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I was born on your birthday, dear father!

The first living icons in a human’s life are parents full of love and care! I learned faith and prayer from my parents who lived in understanding and blessing. Both being modest and balanced people in their actions, humble in relation to the smallest man. I learned unconditional love from my parents. My connection with my dad was special. Maybe because I was born on his birthday, March 19th. We were very good friends. For Vasile Movileanu our growth and education mission was as important as the vocation of a painter!

Dad educated us through parables and laughed at human stupidity reminding us of Ion Creangă. He illustrated many children’s books. The first admirers of the illustrations for the book stories were me and my sister Cristina. Often after dinner, I would stay in the kitchen and listen to my father’s stories. Some of them were illustrated by him, others were composed. The purpose was to educate ourselves through play, to grow free in thought, brave, dignified, independent, with character, persevering in what we really want. We both wanted to prove that we are the grandpa’s girl from the story of Ion Creangă. Conversation and mutual esteem were important in the family. Dad was a very brave man, it also encourages us, even now when I have hard times in my life I remember his words, “Don’t be afraid, I know you can!”

At the age of 7, my dad bought me a new bike and, encouraged by him, I learned to ride it. Later, after college, I went with my dad out of town and he gave me some driving lessons, so I got my license. Dad also insisted on going swimming together with my sister, I especially liked swimming, practising this sport for many years in a row. At the insistence of the mother, daddy learned to swim with the help of the coach.  He swam only with his hands, it was harder until he learned to balance himself.

Dad really liked playing chess, he also taught us to play this game.  At the end of the year, we were playing chess in the family. Through the game of chess he taught us to be prepared to lose, but with dignity. In life, as in chess, every movement must be thought and assumed. In the memory of the father, my mom founded the “Vasile Movileanu Public Association” in which a chess club is active in the father’s commune, where the children have the opportunity to meet the chess world.

Dad was the best listener! When I came from school I told him how the day went, then I told him how I was at the University. I was talking about the trips I was going with the folk craft team. My success in life is largely due to my family’s education. When I was a kid, I knew what I want to become when I grow up. With the bits of material leftovers after my mom sewed, I dressed my dolls. I was creative and my parents noticed that. In order to become a costume designer, painting and composition were also needed. I received the first painting lessons from my father, I was going to take the entrance exams at the Faculty of Arts. Thus I successfully combined the art of sewing with painting.

From the time I was born until I was gone to Romania, my dad has always been close to me. This is how it happened that in January 2011 we said goodbye thinking that we would see each other in the summer. Dad wasn’t a syrupy man, but when we left with my husband he hugged me and kissed me on the cheek, which I don’t know him to do that before when I used to go.
He knew or intuited, but it was the last hug…
Dad was sicker than he wanted to admit. He didn’t want to worry us! He was battling cancer of his own, he didn’t want to leave us. He was still young, he was 56 years old …
He loved life and lived it admirable to the end!

Vasile Movileanu with kids

Homework help

Autorul textului: Victoria Movileanu

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Letter to Father

I kept putting off writing this article because it is invasive and painful, but very important for me! I am worried I will not find the right words to explain how important Father is for me. I also have stories about Mother, but the subject today is about Fathers and their daughters…

Father was a story, but on a sombre day – he became… a legend. The legend of a fighter, of a man very strong who succeeded in defeating himself, he knew and he tried to do everything with however much love and kindness as he could, he wanted to prove to the world that in any conditions you can be a Satisfied Man. Father was a wise, never tired, restless, he loved life with his entire being.

The story of his life is unnerving and there is much to say about it, so much that there will be a book needed to describe his fate. At the age of only one and four months, a bad and ruthless disease, which developed because of a monstrous virus, that paralysed him. Polio! His two legs were taken from him and he was unable to stand on his feet anymore. He, however, never gave up in the face of struggles and he didn’t lose the path as a Human and Artist for one moment. His never-ending thirst and love for life raised Vasile Movileanu on the Vertical. Like the Phoenix, he raised, stronger and more determined after every struggle. In this way, he could not have been anyone else but the person he became, which is a remarkable artist!

He left his home at an early age, a corner of the world he never forgot, and to which he would always return with pleasure. When he was talking about his hometown, he would always remind us of what we were and we were going to become; he had a lot of confidence and hope, faith and determination. In his tumultuous life, he didn’t acquire a lot of material things, but he left us with the most important treasure was the spiritual treasure, (his own example, the illustrated books, and a lot of artworks…).

There was a lot of talk about his works and there will still be talking, but I can tell you, as his daughter, that he succeeded in his role as a loving and responsible parent… For him, Family was his priority. There have been years, but now, when I am looking back, I think they look like seconds running away from me.

Father – so many memories, so many words spinning through my head and the first words are that I miss you, father!

