The countries of Eastern Europe are well known for their handicrafts. The level of skill and artistry that goes into making the various styles of folk art is truly astounding.
One beautiful example of this artistry is found in the Ukrainian style of painting known as Petrykivka Painting. This is a traditional style of painting originating in the small village of Petrykivka in the eastern part of Ukraine, it is characterized by its intricately painted plants (mostly flowers) and animals and is rich in symbolism.
Examples of this folk art style date back to the 17th century when the Cossack women would decorate the walls of their houses inside and out, as well as, commonly used household items such as dishes and spoons, musical instruments and even weapons.
These paintings were made with special brushes ranging in material from cat fur to real flowers to plant stems, pieces of wood and even their fingers. These detailed designs were made without the use of patterns, making rough drafts or even measuring. They are all created free hand.
Through the ages Ukrainian folk art has been an important part of Ukrainian culture and national identity. Even now the younger generations are being taught to make these works of art using the traditional skills and techniques that have been passed down through the generations. Petrykivka painting continues to thrive in Ukraine today. You will frequently see these designs painted on black backgrounds instead of the traditional white and occasionally on green or red, but whatever the background color or item these beautiful pieces of art are something to behold!