Vitya Malirsh was born in Dublin in 1959 and, in spite of what his name may convey, he is Irish. His father, Victor, came over from Slovenia in 1954 to play the French Horn with the RTE Symphony Orchestra and subsequently married Vitya’s mum, May, who lived in Cabra.
Vitya didn’t “lick his talent off the stones”, rather he is preceded by five generations of his mum’s family all of whom displayed artistic and creative talents. He inherited his passion for sign writing from his Uncle, Paddy Freeney, who lived and worked in Dublin.
Having trained as a designer with Donegal Carpets, Vitya went on to run a successful signwriting business while studying life drawing at night in the National College of Art and Design. Shortly before taking early retirement, he decided to make his home in Boyle where he had spent many happy summers with his family as a young boy.
Since then, he has been devoting his time and ability seeking to portray images that convey the ambience and character of Ireland. He is mindful of people who have emigrated over the decades, like his Dad, who yearn for images that visually evoke their emotions and capture the passions of their lives growing up and living in Ireland. He uses iconic landscapes as his subjects and is steadily working his way around Ireland in search of typical reminders of home.
Vitya lives with his wife, Susan, and their six dogs in an old two up, two down farmhouse on the outskirts of Boyle and apart from cutting their one and a half acres of grass, walking the dogs and saving the turf, he spends most of his time travelling around in his camper van looking for places to draw. Ireland being Ireland, a lot of his drawings are done under cover of an umbrella or sitting on the step of the van, beneath the awning, trying to keep out of the rain – oh the joys of being an Irish Artist! But the rain, of course, brings its advantages; it wouldn’t be know as the Emerald Isle without it and there wouldn’t be so many beautiful iconic Irish scenes to draw!