I hoped that I could see you again, but now it is clear to me that it will never happen. This feeling of hopelessness hurts more than any other time! Even though my life has passed by without you in the last 8 years! I wish you were here now, so that I could call you and invite you to talk with your nephews whom you have never managed to see – the children you have loved so much and for whom you have illustrated so many books… To tell us stories in candlelight and us to listen with mouths agape. To stay on the porch of our house in Secareni and to look with yearning at the sky, filled with stars, and listen to the nightingales in the vale, to drink spring water. To go out to walk with mother like in the days past, when you used to smile at me and tell me that you have a date… Or we could have walked together and talked about geography and galaxies and stars, to leave for studying, or fishing, or in a voyage with only a car that you used to be able to drive so well. Even now I can remember our travel through Romania, at the Bicaz Canyon, at the Danube, at Sibiu, at the beach in Ukraine, the White Fortress, God, so many memories!

Can you remember when we went to the cinema, just the two of us? The trees we planted together in the autumn of 2009. And then you said: maybe I will not be alive by the time this orchard grows big, but my grandchildren will taste from it…

When I was younger you used to lift me up like a feather, you’d wrap your arms around me and ask me how my day went, you wanted to ask so many things about me. And then you would cuddle me and my older sister, Victoria. I remember how I asked you to draw me things whenever my colouring books ran out of blank pages.

You were a good chess player too, you had a hard time finding a partner that you could share this beautiful passion with, that offered you freshness, emotion and suspense. Thank you for teaching us too this wonderful game.

You were also a loving and caring husband, so attentive to everybody around you – there was always harmony in the haws, and a good feeling, no matter what financial difficulties or how great the health issues that you were fighting every day were. You have always supported the mother with cooking the food or any helping around the house, even when your physical condition made it hard. Once when we returned from the city me and my cousin Cristinica, we were left speechless when seeing the ideal cleanliness in the kitchen. And then I remembered a little story from childhood – how you’d clean the kitchen and then pick a few flowers from the garden and leave them on the table made by my very own grandfather.

These memories are a wealth that I keep every time my soul needs a bit of searching, they are the mirror of the experience that defines my existence. The memories put atop this altar – there is no place there but for one person. And I cannot step around it unless I am on my tip-toes, careful not to soil, however, this memory.

I felt that you were leaving some time before, even though nobody was considering it, simply because I was feeling that you were going to be gone shortly… But I was trying so hard to banish these dark thoughts. I remember one night when I was in my penultimate month of pregnancy – I dared to jump a fence two meters tall along with my mother, just so we could visit you at the hospital, even though you never allowed me to visit because you were afraid that your state will affect me. I would watch the window and think that may you’d come back home because it’s raining… but in the end, it was just silence and waiting…

At only 56 years, your heart stopped beating so that your soul could travel towards the perfection of divinity. Sometimes I don’t realise you do not exist anymore, that you simply stopped being, so many times I woke up with an empty pace in my soul. I dreamt that it was not true, I dreamt that you returned home and that I asked you whether or not you liked the artbooks with your works that We recently edited, if  you saw how many people came to the art-show organised in your name, that you left such a deep trace in the souls of the people who knew you and that you are an inspiration for those who will get to know you, if you know how much we love you!

Since I was born I knew that somebody up there loves me, because they gave me you. I thank God that He chose you to be my father and that I came into this world within this family.

You taught me to be responsible, to not be afraid of difficulties, you talked to me as if to an adult, we’d discuss life situations on the same level, you let me take decisions myself and then you’d respect them, and that inspires confidence and courage. Thank you for your constant contribution to my evolution. You cultivated my love towards learning, you taught me to observe all the beauty around me when it comes to art, you taught me how to love people! You taught me how to cherish life!

Rest in peace, father. I will do what I know best when it comes to you!

*** – Honestly, my father and I always had common interests and this ties me tightly to him even beyond death! Father became yearning and thought, and comparison, and landmark, and respect, and appreciation, and esteem… but he became love above all. Warm love with a known face and the scent of a father.



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With love for Chisinau…

With love for Old Chisinau post header

We walk past everything, but we don’t see it all. We enjoy many things, but there is much more we don’t know how to enjoy. Because we don’t have time!? Or we don’t have the desire to do so, or who knows what we would need to see and not indifferently walk past that which is freely given to us…
Maybe this is the mission of an artist: to stop oblivion from covering the image of the world?! I said this to myself while admiring visual artist Vasile Movileanu’s exhibition, recently, on the eve of Chişinău’s day, inaugurated inside the Municipal Hall. I attended the inauguration. I couldn’t not come, out of respect for Vasile Movileanu, who very skillfully illustrated a few of my books. And I did not regret it – I was deeply impressed by the painter’s latest works, novel works, that are, in fact, a sincere and beautiful chromatic monologue out of love for Chişinău. Perhaps in this context was the space chosen for such an inauguration fitting, although the works, for them to be appreciated at their true value, would have needed light and plenty of space.

