Stolyarov Boris


Palette of one's life

 Blue dream  |  Acrylic on canvas  |  120x100  |  2005  

«Perfection is achieved not when

there is nothing more to add, but when

there is nothing left to take away»

Antoine de Saint-Exupery «Terre des Hommes»

   «A Tale of Olya», published as a number of articles in Israeli newspapers and magazines, suddenly stirred up a vivid discussion in the society: who are they, our contemporary Rembrandts and Munchs, where do they study and where do they draw plots for their paintings from, what are they doing in their professional lives, and where do they exhibit their pictures?.....

   Olya Novik did not cross the threshold of an artistic school sacred chambers, being a girl in brown school uniform and white bows in her plaits. But a psychiatrist Olga Novik became a student of Kaye School of Fine Arts in the capital of Negev, the school headed by Micki Banay, the artist well known to the lovers of painting, strict teacher and organizer of exhibitions.   Preview 

   And Olya, a mother of two quite uncommon daughters, a wife of the orthopedic surgeon well known in Beer Sheva and a hostess of a large bright house, "sat at a school desk".... "Was it hard? No, on the opposite - it was very interesting, and even sometimes mysterious... Plots that I pictured in my imagination for years and years, finally found their realization on the canvas. And for the first time a problem arose - analysis of the performance techniques for the cherished and conceived"...          

   From my childhood, I imagined painters as people wearing big brown berets, with the brush and colors in their hand, in dark attire, with slightly absent-minded look. Just like on Rembrandt's self-portrait. But Olya Novik is much more similar to the heroines of his paintings.

It is generally assumed that artist portrays life. The Attempts are made to find something meaningful even in the "black and red squares", and art critics explain this "something" in a vague manner, saying that it is not the art for common people, it is a specific, fine matter...  

 Preview  Olya's plots are also taken from life, but from her life, not somebody else's. And this life is rich in real events, in space, in encounters, in human relations. Whether it can be conceived, depends on onlooker's comprehension, on his or her inherent experience and intellect, on his closeness to the life scenes and events that take place on the canvasses...

   In her childhood Olya liked to draw. To draw? If you like it, you are welcome - the mother did not object. But the profession of painter, in her opinion, was not a real profession -could her daughter earn her living in the future with that occupation in hand? And in the same trait thought lots of our mothers because special attention given to the choice of children's future trade is among the specific features of our national education, cultivated for many generations. And after my communication with the Artist I found logic in her mother's reasoning. And a little more. All subsequent life of her daughter showed the mother's rightness....            

   The gallery - a glass-paned room in Neot Lon, a quiet district of cozy cottages in Beer Sheva, - looked small. The personages from the Artist's life, those who coexist with her in the world, look at you from the paintings. She finds her original and expressive way of presenting them - by the expression of their eyes, by the posture of hands, even by the play of looks - as in her "Self-portrait with the daughter". A spectator has the opportunity of deciphering the plot, the author's attitude to her hero via the faces on the canvasses.   

 Preview  The canvas portraying the artist's father-in-law is amazing and artistically uncommon. In my opinion, the painter succeeded to achieve the unachievable: to demonstrate the result of Man - Time duel.

   And it is evident that the Man won. He is exhausted but he did not leave the field of combat and it becomes apparent that he is a strong and willful personality that can be broken neither by time nor by life losses. This is how the artist conceives Moses - the image of the spiritual leader of Jewish people - supplemented by the Master's own impressions obtained from literary and historical sources. At the end of his course of life a tired man summarizes the experiences....

 Preview    Olya likes to work by night, when the world is dormant, when dreams reign over the big house, scattering her dearly beloved to their rooms, and the head is free for thoughts and fantasies.

   The images of the past peep into her soul - those silent shadows, close to her spirit and to the sensation of past times, - and she speaks to them and she paints them like in old times, feeling and expressing her attitude to them.


 Preview  And they are not necessarily people - her memory perfectly keeps the childhood recollections of her native Pinsk, where her parents, the graduates of Leningrad universities, were assigned to work once.  Preview


 And a tiny town of Pinsk is beautiful and even romantic in her narration.  Preview

   The sounds of music live subdued in the gallery night silence, they are hardly heard - Vivaldi, Chopin, Bach... "Do I like music? I do... Organ, choir spiritual singing. I like ballets" - love of arts is organically intertwined with the very essence of life of the gallery owner.

