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About plots.

The Foreword.
         Many times the journalists asked me: "How does Pyotr find themes and subjects for his paintings?" I am always at difficulty when answering this question. And it isn't because I am shy of an interview before a TV-camera or a Dictaphone. Quite the contrary, since in my youth I was a local YCL-activist and later an actress as well, I have already had enough experience in public appearances. As a matter of fact I during all these years was never able to explain even to me myself, how can a man, for whom the only view of the nature within decades was bounded by the frame of the window in his room, find themes of his paintings?
        The only things that he could see day after day were a five-storied dwelling house, a piece of the sky, old women sitting on the only bench and children playing at their play ground. The only changes that went before his eyes were the changes of the seasons which brought with them their particular shades and hues. The old women were going away forever, the boys and the girls were growing up, new children and new old women came in their stead and the life went on. And those were the only things that were left to see for a man who dared to take brush in his now disobedient hands and to become a painter!
        And there are some more things that I can't understand during all these years. I can't understand, why I never get tired when preparing canvasses when washing and cleaning brushes, mixing paints and making all the preliminary jobs which are necessary for a painter in order to begin his work. I can't understand that breathless expectation with which I meet every new picture, that rapture I am possessed with when seeing it. I can't explain, why it is so distressing for me to part with that or another painting, why I am so zealous trying to trace the further fate of "my" picture. Why I let my troubles leave me only when I have enough proofs that everybody likes "my picture", that it is needed, that it is being taken care of, that it is hung in some much honoured place, say somewhere in the bed-room of its new possessor, and not doomed to be buried under a thick layer of dust in some attic.
        I can't understand, how does it happen that far from being timid and patient, hating to be an apprentice of any kind, I for ten years have been with love and joy carrying out the role of the apprentice of Pyotr Kirreyev, the painter?
This man in many respects still remains incomprehensible for me though I have never been parting with him within forty years. Every day Pyotr appears to be a new enigma, which I am trying to solve and to perceive the mystery that yields to no logic and sometimes have no explanation at all. How is it possible to paint a marine, which is filled with sea freshness? How is it possible to paint the sunrises and the sunsets, which in their color gamut are true to the tiniest hue? Is it possible at all to paint the scenery one has not been to for fifteen years? What kind of artistic inspiration is there to speak of, if Pyotr was always a practical man with the sober view of things, if one would consider his modus vivendi filled with a lot of hardships and restrictions?
        When we are losing our own people each of us begin to understand them. In the year 2002 Pyotr had a hypertension crisis accompanied by a minor brain hemorrhage. This stroke for a long time tied him fast to the bed. What kind of painting could one speak of, if day after day Pyotr had to keep his bed making no movement at all? At some moment wild agonizing fear mastered me. Fear it is a mighty force that tears one's soul as a kite is tearing its prey. But twenty years ago I learnt how to get rid of this feeling and how not to let this spawn of the hell come close to me. Now I always try to analyze the situation, I am in, and to evaluate it chucking off all the fears.
        Was I afraid on account of Pyotr? No I was not because Our Lord always took Pyotr's side. Moreover during these twenty years Pyotr had to bear and suffer so much and that minor hemorrhage meant for him no more than wet slippers for a sailor. Looking at the forlorn and abandoned brushes paints palettes and at the easel I was afraid for myself, as it was clear for me that I could not imagine how I should live not taking part in the process of creation of new pictures. Without it everything was going to be dull and drab and tasteless. I was looking at the paintings and suddenly it dawned on me they smelled of my childhood and youth and I shared it together with Pyotr.
        The work upon a new painting was for Pyotr a kind of psychological remedy. When working he utterly forgot about everything around him and his unusually tenacious memory willingly helped him to depict the native scenery of the life that had passed long ago.
Pyotr, thank God, was a confirmed hunter and thank God he was given the time to walk on foot not only throughout all the Ñrimea but also down the river of Kuban. There he bogged down in the swamps, lost his way in the rush, met the sunrise and the sunset and enjoyed the colours of morning dawns and sunset glows. And what is more, he brought home his abundant game. I wish you knew how I hated processing all these hares, ducks and other wild fowl and I had to do it three times a week. I wish you knew how I hated all these hunting seasons, since beginning with the second half of the August and up to the very end of the December I with good reason could consider myself a widow! And of course I nagged at him as all the normal women do it, and of course all those pheasants partridges duck and hares of his, they made me not a bit happier. But the time has come and I myself began tackling cartridges, lead shot, primers and the powder in order to prepare sporting cartridges in accordance with all the requirements of hunting art. And when the hunt was over I diligently cleaned the shotgun. On such occasions I was getting ready for the coming season with love and joy. And I knew no peace on seeing Pyotr to every hunt session and my joy knew no limits on his arrival home. The game didn't matter much I simply realized that hunting was the lot of real he-men. I wasn't let even to accompany my hunter, as there was common belief that to meet a woman when hunting was an event of bad omen. There you're wrong…!
        Luckily for me Pyotr had a spring-gun for underwater hunting, a motorboat equipped with twin powerful outboard motors and the fuel was cheap at that time. So we managed to travel along the shores of the Kerch part of the Crimea, to sail the waters of the Azov and Black seas. Luckily for us we were given time to enjoy the feeling of freedom and vastness of our seas, to grow fond of fishing and to experience he excitement of diving and underwater hunting. We met together sunrises and sunsets, but Pyotr's memory appeared to be more tenacious than mine. It helps him to transfer to the canvass everything he feels, he loves and keeps in his memory. And it took a long time before it dawned on me, that just these paintings firmly tied me to my young years, not letting me lose that feeling of being young girl and remember how old I really am. With his pictures Pyotr has taught us not only to see the nature with his eyes but also to love everything around us.

... Thank God my fears did not last long. It took Pyotr just two days to restore his ability to speak and in a week more his eyesight returned to him. Two month later my darling got down to a new painting. I do not know what helped Pyotr to recover so quickly, may be Our Lord was really on Pyotr's side. But probably my husband simply got scared lest I should find I had nothing to do and began idling about. The second guess is most likely to be the right one. However even those two first days were quite enough for me to examine my experience and to understand that I was eager to give an account of Pyotr's pictures. Every picture has its own story nothing could proceed from nothing. Any of them evolves around somebody's fate, and by some reasons unknown to me this fate appears to be closely intertwined with our fate.
        So the picture "Taara is coming back" was painted because the long life of this sailing craft somehow influenced our fates.
        And that picturesque view in the "Venetian fancy" was created when we had time far from being iridescent
        Why are there Don's motifs in some of Pyotr's works? You see he has never been to those places. The landscapes of the Crimea, the views of our native town of Kerch are also present in Pyotr's paintings. I wish I could take you for a stroll over the native town it would have been an unforgettable experience for you! He, who happened to visit Kerch once at least, he would know for sure that such towns as this one forever remain in one's memory. Every stone, every hill and every terrace here radiates all the twenty-six ages of the history of the town! Nobody knows how much I envy everybody who is talented enough to put in writing his own thoughts and feelings. But this gift is either given or not given at all. Evidently Our Lord has it in store just for the elect. Considering my age it would have been silly of me to be waiting for awakening of my talent. So I begin my narration from the very beginning...
    Professor Stephen Hawking and the painting «A beech wood»
    48 hours and a picture «The Light»

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