I often spent that time, "cut out" from the monotonous schedule, surrounded by colourful crayons, capricious watercolours and impermanent, dripping with water sheets of paper, which served as a medium transferring me for a moment to the world of dreams.
Walking in my child’s room, full of toys, I often ended up on the sill of an old tall window which opened the world of imagination and yearning for the unknown landscape of the neighbouring courtyard, the hubbub of the streets nearby.
I remember the attentive figure of my grandfather who drew at the round table in the next room. Between whiles he showed me colourful illustrations from the albums he pulled out from the secret wardrobe, which no one else was allowed to open. Even today I remember the colourful encyclopaedias of birds, the albums with campaigns of Napoleonic armies and naval battles fought by sailing ships.
I survived school concealing my interest in drawing in my personal exercise books, filling them with whatever caught my imagination and stirred my emotions, usually of hardly any artistic value.
Soon it changed into my completely unrestricted commenting on the world around me.
This way of commenting and scribbling in the textbooks, where I “corrected” illustrations depending on my frame of mind, resulted, many times, in conflicts with the teachers.
The need to express myself independently on every subject, which consolidated in me at that time, resulted in my decision to study art.
It was also a reaction to the violently changing reality of the proclaimed martial law which made me feel that studying law, which I had planned for a year, was pointless. I was completely unprepared for this new way. The course I took to prepare for the practical entrance exams confirmed me in my decision and when I was admitted to my beloved studies I knew it was the place for me.
During my studies I set myself to strict discipline and systematic work on my artistic technique, which fought with the deep and violent need to express my emotions.
The struggle between the ascetic discipline and the emotional rebellion, which was beyond the technical and expressive limitations of the traditional painting, is visible in my works of that time.
After the seventh semester I began to paint in the “canon” of black and white painting, which lasted until 1995. Beginning with the notebook size my pictures grew into the surface area of several and then several dozen sheets of grey wrapping paper. Glued together before I painted them “to measure” they filled the surface area of a large studio. Then, I applied white primer to them with a roller, and, when it set hard, I filled them with the help of different tools in one go.
The already completed pictures, dried and rolled up, resembled low quality carpets in the storehouse. Then, I tried to work out a way to display them in the urban space.
Among the ideas which I did not put into practice was hanging the sheets from the jib of a several-storey high building crane and hanging my works from the windows of tower blocks. Becoming known in the urban space required financial means and permits, which I did not expect to obtain.
I managed to show the relationship between painting and space during several exhibitions and reviews. Sound played an important part in these projects. I mixed the background sound on cassettes or used the already existing one, for example, the hum of fans. My diploma project was also a spatial installation (small formats against the background of a big one).
The impermanence of the sheets of paper, which were often destroyed during outdoor exhibitions, their material transience – were a lesson in humility and provoked reflection on the transitory nature of my artistic enterprises. Finally, most of the pictures from that time were burnt by my mother-in-law as part of "tidying up the house".
I was interested in the very process of how a painting comes into existence. I filled unconventional formats by moving on their surface. I designed a harness, suspended above the picture, for the painter to move above the horizontal surface of the picture without touching it with his feet.
In my case the installation did not mean I quitted painting, but I used it secondarily to prepare a stage design. The deep “organic” attachment to express myself in painting did not allow me to put multimedia compositions before painting, which has always been the most important for me.
This situation enabled me to resume easel painting, to rediscover and reinterpret the subject.
The awareness of space in the picture, its relationship with the space around the picture and struggling for formal balance in the field of colours encouraged me to take up chromatic painting. I could return to the world of sensitivity of the lost childhood through it.
The quest for the poetics of lyrical harmony did not satiate my desire to express myself with gestures, to which colour was added as well.
My pursuit of form began with orthodoxly achromatic pictures and finished with those enriched by chromatic expression. Having the choice I gave priority to my intentions connected with expression. At the same time I could use my past and present experience with form.
The lack of artistic self-determination in a deluge of possibilities I had during the first years of my studies arose from the great ease with which I could follow my artistic paths, the variety of new ways and interpretations I learned and the lack of experience and the flexible personality typical of the youth.
The quest for artistic identity made me reject the fireworks of solutions and remove from my artistic style the elements which – as it seemed to me – spurred me to the futile quest for form.
The conscious rejection of the chromatics of "beautiful" ( that is "easy") pictures resulted in discovering the strong feeling of identity and burning the unimportant, secondary emotions. The apparent difficulty concerning form encouraged me to search for deeper quality.
Using colour, after ten years of rejecting it, allowed me treat it as a conscious element of my artistic expression, similarly as I treated the dynamics of texture, value and light.
Painting for me became a language which reminded me of who I was, what I felt, what I desired.
Similarly I tried to present these possibilities to the participants of the painting classes. Not everyone follows the same artistic path to develop his own style.
I attach great significance to the individual process of painting my students should develop, depending mostly on everyone’s personal predisposition and sensitivity.
Everyone should discover his own painting style, which reveals the truth about the artist and fights its way through the masks of dishonesty, superficial fashion and manners.
Only then discovering the rules of painting changes into something more than a trade and becomes a poetic journey to the undiscovered realm of our soul.