Irina Mezheritskiy

My name is Irene Van Celestine (aka Irina Mezheritskiy), I started painting with oil on canvas for the first time in my life in October 2020 as a way of emotional expression and artistic outlet. The last time I drew with pencil and painted with water color was in my childhood, but in my teenage years life took over and I forgot about my talent for a while…

I was born in an agricultural suburb of a small Russian town in a Central European region of the country and was raised by my grandparents who were a Radiologist physician and a mine engineer. I was always passionate about helping others and liked to excel in things I would put my hands on, so eventually I entered a Medical University in Kyiv, Ukraine at the age of 16. At the age of 21, before I could graduate, I immigrated to the United States and it took me additional 15 years to finish my training and follow in my grandmother’s steps to the fullest.

The idea of expressing my emotions on canvas came to me when my aunt back in Russia got diagnosed with brain cancer in October 2020. I started my first painting, which is a rendition of one of Van Gogh’s “Sun Flowers”, as a therapy and release while helping her remotely with my emotional support and professional advice.

I believe that true art is conceived by deep struggles, internal conflicts and desires. Some of my paintings were imagined in times of desperation, others- came to me in dreams. Every time I take a brush into my hand, I have strong feelings, but often, I do not have a clear understanding of who the characters are going to be or what kind of scene will unravel. The background gets more and more elaborate and the outlines of creatures change positions and shapes as I go on… To me the anticipation of what comes out after the artwork is complete is almost as surprising, as to an onlooker. The intense visual stimulation of my art is in its shocking unfiltered honesty, brutal force of bright colors and its magical twist. And the winged creatures: the symbol of freedom and unleashed power.

My paintings mean to evoke deep emotions: stop your train of thought in its path to reminisce, your heartbeat skip in ache and your eyes tear in sorrow. But there is also hope: for the light, for the flight, for true love without boundaries.

My many other hobbies include writing articles for a couple of local magazines in Florida Space Coast, competing in bikini division of bodybuilding, trekking high altitudes, diving, ballroom dancing and, of course, traveling the world…


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