Take a trip into watercolor heave with the amazing artist Regina Buryak!

by Elisa Zucconi

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

“Celeste”

Watercolor with India Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Julia Jan

Firstly, start by describing yourself and your work- what is it?
By education I’m a speech language pathologist with a specialty in accent reduction and I currently work with engineers in Silicon Valley. I also teach corporate cultural assimilation for those who want to know the business language of American English. I specialize in working with Eastern Europeans.  When I was in graduate school I worked with the theater, training actors in accent and I learned the beauty of improvisation, the go with the flow attitude which I use today in painting. Coming from a science background, working with the theater, really helped me loosen up during that time. One of our instructors came for the semester from New York City and I remember thinking he was so over-the-top. We had to do all the stereotypical warm-ups for voice and I came every day from the science and behavioral psychology building to work with these theater students who were undergraduates and I at that time thought it was all nonsense but at the end of the semester I really learned something. I really learned how to loosen up and improvise – not get blocked. To produce art now, I do this with a paintbrush, then I was doing it with my voice. So, I think it was over a decade before I started painting but that learning experience really became something of a shaping experience for me. Now when I teach my engineers. I bring a little bit of that artistic theatrical panache to my repertoire and I think they’re better for it.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left:

“Guile”

Watercolor with Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Ksenia Muza

right:

“Repose”

Watercolor with Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Xenia Lau

 

What is your background experience like?

My background and experience in art is very recent and I think that’s what’s interesting. I started painting at the end of 2015. Before that, I would say I was a creative person, always cooking, writing humorous articles, dancing or gardening, but definitely not painting. I took a paper making class with a friend from New York and they had watercolors set out on the table for us to decorate our papers with and I started playing with them and it looked pretty horrible even my friend who had no experience poked fun at me. I came home and I told my husband who is a published artist (photographer) about my experience and he thought it was wonderful, he really wanted me to start making art, I guess he saw something in me that I didn’t see, so, he hopped on Amazon and bought me some very nice Russian watercolors and paintbrushes that he grew up always knowing that his artist friends used (he is from Ukraine). So little by little I started using them in painting basic shapes – leaves, flowers, and a lot of abstracts and since my husband is a fashion/portrait photographer I naturally got interested in faces. We had been always pouring over thousands of images together from his photo shoots, so eventually I thought let me paint a face. This was February 2016 I remember this is the time I painted my first face and I never really gone back to painting anything else since then.

I grew up with two parents who although they were not professional artists could definitely pick up any kind of a tool – paintbrush, clay, pencil and pen and make something recognizable and even beautiful out of it. So, I think that they had talents, my grandfather was a professional artist he was born in Sicily, but died very young and I never met him. So, because of my parents having these sparks of talent all of my toys growing up were those “smart art” toys, those clay pottery wheels for children or those spinning wheels you could drop ink on and they would make beautiful patterns. I had many crafty art toys.

I also always had a set of watercolor and acrylic paints and even wood panels and canvases to paint on and my favorite store as a child wasn’t Toys “R” Us but a big store in Fort Lauderdale called “Pearl art supplies” which I believe now has gone out of business unfortunately. it was a Home Depot of arts and carried anything you can imagine.

I also remember doing a lot of DIY with my mother growing up such as papier-mâché not from a kit, but making the paste and then adding some mint to it because my mother thought the mint oil would keep insects away. In high school, though I had a penchant for theater and acting but i preferred to be creating the stage sets. That was a lot of fun for me hanging out with the artsy types of kids from my high school.

Soon I became involved in speech and debate and oratory, (competitive speaking). I traveled across the United States and won national competitions –  this is how I became interested in speech pathology. But unfortunately, at that point I stopped doing art. Until 2015…

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left:

“Now I Stand”

Watercolor with Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

right:

“Above the Nights”

Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Alexandra Leroy

 

Why watercolour? What makes you passionate about using this type of art?

A lot of people who do watercolor complain that it’s very difficult and it is. There’s really no taking it back. There’s no going over it, I use acrylic inks and India ink also which is even less forgiving. But why do I love watercolor? I think because the way it looks in so ephemeral. Watercolor when done well makes beautiful blossoms, Ink does the same thing. It’s transparent. People should be as transparent as watercolor! The layering of the colors is so important! Color is my strength. And I think this medium is kind to people who have color as their strength so maybe this is why I love watercolor. I also love all the different ways you can put it down on the paper. You can wet the paper and then drop some watercolor on it and that’s gorgeous. You could also get a really wet brush filled with watercolor and put it on a dry paper and that has its own effect also beautiful. You could do dry brush with just a very little bit of color and that looks like a whole other animal. You can add things to watercolor salt, coffee powder, walnut powder, and alcohol. Just to name a few. I also love spraying water across the paper. I think it goes back to my love of improv. You and the watercolor are like two partners in an improvisational act you don’t know what the other actor is going to do, yet if you’re both smart and well-trained you can kind of see and anticipate– anticipation is the key to a well performed act. I think this is very important in watercoloring. The anticipation of an improvisation.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left: 

“Flor”

Watercolor with Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Sandra Limberg

right: 

“Glamor Poise”

Watercolor Mixed media portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a sketch by Ekaterina Koroleva

 

You paint a lot of beautiful women’s portraits- what’s the inspiration behind this?

 Nothing else interests me like the beauty of a woman’s face. She has 1000 looks, emotions, color combinations, hairstyles and eras to hearken to. No other landscape or abstract image can capture or compete with this intrigue.

