My name is Kseniya Ali and I thank you for visiting my page. I had studied art at Kyev School of Music and Art since I was a little girl. I had graduated from Mohawk College of Hamilton with a diploma in Graphic Design and Art. I have also recently studied acrylic painting with Ancaster’s talented artist Michelle Guitard.
Programs that I use for digital creations are Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. I can also work in CorelDraw and Quark.
For my art expressions I use mixed media: watercolour, acrylic, ink, and gouache. I love using glitter on my art as I find it makes the artwork more interesting and alive. One of the other medias that I am interested to learn working with are the colour pencils.
I have also been practicing calligraphy. It is a fascinating field and I am looking forward to keep working and discovering myself in it.
My inspiration comes from many things including nature, people and their stories, from daily experiences and historical events. I love art and I dedicate myself to it as much as I possibly can. If you are interested to know a little bit more in detail about my story of becoming an artist, please click the title links below to read more. Otherwise, I welcome you to explore my web page and feel free to contact me if you should have any questions or just would like to introduce yourself.
When and how my love for art and music started
As for many artists, my love for creativity begun when I was very little. I still remember listening to my grandmother play piano and sing when I was about 3 years old. She sang beautifully and was in a choir. I recall seeing her perform at one concert one night and I got so fascinated to learn that she was a part of something so amazing and grand. I fell in love with the stage, applause, and incredible energy that night. My paternal grandfather played guitar and also sang. My dad played piano, guitar, and drums, and of course sang. I loved our family gatherings because after a good meal, there would always be life music and lots of singing. Two of my great-grandfathers were artists and I have inherited an incredible love for painting and visual arts from them . Unfortunately, I did not inherit any of their artwork but I have heard a lot about their magnificence.
I love to create art in any shape or form as long as it comes from my heart and with love for the nature, cultures, and human mind. What an amazing gift it is to be able to create absolutely anything your heart desires. As a little girl, I would always make some kind of gifts for my whole family: write and draw greeting cards, make paper or cloth flowers, or write little booklets with my own fairy-tale stories. I loved to sing, dance, draw, and just simply be happy and share that happiness with everyone around.
That is why at the age of 5, I was enrolled into an art school – “Kiyv School of Music and Art #2”. For me, it was a full time school with major in piano. Other subjects that I absolutely loved were dance (ballet and choreography), singing (choir and solo), solfeggio, art, music and art history, and juzz and improvisation (that I did not like much).
Dancing and singing were the way for my soul to get some extra energy which I was happily expressing at piano. I would very often perform on stage in front of people either playing piano or singing and, until today, I remember that unbelievable buzz from being on stage. At the beginning, the fear of possible failure creeps in, but it must be taken over by the confidence in yourself as quickly as possible no matter the circumstances – only then a successful performance was possible! I learned that lesson well and now carry it with me through my life with everything and anything I do. That is why you are reading these words, my friend, and I hope that they can inspire you to reach for your most daring dreams.
I once dreamt of becoming a ballerina. I loved my ballet classes at the art school and always looked for an opportunity to learn more. I was once selected to study ballet at the National Opera of Ukraine in Kiyv, even though I was told that I would be a very tall ballerina. However, my parents decided that it would be physically impossible for me to go to the art school and study ballet at the same time. The art school was the priority and so I never ended up making my dream come true. BUT not until recently. I still do not dance ballet, but now I paint it and I feel as free and as expressive at it as any dancer who performs it. To be a ballet dancer requires incredibly hard work and a lot of dedication. My grandparents took me to see ballet performances numerous times and I would hold my breath with each pirouette in anticipation of the next move. We watched them glide on stage as if it is so simple and effortless, but behind the scenes there are hours of sweat and blood put into each single move. I love painting ballerinas and this is my theme that I will always revisit with fresh ideas and approaches.
I dedicated 8 years of my life to the art school and absorbing the energy of creativity and of love for myself. I did not really realize how much I have taken in from those years until very recently. Everything that I am and what I do carries my childhood experiences. I am enjoying the process of rediscovering and living them all at my easel, computer, piano, or through relationships with my family and friends.
After graduating from the art school, I would sketch nature and from art books I found at my grandparents’ house. Those books were large and had extensive lists of artworks of various artists from different eras. I was not reading about the works themselves or the artists who painted them – I was simply interested in copying what I was seeing. At that time, I did not have a plan of becoming an artist. I was only 15 years old and thought that maybe I should become a fashion designer, so I loved drawing female figure-ens in different dresses. Then, at the age 17, my family moved to Canada and that is when I dug into libraries to investigate what career path I should pursue that included drawing, painting, and designing. I stopped on Graphic Design.
