Autobiography of Catherine Medvedeva, russian artist's self-portrait
I, Medvedeva E.I., was born on January, 10, 1937 in village Golubino of the Belgorod region New-Oskol area in rural family. In 1947 I have got in Shusha's children's home ¹2 of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region Azerbaijan SSR.
Aged nine I have lost parents and consequently have got in children's home. In 1954 I have left factory-and-works school in Baku and became the weaver. I hated this trade that in Pushkin's fairy tale the weaver has made evil. And now I so well feel fabrics because I fairly performed the work though did not love it. I have daughter, at the age of 42. I till now don't understand, what means "to marry successfully". I have no luck in it. My life is difficult, but interesting, and it is difficult to live interesting. I always trusted, that my knowledge will be come in handy to somewhere, therefore suffered and to get out of the any situation fairly.
In 1967 I have got fixed up in a job as the property-man in a folk theatre in club of workers of trade in Kislovodsk. There was a fine art studio. At the age of 39 I for the first time in life have seen the artist who paints a picture. On January, 5, 1976 I have tried the first creative drawing a gouache. It very much was pleasant to artists.
Before it I after a rain went to admire mountains. There were mellow-green mountains, and I spoke: "But why I'm not the artist?!"
In 1972 I gone down from Cultprosvet College, therefore I worked in club.
6 years I worked as the chief of branch of the communication. It is very interesting work, in village is especial. After the first figure which I have named "Daily bread" to me began to give albums, paints, brushes.
The director of a folk theatre has yielded me for one night of 11 big albums of impressionists. Van Gogh has most liked me. To me all was clear: both a country theme, and mines. I heard about it all, as before war we lived in town Shakhty (Mines) of Donetsk area, I was absolutely small.
The artist has told to me: "Draw when you want and as much as you want". At 6 a.m. till 2 a.m. I drew in Kislovodsk, made up 10-15 figures, and all of them praised. In 10 days has come to us the main artist of artel on painting utensils and began to invite me to paint utensils. She speaks: "Will put already painted by someone cup and you must repeat". I have told: "For 8 hours I shall draw so much my own pattern… And why I'll to retry another's work?" The salary two times as much has been offered to me, but I have refused. God be praised! In January I started, and on April, 10, 1976 into a club where I worked, my first personal exhibition has been organized. Its artist Anatoly Nikolaevich Morev has organized. 37 figures have exposed. That is strange, but the teacher of art school has written in the visitors' book "It should be a shame to her - to draw at 39 years old as the five years' child!". I in tears and go to Morev A.N., and he me calm – "He says he the compliment has presented you. Not everyone can be the child in 39 years old. Listen to nobody and at anybody do not study". Thank to him.
In 1981 the House of national creativity has sent me to Aged Ladoga in the House of creativity. I already drew 5 years only graphic arts. The head of group the Moscow artist Jury Jurjevich Kosogovsky there was. And I have arrived with books of Gogol's and indian ink. He has told to me: "Take paints and canvases and write patterns". I have asked him, whether it will turn out at me; he has told: "All at you will turn out!" Has told, how a seal has put. There I for 2 months have drawn 45 oil pictures, 6 of them of 2 m õ 1,5 m. It was just a revolution! Can loose one's wits! I was in amateur group. Professionals went to me every day, and laymen (them was much), hated me.
I'm always paying wholly for all. And it is good. 16 years old I have understood, that it is impossible to hope for anybody, only for myself. There was an elderly woman in the House of creativity - the amateur artist. She has suggested to me to expose in the workshop on the commission my patterns because they did not have room in my workshop. Something unimaginable has begun! The head runs to me, shouts, why I am exposed with her. I have answered, that she has suggested. He in horror speaks: "She has?!" - and I speak: "Yes!". All artists - 75 people - and the commissar have rushed to my patterns, and do not catch sight of her. She has run to our artists in tears. They began to calm her: "Don't cry, Klavdiya Afanasievna, supposedly, her patterns will not find farther than Houses of national creativity". I have heard it, have run into and shout: "Cry, Klavdiya Afanasievna, cry: there will be my patterns in a Paris, and in a Moscow, and worldwide!" and gone away.
And all has come true. In Paris in 1993 there was a personal exhibition on The Champs Elysee. 53 responses to me have brought. There was an exhibition in 1994 in Nice with Mark Shagal, Matisse and our Moscow artist Natta Konysheva. In 1982 my collectors have bought and carried my 11 works to Mark Shagal. He has told: "Kate - is a Russian talent with her own handwriting. She also loves color, as well as I". He has donated me an album with the works and the autograph "Mark Shagal". Then there was a lot of albums have presented to me with M. Shagal's patterns.
I'm the happiest artist of the end 20 and the beginnings of 21 centuries. I have so many works, are so much spiritual, joyful holidays. There is an ancient parable of 12 centuries about artists. Tsar sends for a vizier and asks him, how many artists in the country, on what he has answered - "About 600". "Put all of them into prison. How many draw?". "300" - has told vizier. "Now create him magnificent life. How many draw?". "3" That is only three true artists and the others only used privileges of artists.
The artist is the only one who should draw. The fine arts are a graphic image. It seems to me, most people don't think of it. It is not allowed to teach children a drawing. Only technique of drawing it is necessary. They should greedily draw and be pleased, and teachers to foist one's own tastes to them, and copies occur.
