Ukrainian woman popularizes the Petrykivka painting style in the West

Artist Maryna Volk has been invited to various cities of the United States for her master classes in Petrikivka painting, – says Voice of America.

Lately, we often we often hear about the success of Ukrainians abroad. Not only Ukrainians but also Americans are buying paintings and decorations made by Maryna in the Petrykivka painting technique. It should be added that the girl is an amateur, she never attended art school, and studied painting on her own.

The master painter came to America five years ago. In Ukraine, she received degrees – in engineer and accountant. While studying, Maryna worked in a beauty salon where she took to painting beautiful designs on women’s nails. She even taught lessons.

“Ten years ago there wasn’t so much information on the Internet,” the artist says, “so I had no choice but to invent everything on my own – all through my own experience. I had to analyze why you see some people achieving success, and you not, and how to repair that situation.”

Actually, drawing on nails was the start of her creative career: “I realized that I didn’t want to be either an engineer or an accountant! And since I was always surrounded by creative people, I was always painting, and I had this desire to do it, so one day I recognized that this was what I wanted to do and moved completely into drawing”

Volk started making women’s jewelry using Petrykivka painting, working with designer, Lyubov Chernikova. She created accessories for her embroidered clothing collection and customer studios. In addition to earrings and bracelets, the artist began to  do Christmas decorations and pysanky (painted wooden eggs), and also created paintings and postcards.

And she was convinced that anyone could learn to draw in this technique:

“This is folk painting. I think that anyone can grasp it – it’s in our blood: people drew, nobody actually taught them, tradition was passed from mother to daughter, from grandmother to granddaughter, nobody told me that it would be difficult, so I sat down, began to paint and fell in love with it”.

Now Maryna travels to the States, conducting Petrykivka painting workshops in Austin, Houston, Seattle, New York, and Stamford. The master gets a lot of positive reviews and new invitations. The fact that she doesn’t have a formal artistic education gives her advantages: learning painting independently, Marina not only convincingly says that the style is within everyone’s power to master, but she also provides her own recipe for how to do it.

“I know how to tell people about Petrykivka painting, because I worked very hard to understand how to do it,” the artist remarks. “I have been drawing for my whole life and I tried to understand how to do it my whole life.”

People were very interested in her creativity, and she decided to share her skills with others.

Her lessons start with the beginnings – showing students how to properly hold the brush in hand, and to pick up the consistency of colors. Students do exercises, and Marina comes around to everyone. By the end of the master class, everyone is ready to draw their own picture.

The artist tries to share her creativity with her students:

“In traditional classes, we are taught to use logic – the classical school develops logical thinking, so often people are simply afraid to use the creative part of their brain. Drawing in general is very useful, because it makes the brain work in a more complex way, and your blood circulates better.”

Marina dispels the myths about Petrykivka painting, and this causes a positive reaction to the locals:

“People are always very pleasantly surprised when I tell them that it is from Ukraine, and I explain how it came to be, and how it differs from other types of folk art in Eastern Europe. Americans like new things, different cultures – so they are always delighted “

A need to get deeper into Ukrainian culture and traditions is expressed by both  Ukrainians themselves, and  those whose ancestors came from Ukraine.