Olha Okruzhko

My name is Olha; I was born in Soviet Union and after its dissolution live in independent Ukraine.

Since my early childhood my favorite desk books were «Animal life» — a big, carefully illustrated encyclopedia of zoological life, and «Masters and Masterpieces» — a collection of classical paintings and artist’s biographies starting from antiquity up to the modern epoch. And I think it defined my future love for painting and animals.

Unfortunately I had no opportunity to study painting — according to the family traditions I studied music, literature, philology and pedagogics, but after getting my degree in English Literature and Philology started my job in polygraphy, page making and design (which I work with till nowadays as a freelancer).

The lack of formal education couldn’t stop me from painting, so I had to learn how to do it myself. I chose watercolors as a medium, because I was fascinated by the vividness of its colors and the uncontrolled shifting of the forms it gives. And I thought it to be a good medium to show the vivacious nature of animals.

Also I’ve been a volunteer to the pet’s shelters lately. I often make portraits of the cats and dogs that search for their new home. I think it’s my way to help, as I can take home no more of them — my husband and I already have six cats and three dogs.

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