The Children Art School N3 (Детская Художественная Школa N3) where I was studying as a child located in Novosibirsk, Russia has given me a lot, and helped me grow stronger as an artist. I have joined this school almost since it was organized in 1991. I was studying watercolor painting, drawing, mixed media, crafts, art history… I decided to give back to the school by giving watercolor demonstration with the current students. I showed the students some of the techniques I use and told them a little about my art life in New York. The group of older kids in the class were very smart and talented, it was an absolute pleasure working with them. I was showing my splashing techniques, using Russian gouache and watercolors on the underpainting that I prepared for the class. I found that Russian gouache is cheaper but it has quite a different behavior, it is transparent when you dilute it, and it dries intense white like toothpaste, whereas the Winsor and Newton that I usually use, looks white when you apply it but dries transparent. My young artists were very eager to try these unorthodox technique. The floor was a mess, everything around was splashed, and everybody was happy.
I found that watercolor is not popular in Novosibirsk, and considered to be a rare medium. On my next visit, I intend to do more to promote watercolors and try to build up interest and enthusiasm in the medium that I love. I also want to talk about the supplies that I use, and educate the students and art suppliers about why they are different and important, as the lack of choice on supplies is likely slowing down the mediums growth. I think artists should experiment with papers and paints, which is not possible when you have just one “choice”. The Novosibirsk City Center of the Visual Arts (Городской Центр Изобразительных Искусств города Новосибирска) invited me to have a solo show in 2012, where I intend on conducting master classes and demonstrations for art students and artists. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet Russian artists.