Through university, I worked as a florist and later as an English teacher. I came to the USA for graduate school, receiving a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Soon after, I met my husband who inspired me to begin painting. And, I never stopped. I've been working full-time as an artist for six years, exploring acrylics, watercolors, inks, fabrics & textiles, wax, and anything I could get my hands on to share my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, it's just everyday things.
I am based in Raleigh, NC where I enjoy the beautiful seasons, the fantastic art culture of this city, and spending my free time with my husband and 3 girls.
I grew up in Ukraine, where I was raised by my grandparents. I was blessed that they were such good people. They taught me a lot of things that I remember to this day. One, in particular, is to work hard at what you love. My grandfather was a horticulturalist. He loved plants. And, he worked hard. When I was a little girl he showed me how to garden. These fond memories of our time together and our love for flowers and nature is a major influence in my art.
My grandmother taught me to embroider, and for much of my youth this art was lost on me. I would never have thought I'd be so passionate about textile art as I am today.
I am also influenced by the people around me. My husband Mark, an artist himself, continues to inspire me to take the talents I have and challenge my inner creativity. I also know that I can always trust him to give honest feedback on my work.
My work stemmed from simple, elegant watercolor paintings of flowers and evolved toward painting everyday women and famous women who inspire me. While I still love to paint these flowers and women, I began looking for more outlets. I decided to pick up a needle and begin recreating my watercolor illustrations on canvas with embroidery.
I realize, now, that much of my Ukrainian background is naturally ever-present in my style. From the matryoshka-like shape of the women I paint to the embroidered flowers I learned from my grandmother, my memories as a child continue to shape my career.
Each embroidery begins with a sketch with light pencil on 100% cotton duck canvas. Once I'm pleased with the sketch, I outline the face with thread on my sewing machine. The shirts and dresses are selected to match each piece's own sense of style from beautiful fabrics that I find locally. Then, using high quality embroidery floss, I hand-embroider the hair, facial features, flowers and other embellishments. Lastly, the hoops are secured with an ornate paper backing and signed by me.
The result is a distinct embroidered piece of art that is literally made by hand with love.