Views #392 | Intermediate 4

Artist Inspiration

Yuri talks about the process he goes through in making a painting.
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Shirley: So Yuri, can you tell me a little bit about your daily routine as an artist? What's the first thing you do when you're getting ready to paint?

Yuri: Basically I get up in the morning, and as soon as I'm ready, I go to my room, which is my painting room, my atelier, and I work. I do sketches or I work on a painting is on progress.

Shirley: Okay, and how do you get an idea for a painting?

Yuri: The idea can be from anything. It can be from my little doodle on a piece of paper, from movies, a lot. Or... very often I get ideas, actually from the country where I'm living at the moment.

Shirley: How do you progress from that idea to getting it on a piece of paper or a canvas?

Yuri: Well, if I have an idea, which I'm more or less sure what it is, of what it's going to be, I start a sketch on the canvas. And from then on... often the painting can change daily.

Shirley: So you sketch using, what, a pencil, or?

Yuri: I use some kind of pencil, charcoal, and from then on, I work on colors.

Shirley: So you sketch the painting and then you go straight into oil, or something?

Yuri: Yeah, usually in oil. Sometimes, I do the background with acrylic. It's quicker.

Shirley: Do you have to kind of prepare the colors before you start to put them on the canvas?

Yuri: Well, in my art, I prepare everything by myself. I prepare the canvas. I stretch it. Sometimes I even mix the color by myself.

Shirley: What does that mean, you prepare the canvas and stretch it?

Yuri: I have to get the canvas, sometimes can also be some old bedsheet, and I prepare it with some special material. I put on stretchers, they're made of woods. I use it some special tools, and then I start the work.

Shirley: So how long does it usually take to complete a painting from the initial idea to the framing at the end.

Yuri: It varies. Sometimes can take me a couple of days. Sometimes can take me up to a month.

Shirley: Why would there be that difference?

Yuri: Size. Also, what I'm intending to paint. Like sometimes I do some painting very, very fast. Energetic, which are usually the faster one. If I really work on details, then it can take very long time.

Shirley: Can you explain how you think up names for your paintings?

Yuri: Oh, that's interesting because, sometimes I have the title before the painting. I think of something, or sometimes can send me a word, or I read something on a book or magazine. And some that I got the idea for a painting. It's like a flash. And from there on, I work on a painting.

Shirley: And if you just work from an idea, how do you think of a name at the end?

Yuri: It's can be a big battle, because I can find 25 different names. And sometimes I ask my wife, friends, or sometimes I even change it.

Shirley: Oh that's really interesting. Thanks.

Yuri: You're welcome.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!


First of all, in my neighborhood there are many stray dogs, dogs with no home.

When something is 'stray' it means that it does not have an owner and lives on the streets.

Notice the following:

  1. She takes in stray cats and dogs and helps to find new homes for them.
  2. I think my cat got into a fight with a stray cat.


In America, stray dogs, are sent to the pound.

A 'pound' is a place where stray animals are taken to be cared for while the authorities try to find their owners or find new homes for them.

Notice the following:

  1. I would like to volunteer at the pound.
  2. A lot of stray dogs have arrived at the pound recently.


In front of my house, in front of every house in my neighborhood, there's a fence.

A 'fence' is a structure, like a short wall, that marks the boundary of a property and can stop things from getting in and out.

Notice the following:

  1. I need to paint the fence.
  2. The dog will never get out as there is a six foot fence around the garden.

remote control

Usually there's a garage or a closed car park and when you drive up you have a remote control, and it opens, the garage door opens automatically.

When you have a 'remote control' it means that you can operated it electronically with device you hold in your hand and you do not have to do it manually. In the case of the garage door, you push a button in your car and the door opens.

Notice the following:

  1. I would like some remote control electric gates.
  2. The television is remote control.


Often there's a gate around the backyard, but nothing in the front.

The 'backyard' is the private space behind a house that belongs to the owners of the property.

Notice the following:

  1. I have planted some nice new flowers in the backyard.
  2. They have a swimming pool in their backyard.

Vocabulary Quiz

stray • pound • fence
remote control • backyard
  1. During the summer we have many barbeques in the .
  2. Our cat was a before we adopted him.
  3. I saw the dog trying to dig a hole under the today.
  4. Do you have a for your stereo?
  5. The police brought her dog to the because they found it out walking around the neighborhood.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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