Travel to Russia

An abstract from an interview of Alex Markovich for “Radio of Russia”. September 2015.

Elena Ovcharenko: As far as I am concerned your “Travel to Russia” project is being developed for years. Will it have a final official launch? I mean a special site, social networks accounts, advertising campaign online and offline?

Alex Markovich: I tried many variants, but decided to stay within one site. “Travel to Russia” project is located on my artistic blog with a simple title MARKOVICH.TV. Why within this blog? It has already acquired an interested audience. It’s much easier to promote something which has an established following and reputation. There will be no official launch. First of all I would like to concentrate on the visitors who are already in Russia: those who came on business trips, or visiting their friends or relatives.

Elena Ovcharenko: OK. If somebody agrees to use your services, what do you offer?

Alex Markovich: I would like to make it very clear – I do not offer any services as a tour guide or an interpreter. I wrote an article “Photo story of your travels” where I explain that my services are based on documenting the visitors’ time spent here in Russia. I take photos of them within the context of their environment. Here is an example. A husband and a wife come to Russia. Of course they have got their own cameras. But I am sure they would like to bring back home lots of pictures of them being on photos TOGETHER. And more than that – in a natural environment: at the cafes, exhibitions, walking in the streets, feeding the pigeons, etc.

Elena Ovcharenko: Will you offer the visitors any routes or just follow where they go?

Alex Markovich: I prefer rural areas, but I believe for a person, who comes to Russia everything is a potential interest. I can offer them a visit to St Petersburg, The Golden Ring of Russia, and of course to spend a couple of days in picturesque places at the lake, pond, forest, etc. Photos are the main impressions people can share with their friends and relatives after their return. I will follow them wherever they go; but, in addition, I can recommend and advise many destinations in Russia, based on my own first hand experiences as well as feedback from many a satisfied former customer. I have traveled the length and breadth of my Motherland, and over the years have developed an instinct of sorts for people’s photographic preferences.

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On the photo: The Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River. Vladimir, Russia. October 2014.

Russian Postcards – Every Month

Russian Postcards – Every Month

By Gerard Sarkozi (56 y.o., Lyon, France).

I am not a WordPress user as my friend Bernard whom I have known for over 20 years. And I am not a good writer too. But a friend of Bernard Alex Markovich asked me to share my thoughts on getting Russian postcards. So here we go.

In 2017 Bernard arranged at the café of our mutual friend Andre an exhibition called “Postcards from Russia”. There were about 40 postcards (pinned to the walls) presented at the exhibition. Those were the photos and watercolor paintings of Alex Markovich.

When I was much younger I used to send greeting cards to my relatives in France, Italy and Greece but with the age of computers physical postcards were replaced by electronic cards. In the beginning of the millennium it was fun to send virtual postcards but with the development of cellular networks it is much easier to make a phone call rather than sending a letter or a card.

I go to Andre’s café almost every weekend for a glass of beer or two. And when it was a regular beer time and I came to the café in the evening I saw an exhibition of the postcards. What really impacted me – those Russian postcards were not the ones what we call “tourist postcards”. Alex’s postcards were the kind of “art postcards” or “landscape postcards”. Each one had a description of the place where the landscape was captured or painted.

I asked Bernard what it was all about and he told me the whole story how he had met Alex and since then had been receiving Russian postcards once or twice a month. Though I did hear of postcrossing (exchanging postcards) it was weird that someone was sending his photos or drawings as a postcard via regular mail. Why not to scan the image and e-mail it?

The next day I came to the café and was looking at those Russian postcards again. There was something peculiar and nostalgic about them. I asked Bernard to give me Alex’s e-mail and asked him to send me a postcard. In two weeks I got it. A postcard from Russia with handwritten message on the back of it and with a real stamp! I told Alex that I would like to get one or two Russian postcards every month and that I would reimburse all the costs.

It is April 30, 2018 and by now I have got in my own collection 11 postcards from Russia. As my wife is fond of art I ask Alex to send me only his watercolor paintings. Maybe this winter we will repeat the exhibition at Andre’s café and it would be my collection of Russian postcards.

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Russian Postcards in My Mailbox

Russian Postcards in My Mailbox.

By Bernard Fortier (51 y.o., Lyon, France).  

