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Retro style expressionist painting of a sitted woman among peacock feathers
**click portrait to enlarge**
(oil painting on canvas, 16X20, 2005)

"In a field of peacock feathers"

I've always been fascinated by the beauty seen in nature, with peacock feathers being one of its finest achievements. I remember the first time I saw a peacock in a zoo with its tale spread out in a majestic fan. My jaw dropped and I was ready to stand in front of the bird's enclosure till the peacocks come home. What I wouldn't have given back then to own just one of the feathers...

Alas, we didn't have any crafts stores that sold them in the Soviet Ukraine where I was growing up. As kids we considered ourselves lucky when our parents could get us a nice set of markers. Many things in our lives were pretty gray. The center of Kiev was bombarded to shreds during World War II and the buildings erected thereafter were tall, gray and imposing. The rest of my ever-expanding city was either filled with the short brick Khrushchev era apartment buildings or the newer-built cement ones.

The majority of clothes one could buy in a store were brown, gray, or pastel (in the best case scenario). I could still picture the state-sponsored parades consisting of homogenous masses (oh, how I hate that word!) speckled with red of the Soviet flags and the neckerchiefs of the young Pioneers. There were almost no bright happy colors and nothing in neons. Neons just didn't exist.

Interestingly enough, (but not surprisingly), the gray sameness began to dissipate as soon as some citizens could go abroad to either Poland or China and bring back everything from bright colored sweaters to rhinestone studded chachkas. Everyone wanted one of each. I guess as humans we are programmed by nature to be attracted to bright silly things. As a grown-up examining the environment I grew up in, it feels only natural that once I got my first set of paints I always preferred bright and happy colors. I still do.

"The pride of the peacock is the glory of God."
William Blake

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?."
George Bernard Shaw

"I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them."
Pablo Picasso