By likemindblog


PART 1: Born at the right time, at the right place, with two parents who are professional musicians, artists, Natasha, since birth, has lived her life surrounded by beauty through sound and colour.  She is amongst a small number of people who are doing exactly what they came here to do!   She’s a professional violinist, as well as an extremely prolific artist.  She’s had more than forty solo and group exhibitions in many parts of the world.  She’s made a short film and received an excellence in cinema award… and on and on and on…

Natasha, you are simply amazing and this interview, as readers will see for themselves, is so interesting, so personal, so down to earth, I want to thank you most sincerely for your amazing generosity.  Let us get to part one immediately.

No. 1)  What is art (painting) to and for you?8.audition of the  muses by an uninspired artist

To begin, I ‘ll tell a bit about myself . I was born in a musicians’ family, mama – violinist, papa cellist – so it was only natural that from 7 years old I started to study violin.  Born in Russia, where you don’t just study music as a hobby (at least in my time), and having as parents quite prominent musicians – my life’s path was already established from 7 years old .

My mom loved art and would bring me on many visits to all Moscow museums. So Art was always something very important in my family, so important that it was worth hours standing in lines to see some exhibition.

One summer, on our vacation my mom was persuaded by a cousin who was an artist to start painting herself and my mom fell in love with it. In the meantime as any child I did some drawings and paintings, but as my mom started to paint I, for some reason, stopped doing it altogether…

When I was 12, my family emigrated to Canada where I continued to study violin professionally with my mom as my teacher . When I was 18 , my father created a chamber orchestra  I Musici de Montreal, essentially with his and my moms’ students  -and I became one of the youngest members of the orchestra which would soon tour around the world and play more than 100 concert a year .

My mom continued to paint and I continued to admire her work. One day, my mom decided that it’s not right for me to do just music – I should take some art classes. She was convinced  by the doodling I was constantly doing during my classes ( in order not to fall asleep)  that I had an artist’s hand …I wasn’t so convinced  and so it took  her 2 years to convince me to take some art classes. Finally she won and I went to my first drawing class…

1.sundayIt was love from first sight, or from first stroke to be exact. After each class, it felt like I was walking on air! On the way home, I thought that my happiness was so obvious that people were turning their heads to look at me (at home , looking in the mirror I understood of course that it was due to the charcoal all over my face)

In order to push myself more, I went back to university, this time studying art and took a couple of painting summer classes in US. The more I painted, the more I got hooked. The more I got hooked, the more I painted. Something also I think changed in me …As much as I loved music and loved playing, it felt almost like as if a sort of transparent veil lifted off me … Life was more complete now.  But most of all I felt surprised! Surprised not only that the paintings I was looking at were done by me, but just surprised at such unexpected change in my life…

Now, after years of being used to being an artist, I don’t feel surprised anymore … unfortunately… but I still think art is something that made the most drastic change in my life!

After saying all this , I feel like I didn’t exactly answer your question and though I am not really into self analysis, I started to wonder what was it in doing in art, what made such an impact on my life …I guess it is because  art is a universe in itself, a unique universe for each artist. With, in my case, my own rules and laws, influences habits and  discoveries… A universe which I am shaping, and the universe which shapes me… 

No. 2)  What inspires you?9.where light sleeps

If you are talking in general – anything that  is talented….If I see an artist, musician , film, play  I like – I want to paint … on the other hand when  I see  a mediocre artist, musician , film, play etc , etc I  feel self-doubt – could I be them?

If you talk about  “inspiration” – as to what gives the ideas for my works – I would say it could be anything – from things in everyday life to  some association, a phrase I heard, particularly something my father would say during the rehearsals; something from music I play or listen to  –  its title, some particular phrase, rhythm or the entire work… 

No. 3)  When you are painting, creating, where does it take you?  I mean where does your mind (spirit) travel?

There are different stages of a working process, but I imagine the question refers to the ” creative” stage …it is hard to describe …either because it is indescribable, or because I am afraid that by defining it with words I would forever close the door to that “travel”… but it is definitely some sort of a “high”.

No. 4)  Do you think visual art, music and health are related, and if so, how do you see that?

My father once told during one of my orchestra fund-raising campaigns, explaining – why one  should donate to a musical organization as much as for a health-care for example – because  Music is a medication for the Soul.

No. 5)  When you are painting, creating, how do you feel? 

When I first started taking drawing classes, it would always happen at least once during the class – my eyes would sort of pop out and all of the sudden things would just work ….as if my hand was  drawing on its own … I felt I actually had no merit in it  🙂 .  I must add that at that time none of my drawings took more than 20 minutes to do – I  just couldn’t work any longer on the same  drawing.

june2009 012I can work now for hours, days and at times  months at the same  work. The longer the process , the more stages it’s going through, with its ups and downs, good days  and bad days …but often I still feel some physical transformation when all of the sudden it starts to “work”, though my eyes are staying in their places nowadays …

Otherwise, the feeling can vary from a fantastic high to a deep gloom. But I think these down moments are as necessary for the creative process as its high  – this is what pushes us further and further,  it doesn’t let us just stay where we feel comfortable, or be satisfied with just  “good enough “.

It is interesting that when I compare painting process with music-making process – the  “high” is different for the two in what I would call “texture” but the “low” feels the same!

Natasha, this first part has been so interesting and so appreciated.  Until next week for part 2, keep well, my friend!

In February, 2008, Natasha presented a highly successful exhibition called “Sunday which begins on Wednesday” at the head offices of the Cirque du Soleil in Montréal.  Below is a short video of it.

The chef d’orchestre is her father , the concertmaster – is her mom.  Her father has just received Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec . Here is Natasha’s orchestras web site:


We hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of this fascinating interview.  Do visit all the links, you will be pleasantly surprised. Stay tuned for Part 2, next Friday. ENJOY!

 Mail this post
Be Sociable, Share!
Filed in: ART • Friday, June 25th, 2010


By helenebro on June 26th, 2010 at 4:42 am

I enjoy your work a lot it’s another way to see all the creative inspiration from your roots.

Your work is beautiful and your story inspiring….While genetics and nurturing is a big part of where we end up in life, your story tells a lot more…. the sacrifices required of someone to achieve the success you have. It had to be incredibly difficult to maintain the discipline needed, especially at 18 to perform 100 concerts a year around the world. Admire your dedication to excellence.
Thank you for sharing your story…will be looking forward to part 2. Cecelia
.-= Cecelia Gay´s last blog ..How Can I Tell You =-.

Natashka, this is truly inspiring! Reading this article brought me back to our long, wee-hour talks in Orford, many years ago. I always felt you were deeply connected with your inner self,now I understand you even better. You enrich lives of others just by existing, a very rare gift in today’s world!

By Irena Shklover on July 2nd, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Great story!

By Julia Ivanova on July 4th, 2010 at 11:39 am

Your studio is my ultimate dream – the embodiment of creativity. It’s interesting what you wrote: that the lows feel the same both in music and painting…


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge


My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours