RIOT ART GALLERY: A curated selection of art for the next generation collector

Delicate Flight - Yuliya Martynova

Erika Belavy

We're delighted to feature the beautiful work of Yuliya Martynova! London based since 2007, Yuliya received her classical  art training in post soviet Kazakhstan. Then she spent most of her life working in a field of law returning to art as a full-time career and finding artistic identity in 2015. Yuliya's practice combines subtle watercolour techniques and colour intense acrylic blends that create vibrant, or to the contrast, delicate surfaces sealed with oil and alkyd mediums. 

Independent, driven, yet fragile, her artistic ideology is a form of self-reflection. It lies with uncertain trajectory of a paper plane – a delicate vessel connecting space and time. The philosophical message shrouded in Yuliya’s elegant creations varies from painting to painting providing for less obvious emotional narrative. 

Visualising chaotic or organised trajectories with her paper plane formations, she emphasises positive values of adaptive human behaviour and prevailing strength over perceived weakness.  She also charges the little planes with an identity of a faceless portrait allowing for individual ability to overcome challenges facing unfamiliar highs in solitude or as a group. 

What is your artistic process?

It took me 6 months of trial and error finding the right kind of canvas maker that gives my watercolours the right absorption versus spreading, right tone and possibility to reapply the layers without lifting or smudging previously applied ones, allowing to reach the right intensity. The application starts with layer of large areas of dark and light. Then dries as I go to bed. Waking up and I run in excitement to start with the second layer. The one that sets the composition and gives more definition and precision to future dreamscape. There would be 3 or 4 more layers of watercolour and at times a drop of acrylic for opacity here and there before the oil is applied. 

I use water mixable finest oils mixed with special rubber based (antifading antiyellowing) alkyd medium that is applied only once to seal the watercolour in. The surface dries in 24 hours and I examine the result subsequently adding some finishing touches.  I deliberately leavesome of the paint splashes slightly roughlooking almost negligent. This is to balance the otherwise decorative effect of the work and creating more authentic look of the finished artwork before brush varnishing few days later. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

My whatsapp and instagramm feed are permanently inundated with photos from friends, family, gently stalked professional photo guru. Dramatic skies on a cloudy day, romantic sunset or ‘that amazing sunrise’, which moved you to tears, they all end up in front of my eyes. 

And I look. I gaze with awareness. 

Lovingly follow the lines and track the colour combinations storing away this visual knowledge into my subconscious.

By morning my memory goes into overload with shades and forms only to forget them at once when I take on a blank canvas. Yep, I don't paint from photographs. My brush(s) and decision making guided purely intuitively and the clouds are born just as naturalforms do — by chance and ever-changing weather of my mood.  

Shop Yuliya's work here.


Nov 2016: Edinburg Art Fair, represented by Gaudi Gallery, Madrid

Nov 2016: solo Art Gallery 657 Studio, Fulham Rd, London

Sep 2016: featuredartists in Saatchi Art Autumn 2016 Printed Catalogue

since Jun 2015: front page in 50 artworks by curators by Saatchi Art

Aug 2016: Hoxton Arches, London, with Meet the Artists

Feb 2016: Whitechappel Gallery, London, First Thursdays byCreative Debuts

Jan - Mar 2016: Hoxton Hotel Gallery, Holborn, London

Jan 2016: Art Room 2016, Melia White House Hotel, London 

Dec 2015: Maze Art OXO Tower, Barge House, London

Oct 2015: Wells Art Contemporary 2015, Somerset, UK

Apr - Jan 2016: Artist ofthe Day (twice), Inside the Studio,  Saatchi Art

July - Sep 2015: solo , Mathew’s Yard Caffe & Art Gallery, Croydon