in love with Hana, Maui at first sight and instantly knew it would
nurture my artistic soul for many years to come. A slow-paced life at
the backdrop of the spectacular ocean, rainforest and vast green
pastures relaxes the soul and opens it up for deep breaths of
It was not until 2015 that I really discovered this
magical piece of paradise. After the first visit to Hana, the rest of
the year was spent in shuttling between Seattle and Hana for gasps of
fresh air and a much-needed connection with the magic 'āina (land). I am
blessed to call heavenly Hana my home now - a place of many living
paintings that I can't wait to manifest on my canvas.
before Hana embraced several other special places with which I will
always keep a strong bond: Moscow where I was born and raised, Hyderabad
(India) where I spent the early years of my adulthood, Seattle, a point
of big transitions, and Hana, a place I chose with my heart.
was born in Moscow, Russia in 1981. Growing up among my mom's
paintings, art books and inexhaustible stack of typewriter paper, I
thought drawing was the most natural way of being. At the age of 7, I
got enrolled into an evening art school for children where, after a
regular day in my other school, I was initiated in the fundamentals of
drawing, painting and composition. For the next 9 years my life revolved
around methodical still life painting in class, field trips to art
museums and the zoo, art history lectures and painting homework that
filled my weekends and summer holidays.
In later years after completing
my studies in linguistic and foreign languages, I settled in Hyderabad,
India, where for five years I taught French in an international
school. Painting and drawing took a back-seat, but the longing never
quite went away. In 2008, life took me to Seattle, WA and the
circumstances arranged themselves perfectly for me to return to drawing
and painting. I discovered life drawing at Gage Academy of Art, and the
open studio provided me with a much-needed practice to reanimate and
hone my drawing skills. In the course of the next few years, I stuck to
the disciplined schedule of a studio monitor to be able to attend as
many figure drawing sessions as I could. Slowly, drawing yielded a
transition to painting.
I remain fascinated with my primary
source of inspiration, which is figurative art. On occasion, I turn to
still life painting for its immediate availability, challenges of
composition and practice of color palette. The real challenge of the
recent years has been plein air painting. Meeting and observing the work
of contemporary masters of this genre at Maui Plein Air Invitational
events has instilled in me a true admiration of their craft and
Painting on location in Hana is always an adventure.
Juggling the ever-changing natural elements, keeping up with the
changing light, trying to block out the distractions has all been a
steep learning curve.
Some of my Hana-inspired work can be found in Hana Coast Gallery.
Member of Plein Air Painters of Hawaii since 2015.