My friends and I went to Kolomenskoye on plein air for the first time. Kolomenskoye is a huge park in Moscow. It is famous for its ancient Church of the Ascension and the Tsar’s wooden palace, which are usually depicted on postcards. But I didn’t want to take a subject known by guide books. That day I didn’t care where I was: in Kolomenskoye or somewhere else. I was searching for the subject I could paint with color for my own pleasure. That’s why I chose a simple wooden boat, bobbing at the stony bank of the Moscow River.
First-time viewers – friend and relatives – were puzzled by my choice: ”You were at Kolomenskoye and painted a boat!” But how expressive that subject was! All those stones, on which one can see the blue purity of the summer sky, the transparency of the water in the river, and the perception of the reflections in the shadows. And all this composed in such a fine diversity of the transitions of the color and tone that I was only left to convey this on the canvas without any additional inventions. The architecture just couldn’t compete with that!