Ukrainian Artist Finds Inspiration in Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County
by Jennifer Shea
Ukrainian artist Vadim Vaskovsky describes Prince Edward County as “his favourite place in Canada”. He qualifies that by saying he hasn’t seen all of Canada yet, but he was drawn to move to the County from Newfoundland by the amount of sunlight. He finds inspiration in that and in the “volume of sky and horizon”.
Vadim was born in Central Asia and grew up between there, Russia and Ukraine. There are some craftsmen in his lineage, but no visual artists. Vadim says he first picked up a paintbrush at the age of 4 but became more serious about art when he was 7 or 8. “I asked my mom to bring me to the art school. She was happy to do so and supported me in this movement all my life and still now.”
He moved to Canada in 2001, then sponsored his wife and eldest son and his parents in the following years. Their first Canadian stop was Toronto, but they moved to Newfoundland so his wife could pursue her medical career.
Vadim graduated from the Grekov Art College (Odessa, Ukraine) in 1990 and his training is well-rounded, including illustration and graphic design. A lot of time was devoted to life drawing and painting. “I use these skills, but more and more, I like to work from mind versus subject.”
Vadim has experimented with a variety of artistic mediums, but his favourite is oil. “I’ve been mixing it with cold wax to achieve a texture like carpet or fabric. It makes the paint deeper and looks more matte than glossy.” Vadim will sometimes use acrylic paint for its flatness, but he gets frustrated with how fast it dries. He has also worked with tempera paints and has created sculpture and stained-glass pieces.
It’s hard to put a label on Vadim’s artistic style. He has done impressionistic and modernistic work, portraiture (both realistic and abstract), still life, cubist style pieces, and more.
He continues to be inspired by Prince Edward County: “It’s fascinating, this volume of air around the horizon that you can always see.” Vadim created his latest series, “Aerial Landscapes from PEC”, based on a “bird’s viewpoint”. These colourful pieces are eye-catching and familiar.
“I’ve been changing styles often, but for now, I haven’t found myself expired with this style. At the same time, I’ve started working on something new.”
Vadim also takes inspiration from his youngest child, 8-year-old Maria, who seems to be taking after her father when it comes to creative pursuits. “I look at her and go to a more and more naive and childlike style of painting. She just jumps into work, with joy, which I lost a little bit on the way. I look at her hand movements, how she thinks.”
Vadim’s work is available through Studio 22 Fine Art Gallery in Kingston. He also sells through London-based art platform, Artfinder. He’s moving to more of an online presence with sales through his newly completed website – https://www.vaskovsky.com/.