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My name is Irina Garmashova-Cawton and I paint under the name Irina Garmashova. I was originally from St Petersburg, Russia. I have been living in England since the year 2000 with my husband, son and my Ragdoll cat in the county of South Yorkshire.
I am a professionally trained artist and all my life I was interested in art, and as a child began with a desire to reproduce the ideas in my head so I could show everybody my vision of the subject. I always tried different mediums from child modelling clay, wax crayons, gouache, pencils whatever I could use to bring me close to the result. At school from 12-15 years I given a start to my future as an artist where I was sent for three days a week into a special art school.
From 16 years I was on a special course to prepare myself to enter the highest level academy of finest art. For this preparation I worked as a technician in an art restoration laboratory at the famous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, which gave me the opportunity to draw all antique sculptures and explore all the master pieces surrounding me. Every evening for 5 hours I attended my art course.
After successfully passing my exams Io entered the Academy Of Fine Arts of Vera Muhina. This course lasted six years (long years) and at the end I came with a degree as a Graphical Artist Designer.
My time in the Hermitage gave me a strong desire to paint old masters in oil, especially my favourite Peter Bruegel. Finally after all the years studying had come to an end I was able to find time to do some reproductions of his paintings to explore deeper the old masters school.