Evening. 1992, 1992 - 1992
Oil on canvas
"Paintings created in the quiet of the studio have no life.... Great artists create in nature, while the mood is on them, and then in the studio they bring their work to perfection" could be said to be Nikolai Bondarenko’s creative credo. This modestly titled work, "Evening", is an intimate rural landscape and, of course, was painted en plein air. Most of the picture’s space is given over to the richly flowering meadow. In the evening light the rich colours of the tall summer grass are subtly transformed – this intimate rural landscape is so dense that the cow and calf in the foreground are not immediately noticeable. This work is part of a long series of “evening”works, painted in the Vladimir region, where Bondarenko spent the summer of 1992 with his young children. "On all sides, wherever you look, everything is beautiful" he said of the local landscapes. Late in the afternoon he would go out with a big canvas to paint from life. He joined the local grazing cows, which, with their usual equanimity, "posed" for the artist. Although Bondarenko works on each painting for a long time and over several sessions, his work still retains an open air impetuosity. The artist tries to show everything he can see with an incredible kaleidoscope of colours, giving energy and emotion to this beautiful work. As in all his landscapes it is clear that Bondarenko, a lyricist and poet, reveres the beauty of nature.