Fate decreed that I was born in the city of Artemovsk, Donetsk region in Ukraine. I was born in the times of USSR.
My parents lived in Odessa. Father Dmitry was a military pilot. He often was busy in trips and my mom had to give birth to me in Artemovsk, where her mother lived. After spending several months in Artemovsk, I never was there again. It was since only 9 years of the end of World War II.
Despite the fact that I was born in Artemovsk, I consider myself from Odessa and very proud of it.
My first steps in the art was in Pirogovskaya street in Odessa. We lived in a small military town. Our mothers participated in amateur musical groups at the House of Officers, they played the harps. Children also took part in all of festive concerts, we were snowflakes and penguins (our mothers sewed us beautiful costumes). At that time, I dreamed of becoming a ballerina, and even while attending a ballet school. I remember the large mirrors of the Officers House. Later, I wanted to play the violin, but became involved in playing the piano. On the last day of the release of the kindergarten they presented me the paints and the album, because of mine passion for drawing. Already there I drew a lot.
Meeting with Sergei Dmitrievich Schelov played a very important role in my life. Uncle Sergei was an army doctor retired, lived with his wife in our house, he was an amateur painter. They had not own children and we were lucky, he devoted all his spare time and his love to us, yard kids. We made a lot of very interesting things, have been painting in watercolor and oil, we have learned to mold and molded sculpture. This was the impetus for me, not to mention parents, I enrolled in art school.
In the morning, taking with me the textbooks from Secondary School, I went to Art school. Arriving before the time of lessons I was preparing my lessons. My mother first came to art school only since six months, at the first parents meeting.
After 8 years of high school, my parents insisted on my going to art college. I was not very happy about it, I thought to finish 10 classes and then make a choice. But the choice has already been made for me.
In OGHU (Art College) was a great atmosphere - the youth and creativity throughout all 4 years. This can be assessed only when it ends, and it comes time to start thinking about our daily bread. After graduating from college, it was very difficult to find a job. I got the distribution and had to go in the Zhytomyr region, as a teacher of drawing and painting. Honestly, I tried to go there, but did not find even the schedule of buses, even the name of the destination. Not doing the duty, I went home and told my mom that I wanted to stay at home.
I start looking for a job in Odessa, it was difficult. In the USSR, the government wanting to maintain control of the creative people who had free thoughts. Odessa Art Production Complex was created for this reason. How many wonderful and talented people working in it. The main direction of activity of the company was of course advertising. The most interesting thing is that after the company was shut down, many of artists and architectures continue to work in the city and have become very successful artists and architects.
Work at the company enabled me to understand myself. I really like walls and large formats. The first and probably most important for me was the commission murals in Kuyalnik Health Resort. The resort was built brand new housing in each of which it was planned to place at the same time in 1000 campers.
In one, the most wonderful day, me and my friend Irina Evangelidi were invited by our master Sergey and he said that it was entered the order, and we have to go and learn more about it. We went to Kuyalnik.
While the director and chief physician of the resort was an extraordinary man Stanislav Rozhkov. AND HE SHOWED US order quantity! It was unbelievable! 120 square meters of murals in the new dining room and another design, the so-called Kurhaus. There could be anything your heart desire, only fantasize and offers. Irina and I were ecstatic, but intuition told us- early to rejoice. We are young and our mature colleagues, learning about such happiness, would be unlikely to give us such a fatty and very sweet piece of absolute creativity. After some discussion, we decided to share an order with an experienced architect and friend of mother Irina, Vladimir Bondarenko. It was right.
We were able to do paintings in the dining room! It was the start of a 3-year epic work on Kuyalnik! It was magical!
Stanislav was very advanced leader, he helped us in solving all our needs. And we made a very good and incredible goal. We decided to make painting in the technique of "cold encaustic." In this technique, made famous Greece Fayum portraits, and they have survived to our times. The technique is based on the use of wax. Its history dates back from the times of ancient Greece. Considered lost until the last century, when the Ukrainian proffesor Hvostenko not brought the technik back to life, spending for that all his life!
So - encaustic! First, it was necessary to prepare the wall, that means remove the existing plaster and make a new one. Two layers with river sand, then a thinner sea. Then cover with plaster. In it, we applied hot wax and then fused into the walls by hot irons. For all preparations we were given the old kitchen and huge milk cans, which we filled with sea water taken from the depths of the sea! All this was meant for to bleach wax and get a wax which was called Punic. You can imagine it? We, two young girls who have not yet turned 20 years, doing such a wonderful thing!
In the Company I worked for 15 years, and was sure that I would work there until retirement. But things have changed, come the 90s the beginning of perestroika. Even while continuing to work, I realized that everything comes to an end and you need something to solve!
I have a beautiful art studio in the wonderful Uyutnaya street. I decided to make my own business, open a gallery in the studio and it became the first private gallery in Odessa. Time was a wonderful, artists suddenly feel that they need someone to buy the painting, artists began to exhibit his work in the city park of Odessa. All of it was wonderful.
In 1992, I had a new idea.
In 1993 I founded the Maritime Gallery in Odessa. Sponsored by the most famous in those days company Black Sea Shipping Company. I made him an offer which was taken seriously. Since then, those who supported us, become our friends for life. So in April 1993 Odessa Maritime Gallery was open and based on the French Boulevard in the Institute of Eye Diseases named after Filatov.
1995. This year had probably the most remarkable meeting in my life, I met with Nikolai Pavlyuk, Head of the Odessa Commercial Sea Port. I came to him and said: "Nikolai Panteleimonovich, our gallery has become wellknown all over the world, but we have to work hard, because we work in the very humid space." Saying these words, I could not imagine not believed until the last moment until I crossed the threshold of a stunning new gallery. Then I realized that I was the happiest woman on earth and my dreams come true. Gallery worked until 2009, until we decided to move to Cape Town!
Everything that I write, I write about the work, which has become an important thing in my life, I have not written anything about my family. Everything in my life, I do primarily for my children, as well as to be able to paint, regardless of the sale of paintings. And if next to me would not be my husband, it is unlikely that all turned out! I have the most wonderful husband in the world, dedicated his life to me and our daughters. And I am the happiest woman in the world of art!