Vera Kavura is a pastel artist who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine. Yes, Kyiv, Ukraine. Many of us were privileged and amazed to watch Vera demonstrate her flower painting process at this year’s Pastel Live experience in August. Floral paintings are definitely what Vera Kavura is known for but I was curious, did she paint other subjects? And it turns out, yes she does! I’m delighted to share a few samples of Kavura’s other paintings.
Kavura says she loves to paint the sea with its variety of moods, colour, and light.
You can see her love of the sea in her paintings. She captures sky, water, and sand so that we feel as if we’re standing there beside her experiencing the warmth of the day, the wetness of the sea at our feet, the feel of a soft breeze, the sound of pebbles being brushed by an incoming wave, the incredible joy one can feel as the sun slips towards the horizon.
“Being an artist for me is not only to create a beautiful picture but to express the mood, that’s why I use pure, vibrant colours. They give a feeling of joy and happiness. Speaking about being an artist, I like to feel inspiration in the art process and even more when this feeling gets conveyed to the people who see my pictures and share this emotion. So this leads to emotional exchange.”
From the beach, we move inland to the woods. In Last Autumn Day, Kavura paints a fallen tree covered with moss, a metaphor for the cycle of life and death. As autumn brings winter and darker days, the light in the distance reminds us that spring will come again and everything will burgeon forth.
Kavura became interested in making art as a child. Her grandfather was an artist and although he died when Vera was young, the paintings he left behind impressed the young girl and she was inspired to follow in his footsteps. Although art was to become part of her life, after she went to art school, she took a detour into economics and painting was left behind for quite some time.
Eventually, she turned to art again and began taking oil painting lessons. It was her teacher who suggested she try soft pastels. At first, she used inferior pastels and she wasn’t sure she would continue. It was when she tried high-quality pastels that she fell in love with the medium. (Kavura is now an Associate Artist for the Unison Colour brand.)
For Kavura, any piece of art is kind of like a self-portrait. For her, what people feel by looking at her painting is a mirror of her own soul. She says that some artists believe that technique is the most important part of painting. However, Kavura believes that artists create a painting in the soul, and then transfer it to the paper.
Kavura advises her students to paint from life, from nature. This is particularly true when it comes to floral paintings. She says that painting from life is important to her because she’s “always in contact with flowers. They are alive, the petals move, and I capture this moment in my drawing.” Her approach is to forgo a sketch and start painting in colour immediately. She adds details as she paints, a process that allows her to “be constantly in unity with nature.”
“Painting for me is a way to express my feelings and communicate with people. The pastel medium allows me to work quickly and catch all the colour nuances,”
Want to dig into how Vera Kavura paints, her process, and her painting philosophy? Then be sure to have a look at her teaching video, Realistic Flowers in Pastel.
Check her website for more of her work.
Pastel Showcase at Salmagundi Club
This pastel exhibition in New York City runs for a couple more days, until Friday 4th November. If you can’t see it in person, all the work is online for your viewing pleasure.
And that’s it for this time,
PS. Here’s the full version of Vera Kavura’s painting, Cartier