I met Alex Markovich online via his project “Russian Postcards” in 2015. I was looking through different websites on traveling to Russia as I was going to fly to Moscow in October 2015 on business and bumped onto Alex’s blog. Though I did not have a chance to meet Alex in real life – he was in October 2015 in Kazan at the theater festival taking video – we could chat on the phone every day. We keep doing that now once a month via Viber.

I was thrilled with what Alex had been doing – sending Russian postcards all over the world, so I asked him to mail me one. My wife and I got so excited when we received a real postcard from Russia in our mailbox that we asked Alex to send us a few more cards.

It’s been now 2.5 years, as we right along get two Russian postcards every month. One card is with a photograph and the other one is with Alex’s watercolor sketch. I counted them: we’ve got 64 postcards – a decent collection. I even arranged an exhibition of these Russian postcards at my friend’s café in November and December 2017. Three of my friends were imbibed with this idea and since then they also get Alex’s postcards.

I think this idea of sending postcards all over the world is really cool, especially in the age of smartphones and computers.

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Travel Postcards

An abstract from the talk of Alex Markovich to the students of Art College (Belgorod, Russia).

September 2018.

Each season I go to various places of Russia to paint and to take photographs. One of my favorite picturesque places is the Golden Ring of Russia – I’ve got hundreds of photos and paintings from that area.

The images that inspire me I convert into so-called travel postcards, and then send them to the museums, libraries, hostels, and cafes of the towns I’ve been to.

In the age of digital communication postcards make a great effect on the receivers. Some museums and cafes share the news of the received postcards via their social networks pages and accounts.

I believe sending postcards is a very good way to promote your art, business, activities, etc.

Rostov Velikiy, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia. November 2014.

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Vladimir, Russia. November 2014.

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Suzdal, Vladimir Oblast, Russia. November 2014.

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Literary Postcards

An abstract from an interview of Alex Markovich for “Radio of Russia”. July 2018.

Literary postcards I divide into two categories. Pure literary postcards where I place only text (abstracts from my sci-fi stories), and text with illustrations (abstracts from my stories for children and teenagers). The second category is closer to artistic postcards.

I’ve been writing sci-fi since 2008.

30% of my stories are translated into various languages including the English language (I translate into English myself). Literary postcards are a very good means to promote your writing.

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I began creating literary postcards only this year when I started working on the novels “Marta’s Childhood” and “Marta’s Youth”. The novels narrate about an artist-girl who finally became a scene-designer of one of the theaters of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The events take place in 1970’s – 1990’s in the former USSR and modern Russia.

The novels are full of watercolor paintings (I’ve got hundreds of them as I’ve been painting since my childhood) which I think perfectly fit the plot of the story.

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I send literary postcards for a donation of 10 USD. Some abstracts I translated into English, so my blog readers from other countries can have one.

Artistic Postcards

An abstract from an interview of Alex Markovich for “Radio of Russia”. July 2018.

I’ve been involved into various postcards projects since 2014. It has nothing to do with postcrossing. I’ve been sending postcards with my photos, paintings, and stories to various parts of the world.

I would divide the postcards I create into two categories: artistic postcards and literary postcards.

Let’s talk about artistic postcards.

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I am a strong advocate that artworks we create should have some sort of application. Almost everyone takes pictures but very few people print them. Many of us draw or paint but most of these pictures are hidden in our table drawers. Well, there is Instagram where we show our works but this is just digital presentation.

By the time I had arranged dozens of exhibitions in various parts of Russia and other places of the world, I had a feeling that my pictures (paintings and printed photos) should be accessible to a bigger number of people, including my blog readers. Postcards format was the best solution.

In my artistic postcards I show various places of Russia, in most cases it is rural Russia or old town buildings.

It is either photographs

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or watercolor paintings.

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Some postcards I send for free, some cards I mail for a donation of 10 USD (most people donate more than ten dollars to support my artistic projects). I also had a few sponsors who placed their logos on the front side of a postcard.

DIY: Refrigerator magnets to promote your art

An abstract from the talk of Alex Markovich to the students of Art College (Belgorod, Russia). September 2018.

The idea to make refrigerator magnets to promote my art came to me four years ago, in 2014. Let me show how I do it.  I will use my paintings as an example.

1. I scan my paintings. It’s easy to it when it is watercolor, pastels, pencil, etc. If it is oil, photograph your pictures.

Continue reading “DIY: Refrigerator magnets to promote your art”