When you meet Silvia Vassileva the first thing you notice is her infectious smile. And when she talks about being an artist, you can’t help being caught up in her excitement and love of art.
The soft sound of classical music drifts through her studio as she paints. “I love music. I don’t listen to songs—they are too short. Symphonies. That is the background music to my art.”
Art has been part of Silvia’s life since her days as a young schoolgirl in Bulgaria. “I had a wonderful childhood, I was in love with art, spending hours with big coffee table art books, summertime holidays drawing with chalk on the asphalt, and building sand castles on the beach.” At the age of 12 she passed an exam for an after-school painting program. After the very first class she knew she would become an artist.
Silvia talks with great love about her native Bulgaria, a place filled with artists and creativity. But it was also a place influenced, at the time, by a strict communist regime. “A lot can be said about a country oppressed by government and there is no doubt that it shaped my personality. I have a lot of appreciation for freedom. Bulgaria made me strong, I never take anything for granted.”
After the fall of the communist regime, Silvia was offered the dream of a lifetime. Her husband was invited to work in Japan. His two year contract turned to six, and she spent those precious years immersed in the beauty of Japan. Her next adventure would take her to the United States when the family was transferred to San Diego—and so another land would begin to shape and mold her art.
“Adventure is so important. I have always wanted to see the world and so I travel. It’s like charging my batteries. The older I get, the more I want to charge them.”
Her love of travel is often seen in her art. From big city skylines to romantic European landscapes, her memories are passed on from paintbrush to canvas.
All of these moments, these adventures and changes, have shaped Silvia’s art. The elegance of Japanese woodblock prints, the dreamy architectural cityscapes and landscapes of her travels, the sense of freedom gained from oppression, all transfer to her paintings with every brush stroke.
Most of all Silvia wants you to experience emotion when you view her art. “I want the viewer to feel something when they look at my art. I interpret and translate what I see and feel into a painted language. That is most clearly seen in my abstracts, which are a pure expression of my emotions.”