Anastasiya Bachmanova

An inside look at the artist’s latest offering

By Neal Kearney
June 5, 2024

At first glance, the life of a professional artist seems too good to be true—you get to be your own boss, make your own schedule, and bring joy into the lives of so many, all while expressing yourself creatively. The reality, however, is that such a lifestyle requires tons of discipline, sacrifice, networking, and good, old fashioned hustling to make this lifestyle economically feasible. 

One such local artist who’s cracked the code to running a successful art business is Anastasiya Bachmanova, who’s found great success with her company, Follow The Sun Art. When she’s not painting out of her East Side studio, she’s busy teaching painting classes, vending her art at pop up events around town, doing live sketches at Weddings, or managing her website, where she sells prints and other merchandise such as calendars, greetings cards, and apparel. 

Here’s Bachmanova’s take on one of her latest masterpieces, a sublime scene of floral beauty found not too far from her home here in Santa Cruz. Enjoy! 

Humble beginnings

This is a new painting featuring Calla Lily Valley in Big Sur. I haven’t made such a large painting in years. Going on a whim, I purchased this large 3’x4’ canvas and dove into it inspired.

This landscape is an acrylic painting on canvas, and depicts lilies in bloom at an iconic California coast landmark. A meandering creek leads us to an expansive ocean and sky in the distance. My style blends realism with a touch of contemporary style exploration.

The feeling I wanted to capture in this painting is of adventure and awe, like when you stumble upon a beautiful new spot or visit a familiar place with new eyes. I use flowing lines, vibrant colors, and playful rhythm to evoke this mood and capture that sense of magic.

Coming along nicely

My first step for any piece of art I do it is to gather inspiration via exploring and photographing. I create a sketch to map out the composition. Then, I will begin painting my canvas with an initial loose wash of color. Working from the background to the foreground, I use traditional painting techniques to build up each element with layers of intentional brushstrokes. I look at it a lot. Finally, I will refine the details until it feels complete!

While painting this piece I was listening to my Spotify playlist of favorite songs. Having some upbeat tunes going keeps me focused and in a good flow!

Ana’s daughter Athena offers her expert eye

The most challenging aspect was the lilies—painting so many with just the right amount of detail. Getting the composition and angles of the foreground blooms took several tries. Luckily, these have been blooming everywhere the past few months, so I had plenty of references from which to work!

My favorite part of a painting is always putting that first layer of paint on a fresh canvas! Since it all gets covered up, there is so much freedom. On this piece, my 6-year-old daughter helped with this stage. It was a special moment to share together.

I am thrilled with how this painting turned out. It is always amazing to me to witness my sparks of inspiration become something real and tangible. I also find it fascinating that I am still learning after my lifetime of painting. I tried some new techniques in this piece, and they worked out well!

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