One of our featured artists this month is Mila Rea, who hails from Russia. Her style of painting is distinctively expressionist which you can see throughout her collections of miniatures, still life flowers, portraits, animals and especially her landscapes their mysterious, and illustrative representation. From her four main collections, she will be exhibiting a variety of miniatures, animals and landscapes paintings at Motion Gallery from September 14th until October 05th.
Inspired by nature, particularly her big yard and flower garden, Mila says she also enjoys hiking and will take pictures of the landscapes to reference for her paintings. Another favourite is finds inspiration by looking at other artist’s unique works.
Old masters like Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and Russian artists Nicolai Fechin and Milt Kobayashi who expresses a figurative mood in his work, are also big influence in Mila’s work, but this is a tiny fraction of the hundred other artists she greatly admires, and even though she has a huge admiration for all genres and styles of art. Somehow her own works tend to gravitate towards realistic illustrations and abstract caricatures of characters.
Art always came naturally to Mila. She dreamed of being world famous, and recognized for her art. Every spare minute of her childhood was occupied drawing, and Mila even recalls a time at the age of five when she would sit under the kitchen table, painting the walls. It was then when her parents figured there would be less damage if they just sent her to art school.
Mila learned a great deal through art school in Russia, and when she came to Canada, she attended a four year Design and Illustration program at ACAD. It included art history, web design, illustration graphic design, sculpture – casting, clay, jewelry, character design animation. She graduated in 2014.
“With design you have to follow rules, where contrary to painting, you need forget the all rules and follow your instinct”, she reveals.
Her Dad created copper sculptures, and she would often sit with him working on sculptures together. This played a big part in her life, and influenced much of her creativity. Ballet was another great passion of hers in her teens.
Living a creative life and being able to paint is her favorite way of self expression, and being true to herself.
She is currently working on new paintings that incorporate farm animals, such as dogs, rabbits, roosters, and cats, using a technique of illustration with abstract shapes, in which she tries to give her animals more character and colour. We look forward to seeing these in the future.
In the meantime, Mila’s art can be found at Webster’s Gallery on 11th Ave SW, and this month at Motion Gallery. You can also see more of her art on her Facebook page and her website.
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere