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The squirrel frosts. It tooks cover

the squirrel takes supplies for the winter

“The squirrel frosts. It tooks cover“ (60x80 cm) is a big oil on canvas that depictes a scene witnessed by the artist Svyatoslav Ryabkin. It would decorate a living room wall with style, in fact the movement created by the ramifications fills the space without weighing it down.

The alternation of brown tones and the technique of colour striping on the barks show the realism of this painting. The perspective, balance and dimension of the elements are respected. This is only one style of the Ukrainian painter’s ones. He used the tip of the handle of his brush to mark the material finely whereas, in other paintings, he spread the colour in a circular way with large brushstrokes whereas in others cases he spatulated the colour with short strokes: his artistic choices are adapted to the subject.

Do you know, dear Readers, that record temperatures are reached in Ukraine when the Russian-Siberian anticyclone stationes? Up to -35° in inland places and about ten degrees more in coastal ones. That's why squirrels run on tree branches to counteract the cold winter and prepare huge food supplies. The artist Ryabkin loves all animals deeply and he has ironically commented that the squirrel would need a blanket to protect itself from the cold! The painter has always painted animals but the paintings with squirrels are a rarity, almost unique!

The branches of the trees have been meticulously painted with different shades of brown, now more burnt, now darker. They chase each other like squirrels on the trunks. The small animal is in the middle oft he canvas to attract the observer's attention with its reddish and soft coat that warms the atmosphere. These animals need to live in peaceful environments and in the wild; in fact they populate the woods, their ideal environment.

The gray sky, which seems flat, therefore becomes the perfect background for these ramifications, now thin now thick. The dull brightness of the winter sun's rays filters through the clouds. What does "The squirrel frosts. It tooks cover" arouse in you? Does it give you light-heartedness or, on the contrary, does it lead you to reflection? I believe that this work helps to feel good broadly.

The artist Svyatoslav Ryabkin, called Slava by his friends, has chosen to depict the early hours of a winter afternoon when the air is milder though crisp and the light is very clear. However, in all his beautiful paintings he has depicted all the moments of the day and the seasons of the year, interpreting them according to his unmistakable style, influenced by the great Russian painter Chagall (1887-1985) whom he has always admired. Remember the brilliance of the colours he used in a dawn of a new day in “Dawn“ (2018) and the beautiful turquoises during a sunset interpreted in “Sunset“ (2018).
Winter, foretold by this work, manifests itself with irony with the big green cat crouched on the snowy bench in “First snow“ (2017) and finally, the artist painted a summer scene in “Veranda“ (2017) with some sailboats free in the sea that induce the observer to slow down the rhythm of his/her life and take time for himself/herself.

This painting was made in 2017 and exhibited for a long time in the “Salone Lui e lei“, hairdresser for men and women and aesthetics (in Mogliano Veneto town, near Treviso city). Then in the Villa Simion Gallery in Spinea (near Venice) and during an art exhibition called “Un mare di vita” in “Arman’s” tavern (in Treviso).

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by Elena Sechet

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