Monterey Bay, CA, USA
Mediums: Acrylic on canvas and wood
Style: Somewhat realistic, a little bit impressionistic, vibrant and crisp
Favorite Quote: Advice from the ocean: Be shore of yourself, come out of your shell, take time to coast, avoid pier pressure, sea life's beauty, don't get tide down, make waves!
Favorite Books: The Alchemist, John Muir, Aldo Leopold
Sea Lions © Anastasiya Bachmanova, Sea lions work together to chorale a school of fish into a tight bait ball, then they take turns feeding.
I am an acrylic painter originally from Russia, now living in Monterey Bay, California. Growing up I have always had a passion for art and the outdoors. In college I discovered my mission: to inspire awareness for the environment through art. I study scientific topics about animals, plants, and places, and I design a painting to convey that concept. My hope is that others will appreciate nature the way I do, and take action towards preserving our wonderful planet.
Please tell us about your first experience creating.
I have been creating as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid, probably about 7 years old, I loved horses - they were my power animal! I had a book on "How to Draw Horses" and I copied pictures of horses in colored pencils and watercolors so they looked like photographs. One of my paintings even got into a magazine. After that I was always dabbling in something, drawing, sculpture, painting, and my parents have always been very supportive!
What music do you like to have playing while creating art?
A variety of music depending on my mood. Sometimes it is upbeat reggae-rock like the Expendables, or beats like AVICII. Other times I like more mellow folk/indie like Mumford and Sons and Alex Winston. And sometimes I prefer the silence too.
Sea Otter Mom and Pup © Anastasiya Bachmanova
Sea otters rest in kelp beds off of the California coast. Iconic wildlife of Monterey.
If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?
Right now I am transitioning into a full time artist. Occasionally I make jewelry for my boyfriend's family's fashion business, and give ocean kayaking tours focused on the rich marine life in the area. The kayaking job always fuels my creativity.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
Through my art I try to convey the unseen world of nature. We can always go to an aquarium and see the fish or the otters, but rarely do we see them in action. I try to find a unique way to depict wildlife. For example, a painting I am planning right now is of whales. It won't be a portrait of a whale, because I want to share their intelligent and skilled way of feeding by making bubble nets to trap a school of fish at the surface. They all lunge to the surface in one synchronized motion. It is fascinating! I want others to appreciate the details.
Cooper's Hawk © Anastasiya Bachmanova
A Cooper's Hawk in flight through a coastal live oak forest, as it skillfully hunts smaller birds.
Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion:
My ideas will spark when I am outside enjoying California's nature. My next step is to research; I look at videos and images, and read up on a topic. If I can, I try to take some reference photos. By then I usually have an image in my mind of what I want to create. Then I sketch ideas so I can work through the details, and then I make a final sketch from the elements that I like. Next I think about colors. Should I use a realistic palette, or change the tone? Sometimes I will sketch onto my canvas, other times I dive right into painting. I build up layers and textures and work the colors. Then I flip it upside down, look at it in the mirror, and ask others for critiques. Then I keep painting until it feels complete.
What things inspire you to create art?
Surfing, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, fishing, and meditating outside all bring me closer to nature and inspire me to create.
What exhibitions have you had?
I had a group exhibition at my college for graduating projects. Right now I am building my collection to display at galleries and local establishments.
Egg Yolk Jellyfish © Anastasiya Bachmanova
Egg Yolk Jellies are common in Monterey waters, and are named so because of their likeness to a fried egg.
Have you sold any of your artworks?
I have done a few commissioned paintings. In my still young painting career I have sold one original and some matted prints of my work. My prints are on sale at local stores and online through Etsy.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
I keep my Facebook page updated with news and inspiration. I also use it to keep up with and interact with other organizations and artists I like. Pinterest has been a great tool for exposing my work to a wider audience. Its also an excellent source of inspiration. On my website I blog about every other week. I try to stay consistent with these media outlets.
Tell us about influences
Nature, wildlife, travels, friends and family
Pelican Dive © Anastasiya Bachmanova
Brown Pelicans will spot fish from about 60 feet in the air, and dive bomb into the water to stun them with the impact. Then they scoop the fish up into their gular pouch.
Please recommend another artist you admire, and tell us a little about them:
I love the colorful paintings done by Colleen Wilcox. She has a beautiful way of swirling colors together to create surf art and tropical themed paintings. They are always happy images and keep me inspired to enjoy nature and create.
Tell us something interesting in your life.
I have always been a tomboy and into trying extreme sports that I don't see as many girls doing, like surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding. I am a big feminist in this aspect and have this dream of going pro and dispelling the idea that women are not strong. I will probably never be able to do any triple corkscrews or anything, but I try my best to keep up, be very strong, defend myself against the doubters, have more fun, and not get hurt. Female athletes are my heroes!
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?
My life is full of them!
If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?
I used to be so shy when I was younger. I think if I could go back I would try to come out of my shell sooner. On the other hand, I am very happy with where I am now, and it probably would not be the same if I did anything differently.
What plans do you have for the future of your art?
I hope to make it a sustaining career, and I truly hope that it will impact the community to be more environmentally aware. I hope that my art will be hung on many walls, and I would also like to delve into licensing and have my images produced on functional items. I hope to get to a point where I can donate a portion of my profits and support the environment that way too, much like Wyland and Guy Harvey, who are known for their conservation efforts. My plan is to stay inspired, keep learning, and keep painting.
Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
Live your art and be persistent! We can do it!
Monterey Bay, CA, USA