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Friday, February 1, 2019

Konstantin Kuzema - a story

Here is an unusual post. It is a story by renoun Russian watercolor artist that is included into my upcoming book "Masters Of Watercolor. All About Plein Air"

Butterflies and environmental awareness

(a story by Konstantin Kuzema with his paintings that has nothing to do with the subject of his story)

Unlike other stories here you dont smell spirit. Only white spirit, and only in the very end.

I was strolling around Konevets island (quite a small island in Ladoga lake where Orthodox monastery is based) looking for a place to do some watercolouring. The island is not so big and after fifty painters had landed here it became really crowded.
You cound run into a painting-box or easel everywhere - some of us did not bother to take them under roof at night, planning to contunue the neхt day. We could afford to be so light-hearted because of the special attitide that one feels in the monastery: nobody touch the thing that belongs to other person… 

Konstantin Kuzema

I came to sand spit in the southern part of the island. A hare jumped out of nowhere and run towdars old wide-branching pine. I saw sparkling expance of the lake, Pater Gedeon on the boat far away, and several seals near the shore. Pater Gedeon and seals were doing their job - fishing, as usual.

Konstantin Kuzema

When a seal jumped out of the water with a catch, it throwed it up in such a way that the fish flipped over and fell down headlong. Seals opened their mouth wide and the fish fell right in the throat.A seagull flew up and found a part for itself: when a seal threw a fish up the shrewed bird picked the fish before it fell down in the seal’s throat. The seals took this into account eventually and before throwing the fish looked up to check whether the seagull is flying around. The bird also updated its method and tried to keep away of the seal’s sight, staying behind the rocks. 

Konstantin Kuzema

After looking at the seals I came back to my painting and realized that wildlife is getting closer: moths were flying around my head, bees buzzing near the watercolour box, red soldier bugs shuttling around my feet, and a ladybird walking along the haft of the brush I was using. A bug landed on the edge of my watrcolour pad. It moved its whiskers and examined my painting. The hare sitting under the pines was also interested in what I was doing - I could feel it from slight movements of his long grey ears. As if to complete the idyll a big beautiful batterfly landed on my palette. It was sitting, quivering its wings - and her colourful pattern emphasized the harmony of random watercolour stains. 

Konstantin Kuzema

It was going like this until dinner time when we had to go to the refectory. The moths accompanied me for a while.
On the way I run into the easel left by one of us. Next to the unfinished etude was a palette and the butterfly - it had stuck to a clot of oil, that was cut from the pallete with a palette knife. 

Konstantin Kuzema

Again, the batterfly and the paints were in deep harmony - the only difference being that the batterfly had died.

See his paintings here:

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