 Preview     It is also reflected in her paintings - ballet dancers perform sophisticated pas at the studio boards and, carried along by the Artist's hand, land on a carton sheet and sound in the Seasons painting, and the music goes round and round, and The Baroque Flute resounds....  Preview

   Coming in touch with creations of our heroine during a long period, it can be emphasized that the themes and plots of her paintings become more and more diversified with time, as if her eyes open wider and wider and her look penetrates deeper into events and images.  


 Preview    Childhood... One huge, and apparently endless topic, weaved by mother's caressing hands. Her voice sounds there, her words and merry laughter are heard, her looks are seen.... And this huge painting cannot find enough room on the canvas. Her mother...

   Her mother who will never more smile at her daughter and pat her on her curly hair. Her mother, who was always worried about her future and was extremely joyful when her little daughter entered the Leningrad Institute of Pediatrics, as she believed that the occupation of doctor was precisely that "very stable piece of bread". It is so familiar! And she was right - everything in her life went properly. With dark clouds, with bumps and even precipices - but at the same time, in wonderful, sweet, and unusual manner... But the person dear to her heart has left forever, having changed the routine life system, its priorities, having filled the words "life without mother" with a new mysterious meaning...

   «Stemming roots in the canvas...» - these statements seems to match Olya Novik, the Master, to a nicety. In the gallery where she paints her mother as if she is watching the lives of her daughter and granddaughters.


Olya portrayed her daughters differently - they are merry or slightly sad, they are engaged in solving their own problems or are present in a surrealistic plot. She put her soul into each canvas, and the paintings breathe, exist, independently of time and surroundings, ignoring everybody and everything. They exist in their tiny world that only they can conceive and comprehend...

   Extreme pleasure can be found in staying among them, in meditating, scrutinizing, bridging them with one's own life. And you suddenly understand that our heroine's paintings are like a cloth with inlaid links of time, images of generations, various events and their location in the family life.

   The grandma sees her granddaughters, and their future life routes will still find their places on the canvasses. What will they be like? It is the most intriguing in the children's future lives - and very interesting... Meanwhile, Olya as a daughter and a mother, as the Artist, solves her problem quite successfully, without letting the life threads break for a single second. On the opposite - she enriches her children's lives with her creative activity and her personal example of mother, doctor and Artist.

   No sooner you enter the glass gallery than you stay frozen on the spot - two huge eye of fidgety Keren stare at you. Like in Leonardo's works: her back and more than "half" of the head turn. A backward look...  Preview

   With certain curiosity, chillness, and hardly noticeable smile - all at the same time; probably with the distortion of axonometric rules and proportions, but so piercingly as if a newcomer interfered with some sacred process. Keren is in the forefront, looking like an angel with a flute in her hands. An angel - in her parents' lives. The painting is imbued with love of the small restless thinker. Well traced fingers, stopped on a note cut short, and the flute that appears to fly away, showing us the way to the sought truth, concealed in the distant blue.


   The artist senses situation more delicately than other people, she sees the future and the pictures of the manqué, she colors them, "experiments" with background, with personages and attributes in the perspective, moving them along the picture scene and achieving the realization of her intentions.

   And the more invisible nervous tissue is burnt by the Master in the "furnace" of her "workshop", the more interesting are her creations to us, the spectators, the creations we appreciate from the power of conception and performance.       

   Exhibition - that is the crown of each period in the Master's life. Exhibition - as the estimate, the answer to the eternal question of all creative persons: how will it be accepted? Exhibition is like an exam to be passed before the severe public opinion. In order to feel satisfaction again and again: here, somebody, standing before the painting for a couple of minutes recollected his mother... Somebody else smiled looking at a naughty angel - how could the painter make the fidget stand still for a second? And another somebody, who stepped aside there, at the exhibition, and dialed his parents' number - he still had someone to respond to his phone call - and asked: "Well, how are you there?"