Vasile Movileanu in conversation with Spiridon Vangheli (writer)
Vasile Movileanu in conversation with Spiridon Vangheli (writer)

We seemed, us, the guests (alongside the paintings (!), passers-by in a waiting room, past which walked, preoccupied with major worries, important people, without as much as stopping for a single moment to admire the unique and unrepeatable landscapes, with old streets and timeworn houses. The indifferent gaze of some came and went as time runs, with its conceited, ruthless roller, over the past of the city with the status of a capital. I say this not by chance!

Spiridon Vangheli and Claudia Partole at Vasile Movileanu exhibition dedicated to Old Chisinau
Spiridon Vangheli and Claudia Partole at Vasile Movileanu”s exhibition dedicated to Old Chisinau

So many old buildings, bearing the imprint of history on their faces, have been already erased from the face of the earth, demolished without, at the very least, being immortalized in a photographic image.
If there hadn’t been a tireless Valentina Brâncoveanu to record from dawn to dusk the faces of aged houses, if there hadn’t been a Lică Sainciuc, who tried years at a time to rescue from the ruins of oblivion long forgotten churches and buildings, if there hadn’t been a Vasile Movileanu, who can’t allow the wave that comes (and it comes regardless) to erase from our memory what was dear to our forerunners.

Mihail Kogalniceanu street old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
Mihail Kogalniceanu street. Old Chisinau. 2007. Watercolor, 36 x 51 cm

I went from work to work as a guest in a world of no forgetting, a world gathered and lovingly and skillfully memorised in a chromatic register by the painter Vasile Movileanu. In fact, I saw him in a new light – as a visual artist who, besides illustrating books, also paints on the canvas of memory. After trying (and succeeding!) to paint the music, to reproduce in colour the sounds and vibrations not shown to the eye, he now painted the city’s profile with streets, houses and people…
Most of the paintings, crafted with a particular rigour in watercolour, inspire warmth, light, love, joy. The play of light and shadow reflects in bright and vivid colours, sometimes with a pastel tone, enticing, without disrupting, the gaze.
The messages – of either autumn or winter, or drenched in multicoloured or faint light, send you to a dear, close world, wrapped at the same time in the nostalgia of forgetfulness.

The Armeneasca street gates in old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
The Armeneasca street. 2003. Watercolor, 45,5 x 31 cm.

Thus, Vasile Movileanu discreetly and with great dedication fulfils his duty as an artist who does not want to leave blank spaces, pointless in this world. It is work, a craft about which every soul blessed with the gift of creation should think!
This thought of mine was also encouraged by the writer dear to both young and old children, Spiridon Vangheli, present as well at the inauguration/walk through the corridors of the Municipal Hall. I’ve encountered, as well, on this chromatic walk the poet Dumitru Matcoschi.

Exhibition on the eve of Chişinău’s day in the Municipal Hall, Vasile Movileanu next of his wife Ana, Spiridon-Vangheli in the middle and Dumitru Matcoschi with his wife Alexandrina
Exhibition on the eve of Chişinău’s day in the Municipal Hall, Vasile Movileanu next of his wife Ana, Spiridon-Vangheli in the middle and Dumitru Matcoschi with his wife Alexandrina

It seemed we were all passing by, each experiencing certain emotions, a world from another dimension…
Landscape with alluring streets, with a “Yard in Chișinău”, then with other yards and alleyways, with a “Merchant”, with the much suffering “Cathedral”.

The Cathedral Nativity of the Lord Old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
The Cathedral Nativity of the Lord. Old Chisinau. 2006. Watercolor, 32 x 44 cm

An imaginary movement from an autumnal landscape to another wrapped in the white of snow, bathed in sunlight or flooded by green, so that in the end, to come back with the thoughts inside us, inspired by a music gifted in the same chromatic way through intimate images of peoples in love with the song of colours. These works remind us that any place, like any person, beyond appearances, has a soul…

Evening promenade in the winter Old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
Evening promenade. 2006. Watercolor, 36 x54,5 cm

Vasile Movileanu remains the visual artist that offers the world surprises…

Claudia Partole, writer

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The vertical of an undefeated destiny

The vertical of an undefeated destiny article about Vasile Movileanu

He couldn’t have become anyone else than who he became, namely, a visual artist a remarkable plastic artist! That is what nature wanted, that is what Destiny decided.

