I use formless substances to behold people on the flatness of my canvas.
Throughout my life I have used a variety of media. At some point, however, I understood that a life-time is not enough to truly learn something well. Thus, I chose to focus on oil and charcoal in order to have a chance. Both of these are formless and completely pliable substances, they do exactly what I ask of them as they are willing to subvert their own will for the sake of my vision. I can mold them into impressions of people.
I find the essence of a person somewhere in the expression of their face and hands. Everything else is armature. I ponder on the composition, research relevant history, perform preliminary studies, calibrate the proportions, solve anatomical problems, harmonize colors, and construct perspective. All of these tasks are a prelude to that almost holy instance when the subject, my canvas, and I will come to be one. Once I complete my preparation I stand still and dive into the irrational and enigmatic act of finding that ineffable missing entity that will render this particular person to be true. I like to think of it as the soul. Soul doesn’t come in tubes or jars, however the success for its search certainly depends on the integrity of my prelude. Soul tends to come some late hour when time has lost its meaning because I am myself lost in the wilderness of my search. I search some more and don’t stop until the flatness of my canvas is looking back at me with the gaze I know, until I feel who is looking at me without turning my head to see. Sometimes I fail. But I do it again, because I am not allowed to stop until I succeed.
I engage in these artistic pursuits because I value dialogue. Sartre felt that “hell is other people.” I think Sartre was wrong — monologue is hell. I want to make sure I am not in hell, that is my motive. Each person that I behold, I keep with me forever. This collection of souls is my treasure, a treasure that moths could never destroy, though they may one day destroy all of my work. Even when there is no-one here, I know that I am forever entitled to a dialogue.
Anasyasiya was born in Eastern Europe and immigrated with her parents to the US when she was fourteen. She started drawing and painting in her early childhood and received a figure-based atelier training growing up. Anastasiya’s meandering path in visual arts educational took her through the rigor of earning professional Bachelors and Masters degrees in architecture from The Cooper Union and University of Texas at Arlington, respectively. She has received additional training with established realist painters both privately and in workshops. The concoction of architectural rigor, purity of realism and strong personal narrative define Anastasiya’s work today. Parallel to her fine arts persuits, Anastasiya begun her journey into iconography searching to marry her faith in Christ and love of portraiture.
She is recognized as an Associate Living Master by the Art Renewal Center, additionally she has been awarded recognition by the European Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Society, Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Poets Artists, and many others. Anastasiya’s work has been published in Beautiful Bizarre, and many Goss183 issues. Anastasiya’s work is available at by 33 Contemporary gallery in Chicago. Her work is also found in private collections across United States and around the world. Currently, Anastasiya draws and paints fervently in her studio in Dallas with support of her husband and children.