Artist Biography - Iryna Yermolova

Iryna, originally from Ukraine, moved to the UK is 2005.

She was formally trained in graphic design and economics, but it was her move to England and her love for the English countryside that inspired her to start painting full time.

“I love colours, I love experimenting with texture and different media. I love my palette knife more than my brush. The subjec
...t of my paintings is not so important for me as the composition. I think my graphic design background makes me always put composition and colours in first place.”
As she quickly grew in confidence and capability Iryna began painting bold yet sensitive figurative studies with a confident style and striking use of light and colour.

"I love to paint people. However, my inspiration isn’t a person but the movement, light, composition, or pattern. I like when light disappears and appears when it is not expected. This effect often breaks the anatomical and academic rules, but it can create dramatic effects and help the composition."
The connection between the soul and light, or shape, or composition and colours is more important than actual subjects of Iryna’s paintings.

Strongly influenced by the Ukraine artist, Alina Maksimenko, Iryna also draws inspiration from Degas, Egon Schiele and Toulouse Lautrec. She refers to them as 'her masters and her teachers' as she experiments with colour and texture and an almost innate understanding of the materiality of oil paint, creating delicious tensions between the thin washes and thick impasto in her work.

Iryna Yermolova has an emotional approach rather than a rational one. She says painting is a kind of meditation for her, time to be with herself and her thoughts.

"When I start on a new canvas, I see the composition, main objects, light, and shadow, and only then do I add some details. I have to say that I quite often cannot explain how I’ve created the painting. My paint flows, and my fingers (I prefer fingers and a palette knife to brushes) do the work for me.”
"I could start the work at 9 am and finish it at 1pm. I call these works 'perfect'! I love when the canvas can 'breathe'. The more I work on a canvas, the less I can expect a good result. This is why every month I’m throwing away between ten and twenty canvases, which will never become an artwork."
In her most recent body of work, her powerful imagery is greatly influenced by her upbringing in Ukraine and the iconography surrounding orthodox religion. Dreamlike compositions of youthful figures merge with the inner-self and ideas surrounding identity, culture and myth as well as a more personal journey, that of an artist, mother and woman.

Publications and achievements:

– 1st Prize Winner of the Windsor and Newton Prize for Life Drawing Portrait in 2011. Mall Galleries

– Dorset Life Magazine


– Interview for Artists and Illustrators Magazine


– Interview ‘Iryna Yermolova – Inside the studio’ for Saatchi Art


– Interview for ‘Architectural digest’ US edition


Recent Exhibitions:

2018 Fresh Art Fair.

2018 Russian Evolution. 5th annual exhibition of original paintings by some of Russia and the UK’s most acclaimed artists. Paragon Gallery

2018 Royal Institute of Oil Painters 125th Annual Exhibition. Mall Galleries, London

2017 Battersea AAF / Bristol AAF

2017 Painted Colour Exhibition, Bath Contemporary Gallery, UK
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