I was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where I grew up surrounded by art, culture and history. My father, a wood smith, has spent most of his life restoring precious antiques in the palaces in and around St. Petersburg, including things like the throne of the Czars and the carriages of Catherine the Great. When I was a little girl, he would bring me to work with him where I would be looked after by the other artists there who were working on restoring ceiling frescoes or various beautiful paintings. They would give me some art supplies and would show their budding young artist different restoration and painting techniques to keep me entertained. I loved it so much! I loved the smell of oil paint and turpentine, dust and cigarette smoke. Seeing the big lights in the studios and the men wearing their baggy, dirty clothes that were covered with drops of paint. I also loved the feeling of artistic freedom I had while being in the company of those free-spirited artists who looked after me and treated me as one of their own.
It was a great start. Later in my life I was accepted to formal art school where I learned the principals of art and where I built even more wonderful memories. I remember when I sold my first painting while I was still in college and it was then that I first experienced the joy of someone else seeing beauty in my work. It was so wonderful to see someone moved by something I painted, sometimes having them see something there that hadn’t even occurred to me as I was creating it.
Since then I haven’t stopped painting.
Now, America has become my home. I am so very fortunate to have a great career, loving family and many wonderful friends here now. To add to this, I am able to paint in my small studio in Greenfield, Indiana, where I am able to create art that I hope will bring beauty and imagination to other people’s lives as it has mine.