From an early age, I liked drawing and painting. My parents saw this God-given talent in me, and would have gladly sent me to secondary school with an artistic profile. However, this was shortly after WWII, and there were no such schools. So instead they sent me to Gimnazjum Kupieckie [Merchant Gymnasium] saying: “You will get a profession to make a living with, and you will always be able to paint when you feel like it.” I went on to graduate in economics. Later: work, husband and children, home. There was no time to paint. Sometimes, during the holidays, I sketched old fallen trees, stones, and wooden Orthodox churches in the Bieszczady Mountains. Before I knew it, it was time for retirement, grandchildren, and fairy tales. Later, I channelled all my energy into embroidery and arranging bouquets of dried flowers, which were very popular.
Old age came very quickly, with all its consequences. I began using crutches. I had two major hip surgeries. One fine day, my adult son brought me an easel, paints, brushes, and other paraphernalia, and said: “Mum, no more trips and running around. You cannot walk, so sit on your arse and finally fulfil your lifelong dream. Paint now, or you’ll pass without leaving us anything to remember you by.”
This is how my adventure with brushes and paints began. I bought the relevant books: on drawing, perspective, composition, light and shadow. I started painting regularly. The early stages were modest. With time, I gained more and more experience. For a few years, I painted for myself.
At my friend’s suggestion, I applied to a competition organised by Klub Starówka in Poznań. That was 2007. To my surprise, I received a diploma of distinction at the 2007 Poznań Art and Cultural Review Poznań, in the Visual Arts category. This distinction gave me confidence in my abilities. Solo exhibitions started rolling in: Poznań City Hall (September 2008), Galeria Hospicjum Palium in Poznań and at Cinema City Plaza — IMAX (January 2009). My son organised these three exhibitions for me. In September 2009, I started organising my own individual exhibitions at Osiedlowym Domu Kultury “Słońce” [“Słońce” Local Community Centre] in Poznań. My artworks were received well. In September 2009, I became a member of Poznańskie Stowarzyszenie Pracy Twórczej [Poznań Artistic Work Association]. My artistic development sped up.
What I feel in my soul
Despite the storms of life
The horizon wide open, right in front of my eyes
Where the sea meets the sky
Calm waves hit the shore
Fishing boats are sailing off
Sky and sea are full of colours, there are no words.
Silence in nature calms me down.
In the time of rest, I dream.
In my soul I can still hear
My father’s tales of the past
The forest is deep, full of animals
I see a wild boar moving towards me.
I go deep, down into the ground.
A surprise! I see something shimmer
Is it possible? Plants, in the darkness of the cave?
Is it a fantasy? No, it’s aragonite!
My memories and thoughts
Turn into colourful images
And I transfer my sensitivity
From my soul to the canvas, for posterity.