… At the age of only one year and four months, he was attacked by a hard and merciless disease, caused (in those times, in the middle of the 50s) by a monstrous virus that disabled him as well. Poliomyelitis! Both his legs were taken away from him, in as much that he could not stand up.
The parents – Ştefan and Maria Movileanu, kind and respected people from the village Secăreni, Hânceşti, painfully suffered the blight that fell upon the third of their five children, but, however, didn’t fall prey to despair. More so that Vasile showed pronounced signs of innate qualities of somehow seeing differently all that surrounded him – the well, the house, the trees around it.
And then his father, sensing, probably, the innate gift of his son, brought him a big box of “Spartak” coloured pencils. These miraculous object revealed to the little enthusiast of the colors of the rainbow, which he often admired from the doorstep, the mystery that was to foster and protect him throughout his whole life, because immediately, picking up the pencils, he drew for the first time that well, that house, those trees around it and, of course, the rainbow reflected on the blue sky…
This wonder child’s inclinations were appreciated also by the elementary school teacher Grigore Plămădeală, who insisted that Vasilică was by all means enrolled in first grade. His parents did so, the child being carried to school and back home, task dealt with by the whole family – at times his mother, at a time his brother Mihai and his older sister Galina.

Often he was carried by his good-hearted teacher himself. This way he finished the first grade. Naturally, second grade had to follow. But for that, Vasilică needed something very important: to learn to sit upright, meaning he had to move by himself using crutches. That wasn’t possible in the village. Then, his parents were advised to take him to the special boarding school in Ialoveni, where there were children afflicted by poliomyelitis from the whole republic. Here, however, they were told the boy could not be admitted because he couldn’t move with crutches…
We will skip past many sufferings, caused by several extremely difficult operations which the boy had the strength to withstand and which, eventually, helped him use crutches well and move upright. And the movement means for him hope, the joy of living and dreaming. So it happens that, after a third attempt, Vasile Movileanu comes back to Ialoveni.

The machete of the castle made by Vasile Movileanu
The machete of the castle made by Vasile Movileanu

… He graduates with distinction from the boarding school, carrying in his soul gratitude and great and sincere love for the teachers and medical staff there, but most of all for his dear and respected teacher Valeria Stog who,  through her rare pedagogical finesse, inspired faith in his strengths and the courage to face his destiny.

From then on walking vertically and with his head held up high towards his own becoming, Vasile Movileanu, who was already a well-known author of dozens of paintings and graphic works, presents himself in the year 1978 to the Visual Arts School “I. Repin” in Chişinău (currently the Visual Arts College “A. Plamădeală”).
Of course, the ambition, insistence, perseverance, but especially the talent of this young man deeply impressed the examiners.
So it happens that the prestige of this institution will be marked, years later, by another reference name – that of the exceptional visual artist Vasile Movileanu.

Vasile Movileanu Student at Polygraphic Institute of Moscow
Vasile Movileanu Student at Polygraphic Institute of Moscow

Following is another conquered stronghold, another mountain climbed – the Polygraphic Institute of Moscow, the Graphics degree. And not a day without painting, without drawing, without effort and creative work. His particular inexhaustible interior energy and inspiration, sources of new intellectual efforts, make Vasile Movileanu one of the most renowned authors of book and easel graphics in the Republic of Moldova.
Today, the laureate of numerous awards, member of the International Association of Plastic Artists (UNESCO), he is a signatory of more than 30 illustrated children’s books by the writers Grigore Vieru, Spiridon Vangheli, Dumitru Matcovschi, by the classic of Italian literature, Giani Rodari, and many more.
A (without exaggeration) worldwide renown was brought to him by the graphic works for the book “Three wonderful stories” by Mihail Sadoveanu. Regarding this subject: one of the illustrations in this book was included in a prestigious Japanese catalogue, edited in 2000, were the name Vasile Movileanu is featured among the (65) most renowned graphic artists of the world!

This utterly special event was anticipated by other achievements, no less valuable and important: participation at the most prestigious exhibitions in Romania (1991, 1994, 1996), in Bratislava (1997), in Belgrade (1998), as well as the numerous awards, distinctions, and diplomas.

We would also like to mention that a series of the master Vasile Movileanu’s works are found in the National Art Museum in Chişinău, in the Art Museum in Tulcea, Romania, as well as in private collections in France, Russia, Italy, the U.S., etc.
In fact, these brief notes are, we believe, incomplete, if we would not remark another edifying detail: the plastic artist Vasile Movileanu did not only make a name for himself in the spirituality and culture of this nation, but also created a family to match: his kind and loving wife, Mrs Ana, is an excellent creator of embroideries and crochets with national motifs, his eldest daughter, Victoria, is an accessory designer, and his youngest daughter, Cristina, licensed in arts, clearly following in her father’s footsteps.

…We read somewhere an art critic’s appraisal that plastic artist Vasile Movileanu’s entire creation radiates warmth, light, and poetry. A great truth! Because so it is: light and poetry (but also his undefeated thirst and love for life, we would add) held Vasile Movileanu to the vertical. Literally and figuratively!


Mihai Morăraş