Maryna Danylovych is a Chicagoland painter and the latest featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL. From now until December 31st, more than three dozen of her impressionist still lifes and landscapes will be on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library. Inspired by her favorite painters Monet, Renoir, and O’Keefe, Danylovych strives to ensure that the emotions she puts into her pictures reach the people who view them. We recently spoke with her via email about her artistic origins, creative process, and future plans.
Evanston Public Library: Can you tell us a little about your background as an artist? How did you get started in art? Was there something specific in your life that sparked a need to create? What drove you in the beginning? What drives you now?
Maryna Danylovych: My parents spent a lot of time on my aesthetic education, so during my school years I studied painting, dance, and gymnastics. I started painting at age 6, and as a schoolgirl, I took part in painting contests and competitions. My love of painting also led me to the study of pottery and ceramics. After I graduated from high school, I continued my education at Kiev State University named after Taras Shevchenko and received two Masters degrees: an MS in Geography and an MA in Finance. But I have never stopped painting. It was always much more for me than just a hobby. Painting is a huge part of my life. I paint with passion and love and dream that one day I can be a full-time artist.
EPL: How do you describe your art? Do you see yourself as fitting in with any particular artistic movements or styles?
MD: The main direction of my work is impressionism. Typically, my paintings are of still life or landscapes. I also paint within the fantasy genre. As for materials, I prefer canvas and oil. I use the Alla Prima (also known as “wet on wet”) oil painting technique.
EPL: Can you give us a window into your creative process? When and where do you work?
MD: The last 2 years I have worked in a studio in Ukrainian Village, and each session started with a tasty shot of coffee. Now I mostly work at home. Usually I paint at night when I have free time. I just put on some good music and enjoy the process.
EPL: What are your future goals and plans as an artist?
MD: Naturally, I dream of being a successful artist whose work resonates with people and brings them joy, but I will keep focusing on improving my craft and enjoying the journey.
EPL: How do you find Evanston and the Chicagoland area as a place to work and exhibit as an artist? What inspires you as an artist about the community where you live?
MD: Chicagoland has a lot of good artists and places to exhibit. I love meeting artists and discussing art over dinner or a cup of coffee. It’s very important to have someone to share ideas with too. One of those people for me is my professor and good friend Walter Monastyretsky. I am also happy being able to share my work with Evanston.
Interview by Russell J.