On Our Walls: The Contemporary Realism of Ian Bodnaryk

This month we have something really special in our studio gallery; an artists that truly takes my breath away. Ian Bodnaryk has been creating incredibly realistic paintings of everyday objects and people in acrylics for over twenty years.

What makes Ian’s work so special? This:

"Allure" 18” x 24” acrylic

"Allure" 18” x 24” acrylic

This is a painting, not a photograph. Amazing, right?

A Canadian born artist now living in Orono, Ian’s work uses ‘portraiture, inspired by the natural beauty of a figure, to express a statement regarding cultural, spiritual or social issues.’ His striking still life paintings focus on ‘composition, colour and light, showcasing the beauty found in everyday objects’ (http://www.ianbodnaryk.com/).

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ian to learn a little bit more about him and his breathtaking work, here is what I learned:

An Interview with The Artist

Tell me a little bit about yourself; where are you from, what hobbies do you enjoy?

My name is Ian Bodnaryk, I am 38 years old.  I grew up in Port Perry, Ontario and currently live in Orono. I have two crazy kids, an absolutely beautiful, intelligent, and most importantly, patient wife, one cat and dog. It’s a very loud and busy place.

Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere?

I didn't really come to visual art, it kind of came to me. For as long as I can remember I have always been drawings and paintings. The desire to want to improve has always been with me.

I am not "formally" trained. I have nothing against the academic process, but I find that the vast majority of fine art academics is paperwork and creating work that’s just not relevant to me or my goals. Most people leave art school and need to teach themselves to paint. I decided to skip that process and have just spent the last 25 years working on my craft.

I find that the vast majority of fine art academics is paperwork and creating work that’s just not relevant to me or my goals. Most people leave art school and need to teach themselves to paint. I decided to skip that process and have just spent the last 25 years working on my craft.
"Temple"

"Temple"

Why did you choose painting as your medium?

I began, as most artists do, by drafting my work using pencil. For me, colour was a missing element and paint seemed like the next evaluation. I found that acrylics was the best option at the time. All I needed was paint, water and a surface. I guess it just stuck. I mean, who needs all those stinky solvents anyway.

Have you made a career out of your art?

Other than watching my kids, art is my full time job. I do however teach art classes and until recently worked a few shifts a month at an art supply store.

Are you going through a particular artistic phase right now? What's inspiring your latest work?

At any given time I have a dozen ideas or concepts floating around my brain. It is just a matter of time before each one is made tangible. My major work takes an immense amount of time to create, anywhere between 75 - 300+ hrs, so when I finally finish a painting I am in no mood to do another similar subject. Consequently, my subject matter is quite eclectic yet there is certainly unified in style to it all. Inspiration normally comes from everyday items around the house. I love turning common subjects into icons.

"The Contemplation of Daniel" 20” x 16” acrylic

"The Contemplation of Daniel" 20” x 16” acrylic

What piece of your work in this collection do you love the most and why?

Choosing a favourite is always hard, but if I had to, it would be a toss up between ‘Contemplation of Daniel’ and ‘Fleeting Dream.’ The main reason those two are important is because I found them to be very complex technically.  I had to overcome many obstacles to develop them to the point of satisfaction. The concepts for both pieces were also very personal.

Join us for Ian’s opening reception at Studio67 this coming Thursday, August 25th from 8pm - 11pm.

Oh, and it’s also our One Year Anniversary too, so please come out and help us celebrate an amazing year in the King West community with great art, great wine, and tuly great people.

I hope to see you there!

~ Chanel