© Anna Sokolova, 2016

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The mission of an artist is to excite the soul.

— Anna, why did you choose painting?

— I could never imagine picking another occupation. Although I am interested in all forms of art, many of them remain a mystery for me. For instance, I always found sculpture extremely fascinating. How can one create a work of art from a common shapeless stone. How can a sculptor see and show others his vision? The same can be said about music and literature. How can a musician “hear” the future musical piece? How can writers and poets so brilliantly “interweave” the word into beautiful and meaningful passage? Although I always admired these forms if creativity, I realized that only paining completely matched me spirit. Painting is passionate! A good paining can wonderfully express any condition of an artist’s soul, any emotion any meaning an artist wanted to relate to the audience. A painting can be expressive or mellow. It can be tender and attentive. It can carry suffering and pain. Its possibilities are boundless. Its effect on the surrounding world is phenomenal! The smell of paint, the colors that can be mixed into any combination and shade! Nothing can compare with this for me. There is still so much to learn in the magic and alchemy of painting!

— What artists are close to you in spirit.

— Well, this is a difficult question. There is a very wide palette of artists that I like very much. They are all entirely different and belong to various historical periods. For example I can not be indifferent to great artists, such as Cimabue, who introduced a new, fresh style into Italian art of the 13th century, by combining Greek Byzantine art with local roman traditions and adding a bit of gothic. Cimabue was the teacher of Giotto whom I also admire. Mosaics of Venetian St. Marcs Cathedral and Sicily’s Montreale are spectacular! Generally speaking, Italy is a great source of inspiration! Impressionist school has had a great influence on my work. The works of impressionists are an explosion of joy, happiness and romanticism. Among the Russian painters I enjoy Konstantin Korovin, Valentin Serov, and of course Mikhail Vrubel. At the same time, in my early works I wanted to copy Petrov-Vodkin and Lentulov, whom I still love. Overall, it is very difficult to pick concrete names out of the great abundance of wonderful art. I can only say that love talent and originality.

— I know that paining is not your only occupation. You participate in various projects and are a mother of three children. Does such intense lifestyle hamper your work as an artist, or do you get more energy from it?

— You are right, I have many projects that are difficult to combine with my occupation as an artist. Unfortunately, I have too little time to paint. On the one hand, this is rather sad. However, I feel that I accumulate certain experiences, feelings and thoughts that will result in future works. I receive a lot of positive knowledge from my projects. My children, while looking through art books, ask me interesting questions, which I would not have thought of, perhaps because I am a gown up. All this creates my unique inner word, stimulates thoughts and emotions that someday I hope to express on the canvass. I can not live a tranquil life. No doubt, my lifestyle consumes a lot of my energy, but it gives even more!

— You paint Venice quite often. Is this your favorite city? Where do you prefer working?

— For me Venice is a fairytale. I go there for carnival almost every year. This is the most beautiful and elegant fest with its wild colors and abundance of human imagination! I love the city for its “breathing” landscapes, its inhabitants and magnificent works of art that were created by various artists at different times. For me, painting is best at places that are full of history, where one can see where it all started. Of course I also very much like the sunshine, the sea and blue skies.

— What is the artists mission, if there is one?

— There certainly is a mission. Who else but the artists (I use the widest possible definition of this word) can bring so many emotions, memories, fantasies and beauty into peoples’ lives? Paintings, music, literature, poetry, sculpture, architecture live for centuries and do not loose value, because they can bring peace and harmony and passion to any person in any country with any material status. Art washes away the dust of every day routine. The mission of the artist is to excite.