Munion of fortune must to try one's strength forever. The hardest - be simple. The interesting person should be available, explain people, is share pleasure.
In September, 1976 I have depart from Kislovodsk to home. I have not offended so mush in Azerbaijan for 18 years, as on my Native land during 4 years. In 1979 there was a regional exhibition of amateur artists in Belgorod. There has come the letter from magazine "Decorative art of the USSR" that there is such artist that should carry out my exhibition. In 1978 20 days I lived in Moscow: went on exhibitions, and mine was in editorial office of magazine "Decorative art of the USSR".
I have taken the first place in Belgorod. All gifts - books they have handed over to me also the monthly salary. I arrive to work, tell about all. And one speaks: "Why you humiliate us?". I answer: "I don't humiliate, I share pleasure". To be sure! They have both husbands, and houses, and kitchen gardens, but I have nothing and suddenly about me have started talking both on radio, and in newspapers. I think, that envious persons move forward strong men and do not yield to get puffed up those have a success, and weak men oppress.
I hate greedy, envious. I have passed examination for life and painting. I have has visitors every day 19 years on end, irrespective at whom I lived. 6 years I lived in Moscow at different artists and every day drank. Now I do not drink the fourth year. Has not become an inveterate drunkard – there was a test. I drink once in three days with grief when the grandson was ill, and the daughter the patient. The god likes me.
My first collectors – Norbert Koukhinke and his wife Kate. He played a part the professor in film Danelia "The Autumn marathon".
The first personal exhibition in Moscow was open on December, 30, 1981 in the All-Russia House of national Creativity. Have planned for 20 days, it was proceeded 2 and a half of a month. There have arrived 5 diplomats from German embassy on an exhibition. And I have under painting water colors hung. They ask, can this be bought, and I answer is sold. For half an hour all the painting in water color was bought by workers of the House of national creativity. Vadim Alekseevich was a chief of a department of the fine arts. He has made much for me. He was in Aged Ladoga, have showed to us slides with patterns of other artists. All is interestingly!
I stand at an exhibition, and 7 people pull me for hands, want to buy, and Kate Koukhinke stands aside, observe, and speak: "It is good, that it are sold ". Then she has approached to me, has asked, how many there is a portrait of my daughter. The daughter is pregnant 8 months, reads, in the Indian dress, under a floor lamp. I speak, I do not know, I shall go to ask Vadim Alekseevich. Vadim Alekseevich Pomeshchikov ordered to tell 200 roubles. I have told to her, and she speaks: it is good, that you ask. They have 250 my patterns in a collection. At customs house spoke foreigners: "And you pay your money for it shit?!" Kate Koukhinke has answered: "It is shit for you, but ingenious artists for us".
I have so many exhibitions that I for a long time do not count them. I leave patterns easily. There are not two equal patterns.
Moscow, Kislovodsk, Belgorod, Leningrad, Cheboksary, Aged Ladoga, New Oskol, Stary Oskol, Ivoen-city and so on. Darmstadt, Western Berlin, Mainz, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Paris, Nice, Chicago, Finland. Now 10 patterns in New York at an exhibition, but I love Russia, all of Ryazan region. Was not abroad anywhere. I have 22 invitations in domestic archive in all countries.
I like to be the master of the situation, and I never do one's work anyhow, all with love.
I persecuted. I did not understand it before. That in it essence of life, that is persecuted are personality. They humiliate me - I was not humiliated, to knew one's own worth, suffered in soul and wasn't vindictive. Blessed persecuted because they will behold the God. The Gospel. When I was abandoned by friends, having thought, I was pleased. It was releasing from the bad person.
So many journeys I made – and no more 3 years on one place I can live, as though some force pushes me out, and if I do not leave, then troubles happens. It is necessary to hear own intuition - sanctity sincere. Angel – herald. I never searched and do not search for benefit; friends forsake me, 'cause no benefit and clear thoughts. People become venal as nuts cracked under a hammer. The some people don't know what for live. Artists too should think what for to paint. It is good if there is some to tell, but if isn't, and wrong impression already got. It is only way to disturb one's people and envy. This is the only artist who very unlike to any other man. But sometimes at an exhibition can meet identical patterns, and just last names are different.
Artists, both strong, and weak, must be grateful for draw. It so fine! The pattern is a pray; how who prays - such and work. It is impossible to think of money, when you paint, because when you paint as though you talk with God. And the good pattern will find the own wall. Who draws, is already saved from much, dialogue - the hardest and necessary thing.
P.S. One artist in Aged Ladoga speaks: "I can draw as Kate with closed eyes". And I speak her: "Why with closed, you try with open". And she drew a twig in the ditch a black pencil, like worms, what for they are necessary? My art is as far as simple, so difficult.
There are words in some song: "Kiss before half an hour till the spring". This is the kiss which all weak people mow down. To suffer a little bit - a victory waits. The girl, not having waited darling from army 2 months, marries for unloved, for no particular reason, or it is worse - to spite. To whom to spite?! And then rambles, in windows looks, how he lives with another - and envy. Envy is a cancer of soul, incurable.
Lomonosov has thought up the law on conservation of energy in a nature. The law on protection and conservation of human energy is now necessary. Perhaps, would be any sorcerers, psychics and any evil spirits less. I am defends from them 22 years. It is necessary to turn them out, but we're tormented by intelligence.