As you may or may not know, before I began to create jewelry, which is a relatively new endeavor in my life, I’d been (and remain) a lifelong visual artist .
A painter, to be precise. It is not surprising – I come from a long line of artists.
Growing up in my family, art was our religion. Its sacred authority and laws were never questioned.
From the time I was five, my extraordinary mother allowed me to follow my fits of inspiration, which often lasted well into the night.
She tiptoed beyond my closed door, whispering “Quiet! Anastasia has an INSPIRATION - don’t disturb her,” as if I was having a private visitation with the Holy Spirit.
My grandfather, an artist who worked as a movie set designer, went into a focused trance each time he picked up a brush.
I can still picture him with his easel, sitting in the living room. The neighbors may have been drilling into the walls, the tea kettle screaming at the top of its lungs from the kitchen, the TV blasting, and you could even scream into his ear…
But he didn’t hear any of it.
He simply painted.
My grandmother, a dramatic theater actress, often lulled me to sleep by reciting lengthy and tragic monologues from famous plays that were filled with the angst of unrequited love and the tragedy of existence.
My uncle, a movie cameraman turned artist, reached a point where he no longer fit within the limitation of his canvases.
He then painted all over the walls of his apartment. His kitchen became the Garden of Eden.
He was Adam, but the appearance of his Eves changed frequently, always bearing the features of his latest love.
My brother jumped on the family bandwagon.
He was summoned by Sculpture.
Consumed by the fire of creation, the young sculptor covered all the surfaces of our apartment with his 3D masterpieces made from sticky clay.
An indestructible life force, the clay made its way everywhere - under his pillow, into his pockets, inside his shoes and his books, and it made a permanent nest within the possessed sculptor’s hair.
The bathroom was transformed into a battlefield composition.
Everything my brother sculpted during his bath, he’d throw up into the air, and the clay would stick to the ceiling for the time being.
That seriousness with which art was regarded in my family…
The relentless enthusiasm of my mother when she took me, in spite of the snow and the cold, to visit theaters, art exhibits, the ballet and to fulfill my lessons at art school…
The way every new painting or sculpture was celebrated as an Event in our family…
Made me feel as if I belonged to a clan of magicians and high priests whose sacred secrets were being passed from generation to generation.
Art remains the most important thing in my life, in whichever form it takes – a painting, a design for a theatrical production, or a piece of jewelry.
Spirit will always be transmuted from the ether into a multitude of forms down here in the material world.
And I will always heed its call.
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