In 2004, I graduated from Mohawk College in my home city, Hamilton, with a diploma in Graphic Arts and Design. I have dedicated many creative years since then mostly in graphics while sketching every possible moment. I was lucky to have worked as a graphic artist for the most amazing “The Print Shop” in Burlington ran by Brian and Gloria Long. They have become my family. I have gained not only experience in graphics and printing, but also in friendship and kindness.
Why I started to paint again
I started to paint in 2015 as a way of releasing the built up tension and stress while dealing with my daughter’s unknown yet at the time condition. While discovering the most unbelievable diagnosis, I started to look for ways to keep my mind clear and sane. First year of my daughter Sophie’s struggles I started to play piano. Live music has always been an energy giving and boosting to me. My husband had become my guide and motivator. He introduced a few music pieces for me to try playing and there it started. It was only natural to follow my childhood instincts and pick up my pencils and brushes next. The rest, as they say, is history 🙂 I could not put my brushes down. One after another I was producing small paintings. I loved decorating some pieces with glitter… simply because we all need a special sparkle at times. I worked at a small coffee table while sitting on my couch. This was the most comfortable setting for me at the time as I only had a chance to paint while Sophie was either napping beside me, or rolling around with her toys. At the beginning, I was painting with non-toxic watercolour paints and pencils, but later decided that it would be amazing to go and learn acrylic paints. I have tried them in my early years at the art school but they have never become my preference. So I booked quit a few art classes at the “Art and Soul Creative” workshop with a local artist Michelle Guitard who had literally brought my “artist’s soul” back. This is how I started to paint with acrylic while still experimenting with glitter on watercolour.
With each art piece, my stress and anxieties were fading away and I was becoming more confidant and happier with myself, my artwork, and my and my family’s future. At the same time, we were still fighting to find out what was happening to our baby girl. Then in 2016 we finally had a diagnosis of STXBP1 genetic mutation which was new and just recently discovered. It was not due to me or my husband carrying it. Doctors and scientists do not know why it happens but we knew that now we have to face it and find ways to deal with it while hoping for possible answers and maybe even cure. So I kept painting… soon enough my husband suggested I made an art show to share my artwork with others. There were just so many paintings now in our house, that it was time to let some go to other loving homes. I was scared but absolutely loved the idea, so bravely gave a visit to our local Sealed Art Gallery at Gage park and was welcomed to make my very first solo art show. “Let’s Soul-Talk” took place in 2017 and ended up being a huge success for me. I could not wish for more. Yet in 2018, I created another art show in collaboration with photographer and my brother Vlad Kovalevsky and my mom and her art work. It was called “Reflections” and was presenting Vlad’s pictures and my paintings of his pictures. With this second art show I got a chance to experiment with landscapes and painting on wooden boards. I called it “Reflections” not only because I was painting my brother’s images from my view and perspective, but also because any kind of creative expression is a reflection of the inner world of the artist, be it a picture taken or painted.
Today, when I pick up my brushes and paint, it is not just me – it is a 5-year-old me at my first art class, it is a 7-year-old me holding on to my dreams and working them into reality, it is a 21-year-old me entering my very first art class in my graphics program in college – full of excitement and enthusiasm to work hard and go for my dreams…and it is a 34-year-old me healing myself with the very best medicine and energy rejuvenation – ART!
When I look back at my life’s journey, I realize that the only times I am truly happy is when I do my most favourite things – the things I grew up with. I still love playing piano, I absolutely love moving my body and dancing to a beat, and I am so in the zone when I paint.
I am Art and Art is Me. Both are as free as we please to be. I will always remember my first dreams and all the hard work I have put into shaping myself into the person I am today. I am endlessly grateful that Art has been my healing and my superpower all along.
Right now, I am working on updating my art history knowledge and sketching down new ideas. I am also working on this website, Etsy and YouTube channel. I am looking forward to new art shows and other possibilities in the vast world of Art. I also continue to work as a freelance graphic artist and now look for creative ways to incorporate my artwork and graphics together into one.
I am such a lucky woman to have an amazing support base around me, made of people that know how to inspire, motivate, and be patient with me. I could never thank them enough. My family has been through a lot of changes and new adjustments in the past 5 years and I am open to what our future holds. Right now, Sophie has been progressing in her walking and understanding the world around her. We are all excited to watch her grow and continue to progress.
Now, I am absolutely over the moon happy to be able to share my creations with you all. It is my greatest pleasure to present to you my Art Gallery. Please visit all pages on my list and do not forget to visit YouTube to watch some amazing time lapses of my creative process 🙂
If you have any questions, feel free to write me an email or connect on any of my social media platforms that you can find at the bottom of this page. For now, I would like to Thank You for reading my story and wish you an abundance of inspiration and may all your dreams come true.