Interview: Daria Zaseda Oil Painter and Artist


Daria Zaseda is an oil painting artist who is growing and branching out with new tools and experiments as she learns and develops her artistic talents. She shares with us her story.

How did you get started with art?

I’ve always wanted to paint. But I wanted it in a modern way: I was thinking about my dream lazily, passively and even timidly. Why timidly? Because the following thoughts flashed through my brain: “how can you paint! people spend all their lives to learn it…”, “no one starts at 36”, “you won’t like it”, “ you won’t make it”, etc.

So I kept on dreaming until on March 19, 2015 I came to an art supply store and asked “to give me everything I need for oil painting”. So they gave me everything. Half of that “everything” is still untouched, but if you came absolutely unprepared, you have no one to blame for that. So I came home, set canvas on a windowsill and started to paint it with blue. I had no idea what’s what, and I played my hunches.

When my husband came home he saw that everything – my dog, windowsill, window, wardrobe and of course me – was spattered with blue paint. Later I moved with all my paints and palette to the balcony.

For the first three months I was only using my fingertips to paint. Then I moved to fingertips and rag. Then I started to use palette knife and rag, later just palette knife. I rarely used brushes. My favourite colours and forms changed as quickly as subjects and senses. Only one thing remained unchained: every day I devoted 2-3 hours to my dream.

By the end of a few months I understood that 2-3 hours is not enough as well as oil is not enough. I was trying to find an extra ten minutes to draw everywhere and with everything I could: watercolours, pen, pencil, charcoal pencil and ink. And I wanted to draw and paint more and more. I didn’t take any courses or lessons; all I had was a great desire to create! Later I started to learn from articles, books, video and experts advice. But at first all I had was consuming passion and voraciousness.

Technically it was more difficult for me than for people who trained to draw and paint, but psychologically it was easier: I didn’t know how to do it, so I began experimenting with different methods and techniques. I enjoyed the process and was free from fear of failing to meet standards.

While it might seem I know a secret of 25-hour day or some special motivation, it’s not like that. All I have is sudden but passionate love and great tenacity. The paradox of motivation is that nothing can motivate you seriously and for the long haul until you catch YOUR wave. And when you’ve caught it, opinion and views of others mean nothing to you.

What artists have influenced your work the most?

Summer Madness, 50 x 50cm oil on canvas by Daria Zaseda

Justyna Kopania. I’m crazy about her paintings and her style.

What’s your favorite piece of artwork that you created? Tell us more about its’ influence.

It’s hard to choose one painting, because I learn something new every day, experiment with different painting styles. One day I look at one of my paintings and think that it is a masterpiece, and in a month or so it seems so imperfect. But one of my favourite paintings is Summer Madness.

What inspires you? Does it change? What else has inspired you?

For me painting is a magic door to the world where absolutely anything is possible. It is a self-sufficient activity that needs no additional sources of inspiration or energy. If I spend at least three hours a day without painting I feel stress and panic. It seems to me that I distract myself from the most important part of my life and deprive myself of some adventure. So I take pen, pencil, watercolours or oil paints and everything is fine again.

What do you experience when you’re creating your art?

When I’m painting I feel calm, gentle serene joy, it’s like a meditation. And when my artwork is finished I feel only wonder: who painted that? Could I create THIS after a few months of drawing and painting? Sometimes it seems to me that I’m a conduit between an ocean of beauty and people. My role is to reproduce accurately everything I’ve seen.

How do you know when an artwork is finished?

You need to listen to yourself; you always know when to stop. But sometimes perfectionism makes us add more details and painting loses its simplicity and sincerity. It’s almost impossible to stop trying to repaint, so it’s always better to say to yourself “stop” when a painting says “Hi, here I am”.

What is the most important artist tool that you use?

Two of my favourite tools are my fingertips and palette knife. Sometimes I use brushes, but I don’t really like it, they make painting too accurate, while palette knife creates harsh, but interesting effect of controlled chaos.

From time to time, I paint with a rag, it makes my paintings light and airy, though they are quite boring, there is little adventurism in them.

What can’t you live without in the studio?

Music. It is possible to paint in low-light conditions, on bad canvas and even with amateurish paints, but if there is bad background music or no music at all, I can’t catch some important rhythm which creates my painting.

Why do you create art?

Because I understood that I’ve found myself in art. It makes me alive, neutralizes all negative aspects, cruelty and imperfection of this world. I paint to live; I can’t spend a single day without painting.

Interview continues below the slideshow gallery. Click an image to view the large slides.

What do you enjoy working with the most?

I’ve worked with a range of materials, from charcoal pencil and pastels to watercolours and gouache. And I realized that each of them allows me to express different aspects of life.

  • I use oils to paint landscapes and abstractions, show colour, light and emotion.
  • Watercolours are good for painting people, their inward struggle and search.
  • Pen and charcoal pencil are only allusions leaving a wide field to fancy.
  • Depending on what I want to tell I choose material and tool.

How would you describe your art to a newcomer to the art-speak world?

Well, I think the most exact definition is impressionism, neo-impressionism.

Where can they reach you?

You can find me on my Facebook page

Also I have an artist profile on Instagram





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