• Marina




I first visited London in September 2014, just after I started to study English by myself, and I used the internet to find native speakers to practice with. One of my online friends turned out to be an art collector who bought a lot of my early works and invited me to London.

I was very excited and travelled right away with my poor English. I understood maybe 50% of what people were saying, nonetheless I made many friends and fell in love with the city. I still had a day job at that time, but those first sales gave me the confidence to later become a full time artist. 

Despite that first bit of luck, I failed many times and between these two pictures in St. James' Park  lay depression, divorce, poverty, despair, illness, hospital, surgery, teeth replacement and a couple of nervous breakdowns - the price for following my ambition. 

My progress is still painfully slow, especially in regards of finances, but I'm glad I made my choice and I feel blessed to revisit the city where my art career began.

I like London for all its signature features, museums and cosy human scale spaces -  such a contrast to the totalitarian vibe of Moscow! I think London perfectly combines culture and nature and it amazes me how easy it is to escape the turmoil of streets to the countryside serenity of city gardens. The diversity of flora and fauna is breathtaking! I grew up in a village, but I’ve seen more animals in few days in London than in my entire childhood in Barysh. 

London awakens the landscape painter in me and I want to take an easel and paint outdoors - a desire that never strikes me in Moscow. I think I have sort of agoraphobia, because the vastness of my homeland makes me anxious. But, sadly enough, London is still not a city for me. As George Orwell said: “The worst things about London — the fact that it costs money even to sit down”. 

I could only afford three days this time and I left with empty pockets but with my heart full of inspiration. I hope to visit again and get a better story to tell.

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