Travel Paintings

An abstract from the interview of Alex Markovich for LIFE AS ART MAGAZINE. January 2018.

Four years I ago I came to the idea that nowadays there is too much photography. It is neither good, nor bad. It’s a fact. I personally do event and reportage photography, as well as I do travel photography but I thought if I want to do something unique that should be drawing or painting.

I’ve been drawing all my life and I thought what if I convert my travel impressions not into photos but into so-called travel paintings. Four years ago I came across the phrase “travel artists” and was much impressed how that people describe their activities.

Speaking of this current exhibition “Travel Paintings”, these are the works which were made in 2014 and 2015 when I traveled a lot in winter time to the cities and towns of so-called Golden Ring of Russia Route. I took hundreds of photos with my professional camera and then during winter evenings at home I was creating watercolor paintings based on these photos. The fact is that winter is not the best time for plein air painting. Very few oil painters do plein air painting in winter, what to say of watercolor artists.

My “Travel Paintings” exhibition will last till the end of February 2018 and then I will take it to two different cafes. The places as I said before are the towns and cities of the Golden Ring of Russia: Rostov Velikiy, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Vladimir, Sergiev Posad. It happened that way that it was winter when I had to go to those places. I would like to go there in summer and in autumn one day.

Since 2016 I try to do many drawings in my sketchbook, but as for those works presented at the exhibition, these are travel paintings but they are all based on my photos. It was very cold to paint outdoors as I said.

Speaking of those travel paintings, the works on the walls are not the final outcome. I present my photos and drawings as postcards and calendars. I think that in the age of digital photography, Internet, Viber, etc. good old format of printed cards is a sort of nostalgia and thousands of people love to get a card into their mailbox. There is even such a world movement called postcrossing but this is a different issue.

The travel paintings show not only the classical sights of the cities, like Rostov Kremlin, museums and monasteries, but also the heart and soul of Mother Russia: streets, parks, old wooden houses, frozen rivers, lakes, etc.

There are thousands of postcards with the photos of this or that place, but very few with drawings and paintings. My exhibition is a start of my project “Russia in watercolor paintings”.

Painting: Alex Markovich.
Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Yaroslavl Oblast Russia.