I grew up in Moscow, Russia, where I graduated from Moscow Architectural Institute with Bachelors in Architecture. This particular school was known for its training in academic figurative drawing.
My husband and I came to America with visiting visas in 1989. We were not planning to stay, but the luck of meeting a reproductive medicine doctor who offered us pro bono treatment changed our mind. It took five years to give birth to three children, start working in stained glass and buy our first house, but the urgency of survival and the confusion of adapting to the new language and culture lasted much longer. In retrospect, I muted my natural voice in favor of repeating rehearsed sentences in the language that remained foreign. In the years of motherhood, when a woman has to be the truest to herself and her native instincts, it added to tensions that later I explored in my art.
For the first nine years I combined parenting with the work in stained glass studio where I was a painter. Most of commissions were coming from the churches and demanded a large scale figurative painting in various styles. I visited NYC to study originals of the old masters, as well as the modern and contemporary artists at Met, MOMA and Chelsea galleries in search for solutions to my own artistic tasks.