I've studied and practiced art since I was five, but it took three decades to find the courage to crack my bubble of shyness and publicly announce I am a Catholic portraiture and visual artist. Sometimes I get in the mood to paint abstract. It can be anything from flowers, animals, landscape, still life, or religious themes or saints. I've loved art since I was a child. I remember how often I used to wake up early in the morning to relish the sunrise over our small farm in Anapa, Russia. It filled my heart with joy and felt like a spiritual delight. I was surrounded by bountiful vegetable gardens, rose bushes, perennial and annual flowers, dense grapevines covering the drive offering cool shade where we'd dine on warm summer days, over-sized fruit trees (apple, apricot, and pomegranate), nut trees (hazelnut, walnut, and chestnut), mulberry trees, goats, a cow, pigs, fuzzy bunnies, chickens, jealous roosters, shy hedgehogs, barking dogs, cats, birds, butterflies, and bugs. It was wild place, but it was tidy and inspiring. Through a child's eyes, it was heaven, perfect almost. I grasped that all life has beauty and worth. My mother taught me some basic drawing skills to keep me occupied. I thank her for it! By this time I was deaf, living without hearing aids with no one to help explain things. I was in my own world with my own thoughts. I understood that there is a creator that created everything. There must be a beginning. Everything that moves enlightened my soul and still does today. I believe this solitude helped form my vision as an artist. With the severe hearing loss, I've learned to meditate and contemplate Creation. Three decades later, I faced the pain of my parents' divorce, severe depression, multiple relationships, and broken friendships, while suffering the consequence of poor choices in life. I never felt so alone. I felt there was a God, but I didn't know him. My family didn't know how to communicate with me because of my hearing loss, assuming I would figure things out on my own. I don't know if they were halted by fear or because I was considered disabled? I might not know, but it does not matter- I'm lucky to be alive!
To make a story short, I moved to Michigan, found a church to attend, quickly got a job, and met a wonderful man who is now my husband. We talked a lot about everything and religion. Eventually, we became Catholic and were married in the Chapel of the Cathedral of St. Andrew. We have four beautiful kids. When my youngest was 2 years old, I decided to get serious as an artist - motivated by prayer. I needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone to experience new strategies and techniques on how I can capture the essence of living creatures, plants, and the breathing of souls through the work of my hands. Creating new works on canvas with oil or acrylic, charcoal on paper, or portrait sculpture became my focal point as a Catholic artist. I wouldn't consider my work secular, but I believe beauty and truth are universal. What I see is that everything is a gift from God, our Lord who saw that everything is good as long as it is appreciated and not abused. God created all for us and for Him. Everything and everyone is beautiful. Our souls all have marks from pain, suffering, joy, passion, heartbreak, death, love, and life! But art can transfigure these things and communicate beauty. Without trials in life, a soul can grow bland. This is why, my friends, I am hungry to create art for you and for God's glory!
Artist now lives in Ada, Michigan with her husband and children. They have two cats. They love to hike, camp, walk, run, read, cook, bake, garden, and loves to entertain guests and families at their homes. They are a member at St. Robert of Newminister of Ada parish and sometimes make an appearance at St. Patrick where their children attend the school.