I have selected this sample of my work to represent what I see as its deepest leitmotif; I call it "burning ochre", after Boris Pasternak's poem "August"; the Russian adjective could as well be translated as "hot" (as in "hot summer"), but then the enchanting rhythm of the original would have been lost completely. The "burning ochre" of the poem is the colour lent by the arising sun to everything around the poet and awakening him from a dream in which he witnessed his own funeral and bid farewell to his life, his work, and his beloved. Here are the first two quatrains:
Conceptually, then, the burning ochre stands for the awakening from a nightmare, the acuteness of being alive and present, the ultimate non-existence of death in the face of sun-lighted beauty of simple everyday things, from the woods around to the strip of wall behind the bookshelf. And so my series is about simple things — fruit, a glass of wine, a bottle of oil — and the burning ochre of sunlight and its power to transform everything into an affirmation of life with a single touch.
Technically, this doesn't mean that the ochre is dominant or even visible in all pieces; as far as the dominant colour is concerned, they run the gamut of the rainbow; yet the transparent gold ochre (which, after a long search, I perceive as the closest earthly counterpart to the idea of burning ochre Boris Pasternak planted in my mind many, many years ago) is an essential component of my palette. It is always there, even though not always apparent — exactly like the ideal it stands for.