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Boats and harbours are beautiful and always a great subject of inspiration while creating these pieces. There is a sense of exploration, adventure and of course fascination about them. To see how they are surrounded by water brings peace and serenity. Arriving back and docking safely at port is something to always look forward to.

Inessa Ivascanin has a respected reputation built on 15 years growth and development as an artist. Her pieces and accomplishments highlight her solid creative and professional capabilities.

She was immersed in the professional art world from childhood. Her natural abilities gained her a scholarship to the Munkachi Children’s Art School in Ukraine, before completing her professional art teaching qualifications at university as an adult. She has exhibited at a range of local galleries, and has been selected as a finalist twice for the Gold Coast Border Art Prize. She has also worked as a curator and sales consultant at Urban Paradise Gallery in Surfers Paradise.

Inessa was born and raised in Europe, a continent full of history, culture, and heritage. Cathedrals, cobblestone streets, mysterious alleyways and castles have been recreated in her artwork several times. “Gold Coast is, without a doubt, different, fresher, open to experimentation. Its inhabitants are happy, laid back and gentle, and the city itself is an electric mixture of architecture, where anything goes juxtaposed to the great Queensland outdoors, all wrapped up by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Natural beauty and a modern lifestyle shining at its best!” Inessa exclaims.

Being an artist living on the Gold Coast, she has been fascinated by the network of waterways and the stretch of shoreline that meets the South Pacific Ocean, and by the biodiversity of the city’s dynamic environment. With her art, water has played a big role. “Water is a mesmerising element, greatly appreciated since the dawn of mankind due to its power, colour, movement, vastness, everlasting flow and connections. Visually, I can imagine waterways being like the very veins around the whole human body; those canals and ever flowing rivers running into the ocean, constantly moving and shapeshifting,” Inessa shares. “Water also symbolises purity and cleansing. Its vibrancy, colours and movement are beautiful, and I constantly find myself transfixed when contemplating this element.”

While she has been blessed and fortunate enough to travel to many places where land meets the sea, from idyllic and picturesque fishing villages to modern city harbours, the Gold Coast offers her an inspiration that is quite unique. “The Gold Coast is known to have ten times more waterways and canals than Venice. The sunshine makes the whole scene a lot brighter and vibrant, people are generally happier, open, and friendlier, and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. The winter climate here is glorious too, perfect boating weather. Living near the ocean is an inspiration and a creativity booster without a doubt.”

The Gold Coast is seeing a thriving community of boaters, and one of the spectacles throughout the city’s waterways include an interesting variety of boats. As a visual artist, Inessa has been appreciating the connections people have with water, through fishing, swimming, and boating, among others. Her art piece, called Sun- Kissed Lands, represents the constant intermingling of the waterways, the ocean surf, the beaches, the sun – all icons of the Gold Coast lifestyle.


Original large textured signed painting on canvas, 160x80cm

This painting is highly textured and detailed. It was done on a large canvas but can be appreciated either from a distance or from up close. One can get truly lost in that incredible amount of detail. Gesso and stencils created the textures; fun and bright acrylics using large brush strokes created smooth blending and small brush strokes created finer lines. For the finish and to preserve the paint’s vibrance I used gloss varnish, sealing it off.

I have used this method to create the illusion of depth in the painting by modulating colour to simulate changes produced by the atmosphere on the different colours when being seen from a distance. There is a lot of bright colour that is creating a sense of space. It mimics the natural way the atmosphere affects the human eye. Three-dimensional techniques are a lot of fun to work with. I love the mixture of textures and their hardened feel when they are all set. These techniques give the artwork such an interesting character. Textures give one the advantage of showing depth and highlighting some superficial bits and pieces.

I tried to create a different take on sunrays with curvy little doodles that show a few interesting shapes and characters – even an eye, if you can spot it. They are almost like tangled-up soft hairs blowing in the breeze but connected to the sun.

Underneath, there is a hot air balloon that is positioned between the land and the sun, it is flying high towards the bright circle, but it is not able to reach it at all.

As a modern artist, I am compelled not to only try to show the beauty of waterways, but to also carry the message of protecting our oceans, rivers, lakes, and all bodies of water. Boats represent the journey, the way we move across this fluid of life, the exploration of distant lands and the excitement and adventure that has fascinated so many throughout human history.

I will continue creating pieces in this bright contemporary style, showing the beauty of waterways and the vessels that I have seen cruising around in and around them, mixing up a few elements and keeping it original, a bit trippy and most importantly, fun.

To find out more about this painting or art commissions, contact Inessa at

Interview by Roselle Tenefrancia