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ART / INTERVIEWS / PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

Ekaterina Popova: Painting a Sense of Home

Award-winning artist, Ekaterina Popova, evokes mood and emotion as the characteristics of her painterly interiors boldly move our senses. Romantic dreamy tones wash over the canvas like a warm summer day you want to live in forever. It speaks to the soul in waves. Light stretches out from the window like an extension of her vision, and a semblance of intimacy is forever captured as lace drapes leisurely across the downy edge of the bed. You go there – to these everyday moments we sometimes overlook – to the places created in oil and brushstrokes that let you time travel towards her impassioned creativity.

We are part of her playground; a place of heart and soul that shines a nuanced light in tone and variation. We live vicariously through Ekaterina Popova’s interior dreams and escape beneath the blanket of imagination she has fashioned for us. In soulful solitude, we navigate each painting and it welcomes us to its siren song like the gentle embrace of an old friend reconnected.

Ekaterina-Popova-portrait

Imbued with a symphony of pigment, the colors ignites and therein the visual spectrum of light, we’re transported through shades of cerulean, vermilion, and brick-shadowed fuchsia. The grayscale sprawling across wooden planks as your sweet fur friend naps on the bed, the sunlight cast through sheer curtains and the haze of evening’s golden amber remind you of life’s temporary beauty. Ekaterina Popova immortalizes these elements with versatility and sophistication.

Come with us… journey into her vivid evocation and painterly ideations that weave a place of contentment, home and belonging, through all the fibers of her craft.

About the Artist //

Ekaterina Popova is an award-winning artist born in Russia, known mostly for her original oil paintings of interiors. Ekaterina received a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from Kutztown University in 2011 and since then has been exhibiting her work internationally. She is interested in expressive work exploring mood and emotion and is influenced by post-impressionism, fauvism, magical realism, which has enabled her to examine the subject of home, place, belonging, and identity over the past decade.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Cohle Gallery in Paris and Menorca, The Painting Center in New York, James Oliver Gallery, Decorazon Gallery, Affordable Art Fair, Art Miami Fairs, The Trenton City Museum, Paradigm Gallery, Delaware Contemporary, The Boxheart Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, and more.

Ekaterina Popova has been featured in multiple blogs and publications, including Colossal, Beautiful Bizarre, American Art Collector, The Jealous Curator, DPI Magazine, Friend of The Artist, Iceview, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ekaterina Popova attended several residencies, including at Centre Pompadour in Abbeville, France, NES Residency in Iceland, the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Greece. She works out of her rustic factory studio at 1241 Carpenter Street Studios in Philadelphia.

My imagination is full of ideas and eventually I am sure I will get to explore more, but for now appreciating my daily life holds tons of inspiration.

Ekaterina Popova
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Exclusive Interview With Ekaterina Popova

Ekaterina, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and share – with our loyal readers – a glimpse into your work and creative prowess. Since your last interview with Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, what has changed, and what are you looking forward to this year?

Thank you so much for having me! Since our last interview, I have had so many incredible opportunities come into my life. From exhibitions in the US, France, and Spain, to writing my second book, both in my art practice and business, things have been pretty exciting! Over the past few months, I’ve been diving back into my interior paintings, a subject that keeps pulling me in again and again. I am excited to see where the new work takes me with two upcoming solo shows in May and June of 2024.

Your visual expression is communicated freely through layers of oil paint that imprint the textures of your brush fervently. You have created a brilliant relationship with oil. Masters have used them for centuries…what are a few of your favorite aspects and what, if any, limitations do you feel they have?

I love oils for the luxurious richness and unlimited colors you can achieve through this medium. I am a sucker for texture, and it’s no doubt it’s fun to work with. Working large with oils is, of course, an investment and it’s also incredibly messy. I have to go into the studio where I have the space to make a mess and good ventilation to work. I do have a small easel at home, but I try to work on paper or draw when I’m not in the studio.

What other mediums would you like to venture into and experiment with?

