1) Three Graces (Ducks) 2) Four Seasons (Clock) 3) Who’s this? (Chickens)

Project Description: These pieces made from reclaimed wood never fail to make me smile. The most serious of the bunch is the clock which uses traditional Russian painting, ‘palih’. It was used to decorate everything around the house in olden Russia. Now not so much! The other two are not so traditional and more realistic. The Three Graces, the ducks, are elegant white ducks who KNOW they are pretty. With this piece I wanted to play with light, and the beauty of white on white. The framing motif is Ukrainian traditional, Petrikovskaya. Who goes there? Well that’s what the chickens would like to know! Who are you? What are you? Why are you? That is what I imagine is going through the chicken’s heads. Others seem totally uninterested. When I saw this piece of wood, the chickens stared back at me even before I started sketched them out with a pencil. They were simply begging to exist!

Medium & why: For these pieces I used reclaimed wood. The wood was sourced from discarded furniture and I simply decided to give them a second life. Recycling is one of my life’s tenants, without it we will lose a lot of our world’s beauty. The techniques are sometimes traditional and sometimes realistic. I created what the wood ‘whispered’ for me to create. The chickens really were the more astounding example of this, I simply could not imagine anything else to paint!

Favorite part of the creative process: The beginning, precisely when you are looking at a blank canvas and you can’t wait to bring it to life. Also, showcasing my work, it is amazing to see other people enjoy my work. After all are comes from the soul, so a compliment to a painting is a very deep compliment indeed!

How creativity betters my life: Creating something means communicating with other, connecting with so many people that you don’t know. It is also a way to stay in the minds of other long after I am gone.

Advice to other aspiring artists: Be honest. Always put what you love in what you create. Especially when people tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t!


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