// Russian plein-air pastel painter Sergei Oussik was
moved by the spirit of the times to embrace his face as an artist

Making water speaks with help from Russia

RUSSIAN pastel artist Sorguei Oussik is in Harpswell to show some of his works and to teach local artists.
BY RACHEL GANONQ Ti’wi RrtunlStaff




Harpswell is playing host to Russian master pnstelist Serguel Oussik this weekend as the artist holds a weekend workshop for area artists.

Harpswell resident Jan Lynskey met Oussik last summer when she went to St. Petersburg expressly to study pastels with htm after seeing an article featuring him in International Artist magazine.

Ousslk’s treatment of light and water caught Lynskey’s eye. “Since we have so much water around us here, I wanted to make my water speak to people the same way,” she said.

After her trip abroad, Lynskey designed to bring the Russian master to the states. Lynskey is the former president of the Merrymeetlng Art Association and used her art connections to arrange three workshops to finance Ousslk’s first trip to America.

Two weeks ago, Oussik taught at the Vermont Pastel Society, and this week he has been working with the Pastel Painters of Maine In Kenneb-unk; treasurer Suzanne deLesseps organized the workshop and has been parÂticipating all week.

“We have been exposed to different paper, colors and methods of putting the pastel on the paper,” she said. “He is full of energy and has been very willing to share his knowledge with us.”

Ousslk’s Harpswell workshop will run Saturday THIS 2004 PASTEL painting of Serguei Oussik’s work. through Wednesday from 9 u.m. to 4 p.m.

The workshop was originally organized and advertised by the town office with some of the workshop fees designated for the town’s recreation program, but paperwork prevented the plans from materializing, according to recreation director Liz Bouve. But the workshop Is still happening and anticipated by local painters such as Jeanne Brooks of Orr’s Island.

“He says he can do these pastels In two hours,” she said, “I spend up to 10-15 hours on a painting, a small one at that.” Brooks, who plans to attend four days of the workÂshop, said she admires Oussik’s style and wants to learn a Paris scene is an example of Ousslk’s technique for painting quickly.

Oussik. a self-described choleric personality, said he chose to work in pastels because they can be used quickly, unlike oils which take preparation and drying time.

“You’ve got your eyes and vour paper and you go,” he said. Oussik begins his paintings outside, working until the light changes, before finishing them in his studio. He focuses primarily on landscapes and has shown his work internationally.

“From childhood. I all the time was drawing.” Oussik said, but he studied architecture because his mother, a high school math teacher, prompted him to choose a less chancy career. But architecture wasn’t for Oussik. “The first day on the Job, It was like a desperation for me,” he said.

From that point, it took him five years to become a professional artist. The swarthy painter has been using pastels every dny for the past IB years, he said. This is the first time he’s painted Maine. Although he appreciates what he calls the area’s tidiness, he says every landscape is the same.

“You can find beauty in every appearance of every subjoct.” he said.

Oussik’s work can be seen at www.artlondon.com and at the Bailey Island School House.