The Canvas of Life

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton.

From the tender age of five, Ludmila Riabkowa embarked on a journey into the realm of Painting, guided by the nurturing hand of her mother amidst the challenges of a broken spine and a disabled right arm. Born in an industrial city in Russia, where opportunities for unconventional paths seemed scarce, her mother’s wisdom led her to an art club. In this sanctuary, Lyudmila’s limitations dissolved into boundless creativity.

Art became the artist’s refuge, a playground where she could weave dreams with strokes of colour and breathe life into the mundane. “As I delved deeper into the vibrant world of Painting, I enthusiastically embraced every genre, finding inspiration in every corner. The allure of the canvas beckoned, offering a canvas where I could explore the depths of my imagination and express the complexities of my soul.”- says Ludmila Riabkowa. Defining her painting style proved elusive, much like capturing a fleeting dream. She gravitated towards a naive aesthetic, infusing her work with a whimsical yet profound perspective on reality. Lyudmila’s style reflects her growth and maturation as an artist. Central to the artist’s creations was exploring elusive realities, capturing the intangible essence of existence. Each brushstroke became a whisper, revealing the intricacy that weaves the fabric of our lives.

“The creative process unfolded as a of inspiration and introspection. Ideas germinated in the recesses of my mind, nurtured by experiences and musings. Sketching outlines in my diary, I wove narratives that guided the trajectory of each piece. Yet, the canvas remained a realm of spontaneity, where intuition and imagination danced harmoniously. Emotions imbued my works, drawn from the wellspring of everyday experiences. Life itself became my muse, dictating the tempo of my brushstrokes. Painting became my solace in moments of turmoil—a means of navigating the labyrinth of existence. Yet, even in moments of joy, the allure of creation beckoned, reminding me of the profound pleasure of artistic expression.

Art transcended boundaries, drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources. Music, literature, theatre—all converged to fuel my creative fire, offering a symphony of stimuli that enriched my work “- explains the artist. Balancing expectations, navigating the complexities of commissions, and taming the tempest of perfectionism—all formed part of the artist’s journey. Painting demanded discipline and self-distance, essential for navigating the labyrinth of creative expression. Her goals in Painting transcended mere ambition; they resonated with a deeper calling. Painting became her dialogue with the world—a testament to the beauty and complexity of human existence. I was immersed in the “Heart” series, where she delved into the essence of those close to my heart, capturing their souls on canvas.

Beyond the confines of the canvas lay a larger narrative—the story of resilience and redemption. “About Home,” Ludmilas Riabkowa’s latest project, an intertwined autobiography with artistry, offers a glimpse into her life’s tumultuous yet transformative journey. Through self-portraits and prose, she invited others to ponder the intricacies of existence, finding solace and inspiration amidst the chaos. Currently, she is working on three projects. It’s called the “Heart” series. These are portraits of people close to my heart. People I learn to “read”… Here, I do not avoid realistic means of expression; I combine them with other trends in Painting that expand the story about the person captured. Reflecting on Lyudmila’s journey as a painter, she recalled the words of Vincent van Gogh: “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” Painting was not merely a vocation— it was a lifelong pursuit of truth, beauty, and self-discovery. As I continued to navigate the canvas of life, I remained grateful for the privilege of sharing my story—one brushstroke at a time.

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