This is what I like to look at, so that’s what I like to paint. Fashion magazines especially online magazines are a constant companion, one can look at 200 fashion magazines online in the time it would take you to look at one store bought, hard copy magazine.

Also the images that are posted on many instagram feeds are great inspiration, they’re so accessible – right in your hand and that’s what I like to look at – I like beauty images, I’m inspired by them for myself and my art.

One last thing I want to say about women’s portraits is this. In today’s world we’re so highly polarized that even the word “women” or “gender” can cause a stir. I think enough negative attention has been brought to our sex through politics and politicians that I want to bring some positivity and beauty back to the attention I bring to women. When you look on the covers of DVDs on the television screen every single picture is of a man holding a gun or of a woman being sexualized.

I want my portraits to represent the women that I know: global, strong, beautiful and wise.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

 left: 

“Bella Fortuna”

Watercolor with ink Portrait by Regina Buryak

right: 

“Miranda”

Watercolor with India Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

 

If your paintings could represent actual real life women (maybe they already do!) who would they be?

I recently published an editorial called Le Facce Della Terra, Where I explain that “my portraits of women are global beauties, not contained by any nationality or citizenry. The woman is the prominent player in this life cycle so she must be viewed as the central figura as well.”

This statement from my art story explains the heart I have for capturing the representation of women. I don’t want the women I paint to be representative of an actual person but rather a global femme. I want the people who view my art to feel a sense of engagement such that they can relate to the femininity of the work, the beauty and even the “knowingness” of each portrait. Yesterday a woman was viewing my paintings and she said that each woman had a certain knowingness or even sadness in her eyes. I think this describes a lot of women across the world. Like there is something in their eyes that explains what they had seen yet they retain their dignity in beauty.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left: 

“Lucia”

Watercolor with India Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Patrizia Burra

right: 

“Violetta”

Watercolor with India Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Ina Seyer

 

Who have been some of your artist role models?

I love Paolo Roversi, the famous Italian fashion photographer. His images are haunting and beautiful. He truly captures the feminine essence.

Another group I look up to is anyone who attempts watercolor and can make something beautiful out of it – especially portrait artists. It’s such a daunting task to stare at a blank piece of watercolor paper with a paintbrush in your hand then you know with one false move can ruin your paper and still you march on– gently put your brush down onto your paper with that first stroke and try as you might to create something beautiful, and not just beautiful but something, recognizable! This is a hero! this is Atlas’s work who held up the whole world on his shoulders. It is one thing to paint a face and it is another thing to hold it up to scrutiny by showing it to the world in a magazine.  The daunting process that every artist should go through is the great criticism!

Does any of your artistic inspiration come from fashion or designers? If so, explain more.

Artistic inspiration comes from the culmination of your whole life. What you have seen, worn read, loved and even hated. And a smart and savvy woman can reinvent her look throughout her life and not pigeonhole herself – allowing fashion to dictate her look.  This is the case with my painting styles- I’m always trying something new on the paper, refining and finding new things that work.

As a tween and teen, I loved fashion television hosted by veteran fashion journalist Jeanne Beker and this started my love for glamor and the runway. I’m a clothes horse! I try not to wear the same thing ever, always switching it up, even with just a new belt! So, I try to incorporate a love of “the new” into my work as well.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left: 

“Awakened”

Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by the model and photographer Vittoria Regina

right: 

“Through the Storm”

Ink portrait by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph by Xenia Lau

 

If you could expand your art in a way for 2017, what would it be? What are some of your goals?

I’m always thinking of new ways to expand my artistic skills and repertoire. I’ve always been attracted to graphics and I would like to learn how to incorporate more graphics into my portraits. I would also like to paint larger pieces with more complex arrangements. Sometimes bigger and more complicated isn’t always better so I don’t want to fall into that trap. I recently did a painting that was super stripped-down and came out lovely. I also have been experimenting with painting on different surfaces and that has also been very fun and exciting.
I think because I’m a new painter everything is very exciting for me and there’s so much to explore I would hate to miss out on any opportunity for new mediums recently I painted on plastic with acrylic inks and it was very hard but the end product was gorgeous – all of the ink pooled all over and I made a painting turquoise green and black and she came out looking like a gorgeous mermaid so I think that’s something I want to do is make a pairing between the medium the color and the subject to come together semantically. I also tend to paint very off-the-cuff without much preparation and I think this may be my style I think I get the best things out of just going for it I don’t really plan much in terms of color or composition and I think a more seasoned artist would pull their hair out if they saw the way I paint but for me it’s magic this way so we’ll see what 2017 will hold for me if maybe I will sit down with the sketchbook and learn to plan a little bit more or if I’ll find out that this is indeed my magic recipe which is what I’ll call “serendipity painting.”

I’ve also recently achieved one of my big goals for 2017 which is to start selling selected works on Saatchi.  This has been a dream of mine since I started painting.

submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi submission fashion magazine, online fashion magazine, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, jute magazine, jute fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, Prague, Czech Republic, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, California, illustrator, water color, artist, art, portrait, Regina Buryak, Elisa Zucconi

left: 

“Stormy”

Ink by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph Matt Sundin

right: 

Stormy

Ink by Regina Buryak

Inspired by a photograph Matt Sundin

 

Jute’s readers can see many of my latest works at my page here!

I would love to connect with Jute’s readers on Facebook and Instagram!

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