Born on February 5, 1898, in Ukraine, Klym Trokhymenko (Clement Trofimenko) graduated from a Church affiliated school for teachers and taught for two years.
Thereafter became an administrative official in local government, having passed a course in administration law.
In 1917, conscripted into the army, he was sent to the front. After the war, he settled in Lviv, the capital city of western Ukraine, where to sustain himself, he worked very successfully as a salesman for a cosmetics firm. He used much of his income to accumulate a sizeable collection of paintings, renewing connections with some painters he had met during the war.
He visited regularly the studio of Petro Kholodny, the elder, to watch him painting and drawing and was himself learning to draw under Kholodny’s critical eye. He also posed for his portrait and bought Kholodny’s paintings and even small sketches.
At the Lviv Cathedral of St. George, he met Lidia Hopanchuk. They married February 15, 1931. In December of that year their son Swiatoslaw was born.
Having acquired some wealth, Trokhymenko and a friend opened “Lotos,” a perfumery shop, which became well known in Lviv. The walls were decorated with the artwork of an artist friend Pawlo Kowzhun, and with paintings from the Trokhymenko collection. In Lotos they held meetings of artists and exhibited art.
World War II disrupted this idyllic life. The family fled westward, to Krakow, Poland. Soon they were joined by an artist friend Mykola Azowky with a little daughter and accommodated them in part of their apartment. They painted together and Azowky instructed Klym Trokhymenko in composition and painting techniques.