With her use of a dreamy, romantic palette and exploration of whimsical subject matter, Anita Zotkina’s paintings seem to come straight out of a surrealist fairytale. Inspired by writer Hans Christian Andersen, Zotkina’s work depicts faraway lands filled with love, intrigue, beauty, and fantasy. Yet, while the scenes on her canvases hardly seem grounded in reality, Zotkina’s paintings are expressions of the artist’s very real thoughts and experiences, only filtered through her inner vision of the world. Anita Zotkina’s ability to translate her musings on the universe onto the canvas, while transporting the viewer into a fantastical, fascinating world is why we have chosen her as this week’s Artist You Need To Know.
Vango: Why do you do what you do?
Anita: I paint because to me art is a form of communication, i.e. it is an alternative to language, which helps me to express everything I need to say.
V: How would you describe your work?
A: I would describe my work as “good, true and beautiful” (borrowed from Terrence Mckenna). I focus on the meaning of being an Earthling, love of my mother Earth, connecting with ethereal beings and places thru space and time.
V: What are some of the techniques you use?
A: I don’t have an oil on canvas painting technique that I use regularly, I am too impatient for that. When I start to paint without a clear end vision, I just paint, keep mixing colors and paint, remove what I don’t like and paint again, then change colors and paint, until I get to the result that I like.
When I paint with acrylic on paper, it is a different story. This paint dries very fast and it is impossible to remove it. So, I do have an acrylic technique. Everything starts with a sketch, then I draw the outline, first with a pencil, and then with ink. After erasing the pencil, I put the first layer of paint on as a foundation and paint over the details of each object and background to complete my work.
V: Who or what are some of the biggest inspirations on your art?
A: The biggest inspiration on my art is the life in the Universe. I often contemplate on how I got here, what my mission is, where I’ve been before, where I’m going to, how many different worlds are out there, and how I am connected to them.
V: What draws you to fairytales and fairytale themes?
A: My work is based on the visions and dreams. When I was a child I felt the presence of supernatural beings in my life, I talked to plants and animals, I saw spirits and other worlds and it was marvelous. When I became an adult it started to fade, but I’m trying to bring it back thru spiritual journeys with a shaman or other means. I see and record beautiful images when I look at the clouds or ice-frosting on a window or in a puddle and I get my warm feeling of being a child again.
V: What artistic style(s) might you classify your work under? Or do you feel it defies classification?
A: Based on the colors, technique and subjects I classify my art as an abstract/impressionism/surrealism.
V: Do you like listening to music in the studio? If yes, what are some of your favorite artists/albums to listen to?
A: I used to listen to music while painting, but now I switched to listening to lectures and presentations on YouTube. My favorites are Terrence Mckenna, Graham Hancock, Steven Greer and others that share their unconventional ideas.
V: Out of all your works, do you have a personal favorite?
A: I love all my works, because each one has a different story. Nevertheless, one of my favorite artworks is the illustration for Derrick Jensen’s story “Monsters”, from his new book, where I expressed pain, beauty, struggle and love that is experienced by each living being.
V:What is something you like to do when you are not creating?
A: When I have free time, I read. I also love new places and events. Several years ago, I went to the Sanctuary of Mercy church in Borja, Spain to see the famous modern painting of Ecce Homo, by Cecilia Gimenez. This year I went to the Contact in the Desert Conference where I met a lot of alternative-history and UFO researchers. I also enjoy spending time with my awesome friends who love and support me.
V: In your opinion, what is the best thing about being an artist?
A: If you are an artist it is easy to say, I’m going on a trip to Peru to explore altered-states of consciousness, so I can open my mind and connect to the spirit world and feel one with the Universe. The same exact statement made in a strict office environment can get you in trouble. So, the best thing about being an artist is to be able to be yourself, fully express your thoughts and feelings, ask uncomfortable questions and enjoy the ride to the fullest.
Visit Anita’s Vango profile here.
More of Anita’s work…