art: the subconscious search for meaning


history + philosophy

Nearly a year ago, my grandfather Vasyl Hlynchak Sr., a Ukrainian journalist and art-historian extraordinaire, described my style. Not of fashion, but of art; I had just completed Marianna’s Little House and White Rose. His mini-essay left me giddy. For one – I had finally found a style that felt like myself, and two – he had, inexplicably, encapsulated this style in two simple words: Poetic Realism. 

To quote a line from his email, and I translate from Ukrainian:

“Paint! You have poetic realism, that is to say, you are mixing the paint with your experiences. And that’s right! So right!”

It’s in the small and simple, I find, that have an impact. In this way, these words resonated with me. An a-ha! moment, a revelatory experience that made me realize that art is pieces of the artist. A creator’s emotions, musings, experiences, life…are all part of an artist’s toolkit. Regardless if these tools are a painter’s palette, a writer’s words, an actor’s language, a singer’s tongue; art is art is art.

Poetic Realism, I felt though, confused with Realism. And indeed, my work is not realistic, but perhaps, simply poetic. Poeticism, if you will.

Poeticism, to me, describes the style of many contemporary artists. It is art that draws upon an artist’s experiences. It is a nearly tangible relationship between art and artist, where the observer feels the art rather than simply sees. This is what I aim to achieve in my work.


Colour (with a “u” as I’m Canadian). Our visible spectrum which we’ve arbitrarily labelled is more important to me than my subject matter. I find a painting complete if I’m happy with the colours I’ve smeared upon its canvas. Lines, be them crooked, uneven, warped, are perfect to me if they were painted in the right shade. I’m sure I’m not the only artist so in love with colour.

My brushes are nearly obsolete, as I largely paint with palette knives. This is how I achieve my blurred effect and texture, that certain je ne sais quoi. It is a maddening method (forgive my pun) that requires a great amount of acrylic mixed with a pinch of patience. If I worked in oils, I think I’d get old waiting for it to dry. 


motif (n.) – a recurring feature in an artistic work

I have only begun my repertoire, yet, I feel a growing tide of motifs in my work. Gold foil and the colour yellow, are examples. The gold was inspired by the genius of Gustav Klimt; I have yet to come across paint that can overcome its brilliant lustre and texture. I discovered this when I was struggling with the domes in my painting of the St. Sophia cathedral.

As for yellow, I have yet to find out why. But lately, I have been smitten with a certain Turner’s yellow. It is a more orange-yellow shade, around 580 nm.

Last updated 30/8/19.