"Painting for me is like a meditation in sense that I
am enjoying the process but I am fully detached. Somehow I am not identifying
myself as a doer, more as an instrument. There is so much beauty in the world.
I believe it is a gift to see it and to be capable of reflecting even a part of
it in my works. I love to paint in oil and water-color but I always come
back to water-color. What is a magnetic attraction of it? Water is the
source of everything. There is no life without water. It has been 25 years since
I first discovered watercolors and they keep on surprising me." Konstantin
Interview with Konstantin Sterkhov 2016
Tell me about when you decided to go “pro”. When did you
decide to dedicate yourself to your art. Give us an example of what that meant
to you. (What pushed your artwork from amateur level to professional?)
To be honest I have never been at amateur level. Straight
after school I have enrolled first to University graphic department, then
to The Repin Academy of Fine Arts. So I skipped that phase of being
amateur artists. I was very well trained. After the Academy talking about
skills. I just had to find my own face in Art. Though there was a period
when l was earning my living in adverts and design but it was only for 7
years and I kept teaching art courses the same time.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Helsinki Harbor. 27x37 cm. 2016
state which St Cuthberts Mill papers you use and why?
I use mainly Saunders Waterford CP and rough white 300,
425 and 638 gm.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Low Sunlight in Helsinki. 27x37 cm. 2016
the use of these papers enhance your work?
I tried many different types and brands. About 5 years ago I
bought in an art supplies shop in Finland Saunders Waterford that was on
sale. First thing that attracted me was the price then. I tried the paper
at my workshop the same day. It was marvellous. Since then l am merely use only
that paper. I was experimenting with thickness but as an artist who often
had to send his work to international shows l found that it is more
practical to paint even large size on 300 gm as you can easily roll and send it
in a tube. I also use the roll paper. It seems to me very flexible to cut in
different sizes and also seems to have a nice surface. And yes, I like
when the colour is a bit yellowish, so I prefer white to high white.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Tammio Island. Cool Summer. 27x37 cm. 2016
Is there an artist you admire, did they inspire you to be an
They are many. Besides Sargent, Zorn and Wyeth I picked many
artists that I admire for my interview book series "Masters Of
Watercolor”. So far I have published more than 60 interviews
with international artists including Robert Wade, John Yardley, David
Poxon, Shirley Trevena, Tony Smibert, Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet,
Joe Dowden, Angus McEwan, etc. I can‘t say they inspired me to be an
artist as I was an artist already when I made my series. Nevertheless
other excellent artists‘ works always inspire me and I try to share it
with my fans and readers.
Konstantin Sterkhov. In Himalayas. 20x36 cm. 2016
Do you remember the first painting you did that you were
really proud of?
There were some but i forgot them. I have been painting for
over 30 years since I was 14. Anyway after every new achievement old works
seem to step behind. it you want to grow as an artist you need to look
more forward than behind.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Sunset in Savonlinna. 27x37 cm. 2016
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I am proud of having a special award in Marine painting by
independent jury group from The Hetmitage at the Art Bridge Biennial in
St. Petersburg. I am honoured to have my paintings juried to several
exhibitions in International juried shows in USA. I am honoured to be
invited to curate and judge several international exhibitions during last
few years. And certainly it is extremely nice to receive warm words of
appreciation from my fellow artists on Facebook and on my blog.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Quite Evening in Tammio. 27x37 cm. 2016
What are you working on right now?
I am writing a new book in my series Masters Of
Watercolor. It is themed as Both Sides Of The Great Wall and representing
both Chinese and Russian artists. Also I have a lot of materials after my
trip to China last November and a few other ideas that I don‘t want
to share right now.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Night is Falling. Helsinki Harbor. 27x37 cm. 2016
What’s the one painting you’ve painted that you will always
Those are mainly the paintings featured my family. Those
paintings might be exposed at some shows but I keep them for myself.
Konstantin Sterkhov. Sunny Face. 27x37 cm. 2013
What advice would you give to yourself, the artist you were
10 years ago?
Stop doing work for others, work on your own projects.
else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?
I would like to praise your paper more... Really the best
For more info about Saunders Waterford paper: