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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Interview for St Cuthberts Mill
"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 Sterkhov

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

Please 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

How does 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 artist yourself?
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 keep?
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.

Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?
I would like to praise your paper more... Really the best one!

For more info about Saunders Waterford paper: