My Child Self With My Blue Shaman Cat, 9″ X 12″, acrylic on paper, 2020, by Maxim Grunin
Follow along in the video below to see how I painted this and hopefully, you’ll also learn some new tricks and techniques.
Doing art seemed like a really good idea for someone like me. I just wanted to create, play with paint, be safe and peaceful at the studio.
Growing up in the 80’s in Russia, I remember longing to be able to make engaging and elegant artwork. My parents were intelligent and waited for me to gravitate to something worthwhile to do with my life. They wanted to support the things that mattered to me and were welcoming when I found myself being interested in visual art. It was so visceral, stimulating, and attractive for me to just be immersed in viewing. It was so incredibly captivating to watch artists and gifted friends create fascinating images by hand. Around the age of 12 I did everything I could to take up art and get an education. Back in the 80’s, Russia had predominantly Classical Realism that was taught from high school through post graduate university programs.
When I entered art school, right away I was learning this rigorous skill based approach in art production. I never completed all of the levels of art education due to my family immigrating to the West in the early 90’s. Still, being in the old country’s education system strongly influenced the way I developed my ability to draw and paint. It seems today, that the way of learning I experienced was quite effective. We were given a lot of dry technical information about building proportionate drawing, mixing colors and understanding the chemical properties and technical specifications of the mediums. Yet, all of that dry technical stuff was taught to me with so much passion for the art itself. My teachers could not have had the jobs they had unless they were of the highest seal of National approval by the State. 80’s Russia had mostly top professionals in the field occupying art instructor and professor jobs. These artists were trained educators, technicians and specialists with a lot of proficiency in their craft.
As a child, I had the opportunity to watch artists creating amazing imagery. It seemed like magic. I was so thrilled and attracted to viewing and imagining. I wanted to learn to draw and paint like the masters. Being introduced to robust, easy to understand and skill based learning environment, with master art magicians as teachers, got me this valuable ability that I desired to gain.
It is so fortunate and wonderful that I ended up in Canada. Here I was able to continue my art education, eventually getting my masters in fine art, and working as art instructor. I noticed wanting to share my experience and my journey. It is quite amazing that today, I can produce video content, post it on YouTube and reach so many people. I can feel this wanting inside, just itching to do an art project and make a video about it. I hope you enjoy.
About Maxim Grunin
Maxim Grunin is a fine art painter originally from Russia who immigrated to Canada and now lives and works out of his gallery in the Toronto, Ontario region. He works with acrylic mediums right now but has been trained in using a wide spectrum of materials (such as oils, inks, watercolor, graphite, pastels and much more), involved in studio art production. Maxim has education in classical representational methodology of creating artwork. He gets in depth and intimate, with demonstrating his process.