As an artist I ended up on a dark side: I paint in oil and light after the sun goes down. Like Van Gogh, I believe that night is more alive and richly colored. My fascination with the night goes further – I believe it’s the most creative time. I also believe that night harbours special opportunities for self-reflection and creativity.

I am a traditionally trained oil painter who refused to pursue career in arts unless I am able to come up with something totally new, something outrageously creative. After a decade of roaming nightscapes all over the earth, I am finally pleased to say that I learned to amalgamate light painting, oil painting, Aurora Borealis, iconography and printmaking. I am working on an ambitious project that should be ready by 2019.

It takes several months on average to produce a work of art. I need certain lighting condition at night. I am limited to just a few days a month to catch those conditions. My work usually starts with light painting or Aurora chasing. I’d then indulge in re-painting a photograph in oil. The oil sketches in their turn would influence night photography, giving it unique painterly quality.

I mostly paint with palette knives – I have almost 300 in my arsenal. Each has its distinct character, attitude and quirks. I have different sets for different atmosphere of the nightscape or mood of Aurora.

I sculpt my paintings and to look at the photographs of my paintings is not doing them justice. To appreciate the effect of my impasto technique, one should see them in person.

I throw the layers of impasto in such a way, that sensitive viewers can feel the texture without touching it. The entire painting shifts with a slight change of a viewing angle. I never mix my pigments – I drag and mix layers of paint directly on the painting. The unmixed pigments are clean and sonorous, but when the layers of the pigments interact with each other, they produce infinite combinations and a unique effect. I can spend hours going over those layers with a magnifying glass.

I mostly paint on birch panels – the canvas would not hold my vigorous knife stroke or a weight of impasto. I prepare surfaces myself. Despite ridiculous amount of pigment that I use even for a small painting, I never compromise the quality of the oil paints. I even brought pigment from Holland, the only mill in the world where the precious stones are ground using a traditional mill. I love colours.

During long exposures I compress minutes, or even hours into a single image. All the happenings collapse, compressed into a flat two-dimensional snapshot. But when I switch gear and paint a “long exposure scene” with oil, I’d like to give it a movement, a spin of a sort. Especially when I am painting Aurora Borealis, or rather Auroral impressions on my senses.

I am surprised that Aurora Borealis has been escaping artists’ attention. There were meek attempts to paint her here and there. To be fair to the artists of the past, it is impossible to paint Aurora using traditional techniques and purely representational style. It is hard to convey the impact that Aurora delivers. Photographs, or even videos don’t do it justice. Some displays are overwhelming and even taxing on the senses. And that’s what I am trying to paint.

I am the only artist who is inspired by the Moon, the night, Aurora Borealis and my own light paintings. While some of my paintings do look representational, they are actually not– it takes imagination to paint a pattern of the night clouds as they would during the long exposure for the photo. Neither I am re-painting my own light paintings with oil. I leave a medium when it exhausted itself and let the other one take over.

I carefully document a decade of my rather obsessive Aurora and Moon chasing. You can find more information on the “Chasing the Moon” here. I am not a native speaker, but writing runs in my family and I am presently working on my third book.

Stay tuned for the new exciting work and more stories. Drop me a line or sign up to receive newsletters, or simply check the website for the new artwork and books.


Tatiana Slepukhin

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.

Vincent Van Gogh

I have … a terrible need ... shall I say the word? ... of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

Vincent Van Gogh

I have … a terrible need … shall I say the word? … of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

Vincent Van Gogh


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