Ukrainian by nature. Traditional folk motifs in a modern interpretation

18 November 2020

Folk art has many names. Most Poles associate it with wood carvings, paper cockerels or highlanders in various forms. Depending on the region, other themes and materials in which local artists work dominate. However, this time I would like to take a look at our eastern neighbors. One of the Artists of “Art for People” comes from a place where the tradition of Petrykiv painting is still alive. The name intrigued me because I had never heard it before. If so, let’s investigate together what is hidden under this mysterious term.

Cossack flowers

The technique I mentioned owes its name to the place where it was created. Petrykiwka is a place where the tradition of nature-inspired ornamentation has been cultivated since the Cossack times. Flowers or grasses in any form, the shape and color of which is limited only by the imagination of the creator – this is how Petrykivka motifs are perceived. The Ukrainian art of covering everyday objects with paintings is definitely feminized. Women have been dealing with it for centuries, and until recently it was impossible to train on any organized courses. Knowledge about technology was passed on from mother to daughter, and the power of expression was hidden in the symbolic meaning of the applied patterns. This type of painting was called magic realism for a reason. With time, this art of platters, caskets, clothes and musical instruments moved to canvases and paper, inspiring new generations of painters.

Heart in flowers, Marta Zwarycz

Just magical!

Folk art is a village and for years has been treated as a worse sister of the academic variety. Specific for the region, it was forgotten by artists over time, only to come back with a bang today in a new interpretation. Today, you can also buy products of applied art with magical ornaments, but most of all enjoy the eyes and soul with paintings on canvas, which are still up-to-date. Now, as never before, we need color, optimistic accents that will break the storm clouds of pandemic reality. Nature, with the richness of colors, themes and the mystery of its yet undiscovered aspects, is present in the painting of Marta Zwarycz. The graduate of painting took Petrykivka to her workshop and not only happily made her the main inspiration, but also teaches her students how to use the heritage of the region in accordance with art. It is worth knowing that the main tool for creating a painting is a finger, but also a cat hair brush or a reed stick. The artist probably deliberately named one of her paintings “Lost Tradition” in order to directly refer to the place of folk art in the mind of the recipient. Today, a conscious art lover knows perfectly well that reaching for the roots, the painterly romance of tradition and modernity is an attractive artistic proposition worth taking home with you.

Lost tradition, Marta Zwarycz

What, apart from the obvious enthusiasm and willingness to work, do you need to create a painting in a style inspired by this picturesque region of Ukraine?

– knowledge of patterns used for centuries and relating to the tradition of the region;
-feel in using them; moderation is inadvisable;
– unquestionable painting skills, preferably a workshop supported by numerous previous attempts;
-magic component in the form of an interesting own artistic interpretation of well-known motifs.

If you have it all, then you are already one step away from attracting the interest of art experts, as well as all those who let themselves be captivated by the beauty of art.

Let Marta Zwarycz say: “A person looking at a painting should have a feeling of joy, love, pleasure in looking at the point of reflection on Petrykivka painting. Art connects people, integrates with another culture.”


read also

Street art. What is it?

Under the concept of street art you can find all means of creative expression that are available to recipients in public space. Although, as a rule, they do not damage, but decorate the underlying matter.…

Anti-pandemic color therapy

Color is the attribute of a work of art that often determines the purchase of this and not another piece. Emotions, memories or associations evoked by a given color often determine the contents of the…

Hand-painted pictures with impasto technique

You always wanted to paint pictures, but you thought you didn’t have a predisposition and talent for it? Overwhelmed by the sense of imperfection and suffering from a deficit of free time, you probably gave…