Feature Story- Galina Rakhmistrovskaya, the Battle of the Teal winner (adult division)

Galina loves art because it is a way to express her emotions and clear her mind. For her, art has a therapeutic effect and changes her outlook on life. As an artist, she wants her artwork to speak to the audience. She brings life to her drawings by using light and shadow to show the texture and perspective which gives depth and visual interest to her art.

Galina Rakhmistrovskaya is the winner for visual arts at Battle of the Teal- Adult division. She moved to the United States when she was 21 years old. Galina worked full time and went to college because she believed that knowledge is power. She also learned the English language in the process.  During this time, drawing became a universal language that helped her express her ideas and culture. Galina loves art because it is a way to express her emotions and clear her mind. For her, art has a therapeutic effect and changes her outlook on life. As an artist, she wants her artwork to speak to the audience. She brings life to her drawings by using light and shadow to show the texture and perspective which gives depth and visual interest to her art. It usually takes 7-8 seconds for people to look at one painting, and then they move on to the next piece of artwork. She aims at capturing the viewer’s attention and making them feel the energy that her drawings radiate. She wants to make people happy and hopes they would pause to reflect on their life while viewing her artworks.

Caption: Galina R.

Galina’s mother has been her inspiration, whether for music or visual art and helped her with an art in school. From a young age, her mother would take her to art galleries and museums in Ukraine and Russia, instilling in her a love and appreciation for the arts. Although Galina didn’t start to draw until she was 16 years old, the environment she grew up in, is responsible for the strong, creative woman she is today. Certain life events can result in major changes in person’s live. One of such events became observing her cousin drawing. Galina told her mother that she could draw on the same level as her cousin, if not better. The mother, surprised by this statement, challenged her to demonstrate her abilities. At that point, there was no way back, and Galina had to prove she could rise to the challenge. She then took an art book from her mom’s library and, in ten minutes, copied Pierre Puget’s Cupid sketch. Since then, Galina’s mom refused to help her with the art class for school. She said she was more than capable of doing it on her own. That was when Galina learned her lesson and gained confidence in drawing.

Pierre Puget’s Cupid sketch by Galina (1995)

Galina’s main interest is pencil portraits. Only recently has she started to pay more attention to the vibrant colors and textures of nature. According to her, it’s a very enjoyable and fun experience when she paints and creates art. She finds it interesting to see how different lighting affects how people see things and how the colors change as the sun goes down. Galina’s finished work is a combination of what she sees and feels while creating a piece. When she paints, she wants to give the viewers the same sense of inspiration she felt when painting.

Galina is inspired by her favorite French artist, Claude Monet. She loves how he captures light and natural forms in his paintings. His artworks create new and emotional associations in the brain. They have enough details to steer your mind through images at first glance and give the viewer an ability to creatively interpret the images.

The outcome of Galina and her son’s friendly dog drawing competition (Dec 2014)

As a parent, she teaches her kids to love art through positive reinforcement, which she believes is the best method. They create art and participate in art projects together. She encourages her kids to mix colors and experiment with a variety of materials. Even if something might not work out the way they want it to, they learn a lesson in the process. It’s always a fun and rewarding experience. When they work together, she usually starts by giving them an idea and then steps back to wait and see what they can create. She says her kids have complete freedom and form their own style as they grow up.

Galina is confident that art helps to find her place in society as she develops and improves herself over time. Art to her is also a way to assert herself and to say something to the whole world. Art brings a touch of beauty and has a huge impact on her life. She is convinced that without art, her life would be less interesting and quite monotonous. Galina is very proud of her growth and accomplishments and believes that when she puts her mind to it, she can accomplish anything.

“Sun-kissed boy” by Galina (Fall 2020 showcase art-work)

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