I always have watercolors handy. It’s a practice I’ve developed since college, and it keeps me in the flow when I am not in the studio or traveling. Experimenting with too many mediums for me is an addiction, so I try to limit myself to two to prevent decision fatigue.

Bewitched by the intricacies of lavish linens, draped silks, the fertile Christmas cactus tucked away in the corner of the sunroom, and a crystal chandelier swaying overhead like shimmering accessories to the room – take us into your imagination. I read that you often paint your own room and use reference photos.

If you had to choose one of your painted interiors that you haven’t physically been to, but would love to see, which one would it be and why?

I love painting my space or the places that are close to my heart, but I, of course, would love to visit more beach-side European towns, old castles, mansions. My imagination is full of ideas and eventually I am sure I will get to explore more, but for now appreciating my daily life holds tons of inspiration.

Boasting truly elegant compositional elements, your paintings welcome the viewer into the stratum of ambiance. It feels as though the space is breathing, glowing, existing, and waiting for you to be a part of its essence. They’re so cozy!

Rich in texture and vibrant in mood, what draws you to these rippling colorful palettes that balance the scales of impressionism and expressionism?

I am drawn in by light, color, texture, and also the untold stories a lot of spaces tell. Who lives here? What were they doing? What happened here? What feelings are present in the space? Can you smell the fresh-cut flowers or spring breeze? These are all the things I think about combined with my love of paint.

Popova-Ekaterina-Winter

When I first started painting interiors, I was using them to remember my old home. I would paint from old pictures and images found on the internet to feed my nostalgia of growing up in Russia. But over time, I learned to create a new home and started to see my daily life through new eyes.

Ekaterina Popova

You create such a strong focal point, and the symmetry and placement of elements are gracefully balanced. Not only do you have a dedicated artistic dexterity but a certain keen sense of interior design that spills over into your work. An art itself, have you always been attracted to interior design?

Honestly, no. I am more interested in coziness and being comfy in my spaces. A tidy, warm, clean cozy home is most important to me. While I appreciate good design and architecture, I’m more drawn to charm, history. My favorite aesthetic would have to be Victorian gothic or cottage core.

In the same vein we discussed previously, you said regarding interiors, “The interest started as a way for me to reflect on my upbringing in Russia, but eventually progressed to exploring the overall idea of “home” and what it means me now.” Will you expand on that for us?

When I first started painting interiors, I was using them to remember my old home. I would paint from old pictures and images found on the internet to feed my nostalgia of growing up in Russia. But over time, I learned to create a new home and started to see my daily life through new eyes.

The love of the interior started as a nostalgic reflection, but actually helped me embrace where I am. It was a journey of an immigrant but also fueled my practice for many years, and for that, I’m grateful.

Speaking of time…how do you manage it? Alongside painting, you are also a Master Coach at Art Queens Coaching and Community as well as the Founder of Create! Magazine. Additionally, I saw that you have just newly released The Creative Business Handbook: Follow Your Passions and Be Your Own Boss (with Alicia Puig), which deep dives into starting a magazine, a gallery, make a living from your creative practices and so much more.

We would love to hear about all of these inspiring endeavors. Will you share with us how you self-motivate and prioritize these creative endeavors, as well would you elaborate on the dedication and perseverance that inspires you to achieve your greatest aspirations?

For me, it’s my purpose to share and support other artists. I used to think it was just a temporary interest when I started my first indie magazine, but today I can’t imagine not sharing tips, coaching, or writing to help my community.

It can be tricky to find balance and prioritize my own work, but I know it helps me find peace, clears my mind, and I also end up practicing what I preach to be a good example. It inspires me to create a more community-oriented art world where each other’s success is used as inspiration and proof that anything is possible.

In this day and age, given all relevant circumstances of our lives over the last few years, the ups and downs, the algorithms that so many agonize over – finding the willful incentive to press forward – can be a daunting task. What keeps your lights twinkling on the horizon? What advice would you give to someone reading this right now?

My faith, service to others, sharing from the heart, not expecting anything but knowing anything is possible. I am fueled by hope and a belief in something beyond us.

Ekaterina Popova Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Instagram

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.

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