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Nadia Volna



Born in Ukraine, artist Nadia Volna grew up in a military family, serving more than 10 years as a rescue paratrooper in the air force. But Volna only discovered her passion of painting after receiving a set of paints and canvas as a gift while in the military. Not having a brush and without the constrictions of formal training, Volna used balled up paper towels as a painting instrument and dabbed the canvas with paint before scratching out images with an acrylic spatula.

She immediately began painting with prolific fervor, which she now recognizes was as much about her artistic side being awakened as it was about discovering a way to "quell the painful emotions and passions" regarding the crisis that has befallen her native country of Ukraine. It wasn't long before her desire to create outpaced her ability to procure fresh canvases, so she began to paint new images over her old creations. She discovered that when she employed her "scratch" technique, aspects of the original painting would be revealed.

This effect was so striking that Volna began to develop and incorporate this technique as part of her process; she lays the canvas flat on the floor and applies layers of paint and allows them to dry. She then applies a secondary layer of paint and creates images before "scratching" out patterns with a serrated acrylic spatula, revealing the under-layer of paint. It's a painstaking process because she only has one shot to bring the two layers together.

For Volna, creating art is as much about the appreciation of everyday beauty-like the smile of a child or the beauty of her native country-as it is about creating her own little world away from the conflict that grips her homeland. She says, "my art is my solace in the wilderness where I can reflect on the wishes of my heart."
View works by Nadia Volna