   The Master's one-man exhibition in Ashkelon, held for 3 months, gave its visitors the possibility of getting convinced that the Master's "personal look" penetrated into the essence of certain phenomena that were often invisible and inaccessible for all and everyone.

   The success of the exhibition that was held for more than two months was so great that the artist was invited to participate in Woman and Love, the conceptual show of works of the best Israeli artists, held in late June 2006 in Jerusalem.

   The Israelis and numerous capital visitors stood near the paintings portraying three generations of women for a long time. Lament for the brevity of life and its philosophic conception, rejoicing of succession and mourning of losses, sorrow for the past and secrecy of children's future. "I had the opportunity of showing to my daughter and granddaughter how exactly the generation bonds are established, how should it occur - with love and mutual understanding... And of a sudden I enjoyed this clear demonstration", - said an elderly American woman pensively passing to another painting...

   And what delight will the Master bring us in the future? To clarify the point, we will cautiously peep into the painter's studio. What a pleasant surprise awaits us: original (as in the past) interpretation of the Greek mythology, novel experimental techniques of Olga, and new themes...

 Preview    Venus, the painting where the femininity ideals of her daughter are easily guessed, embodies Woman's advent into our world. With her attentive look, clad in sea wave foam, covering her nudeness with a hand, future mother makes her first Step. The painting emanates the spirit and reason of nature, and the body perfection, purity of soul and feelings attract everybody's attention...

   Another artist's painting cannot be given other name but a surprise. The interrelation of religions? The topic forbidden to a certain extent, full of acute angles that are hard to be smoothed. The painting that demands from a person who holds the brush to express his representation, his world outlook, to try and approach the truth that cannot be guessed as it is. What is the danger of religious interpretation? The fate of contemporary rebels is well known - the banning imposed by certain circles and burning desire to see the banned by the opposites...

   The problem of interrelation and succession of religions stirred the minds of many generations of philosophers, thinkers, scientists. This topic is both loved and scared by poets, composers, artists. "How, when, in what manner did you dare?" ask Olya's familiar painters and critics when they see the painting.

   "Eretz Israel" cherished by many generations of tribes and peoples who have been inhabiting the land, a green tree - lonely and accentuating its loneliness by contrast colors, and His Majesty Man - a thinker, a creator, a worker in the Holy Land, taking root from the Israeli blue skies, and as the antithesis - Christ, a Roman victim, later idolized, worshipped and enthroned.

   The painter imparted the Holy Land's host, a Man and a Jew, with the features of her husband, having portrayed not only their outer semblance but implementing his interior content in the model- his profound historical knowledge, the logic of his reasoning, event analysis.      Preview

     At the recent Beer Sheva exhibition, the paintings evoked unprecedented interest of fine art lovers from various society strata. Because they reflect the topicality of the very essence of our life, of the issues that excite us, make us debate, seclude for speculations, and strengthen us in our creative activity.

   And still, the Beer Sheva exhibition is remembered to many viewers also because of the sounds of music. And not only the music that accompanies all Olya Novik's exhibitions but the music of her paintings as well.   


 Preview  «A Violinist», her daughter's friend and talented viola player Shai is tense in the extremely expressive manner as if in the finale of his solo part - one second, another, and the audience will burst out with applause.

   That is the onlookers' treatment of the painting, which shows "only" a man and his fingers, a violin and a bow against the dynamic background of viola movement and sounds.

 Preview  But in the orchestra of paintings the flute also sounds by side of viola, the flute, everybody's favorite, while Keren, the youngest of the Noviks, fills the exhibition hall with fascinating sounds of this ancient music instrument.

   It sounds impossible! One cannot believe that Olya Novik started drawing rather late in her life. She did not draw in her childhood, but from her childhood she draw life pictures within herself. And now she transfers them onto canvas. Transfers... Let us smile in conclusion at the meaning of this simple work and wish Olya to "transfer" many other interesting things.   



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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Hans van Wijngaarden.

    Dear Boris,
    Thank you very much for the nice collection paintings and description of the family history.
    The paintings show a lot of inspiration!
    Hans van Wijngaarden.

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