TATIANA ZENTSOVA was born 1968, Russia.
Her childhood was spent in Siberia. She began to paint there. Then she moved to Ukraine, where she continued her artistic training and received a degree in architecture.
Since 1994, she lives in Chile. She’s engaged in painting, architecture, design and illustration. She has explored historical architecture in her watercolor works. She paints with watercolor, oil, and ancient techniques of the Renaissance: combination of the oil with egg gouache. Also uses other means: gouache, graphite pencil, charcoal.
Hi Tatiana! Tell us a few words about yourself. When did you begin doing art and how did you get started? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Tatiana: Hello! I don’t know exactly when that was. Maybe since I was a child. Only at first, I didn’t realize that this means making art. One lives in art. A lot of imagination. Clouds are little animals or birds, or suddenly flowers. A stain on the wall today looks like a long-legged stork and another day it turns out to be the profile of someone sad, crestfallen. A music that is heard turns out to break in a way so alien to my world that many times I prefer to be silent. At other times the external is so entertaining and beautiful that I feel lost in what I see or feel. Sometime later, already in adolescence, I realize that when I am very happy I take a pencil and I am drawing or painting something. When some drama invades me, I run home, lock myself up, and paint. And when I’m calm I like to paint too. I have traveled through various areas of art. I was in music school playing piano, in ballet, even a little in theater and finally, I stayed in plastic arts. Painting is so natural for me that I did not consider it as something of special value. As a child, I wanted to be a biologist or an archaeologist. I ended up being an architect who dreams only of painting. Now, many years later, I am affording myself to paint, it is a luxury.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter, etc.
Tatiana: I am in permanent search, exploring. The technique I use the most is watercolor. More than 30 years. For the most part, my art is figurative. I use different styles: from architectural and botanical illustrations used in the 19th century to applying very loose and watered lines. Cityscapes, nature, animals, people. 15 Years ago I started painting in oil. Traditional and mixed technique: oil with egg tempera prepared in the workshop, ancestral alchemy, a technique used by Renaissance painters. Portraits and other subjects. I feel that oil allows for a deeper and more reflective exploration when compared to ephemeral watercolor. Little by little I am moving away from representation, moving to reflection on historical and emotional subjects, to dreams.
You grew up in Siberia, and you’re living and working in Chile right now. How much has your art changed, and how much is your art still inspired by your homeplace?
Tatiana: I think my world travels with me wherever I go. The human soul is similar everywhere. It only changes the “shell”, external customs. The new is added and enriched. I like Chile. I have lived here for 26 years and it certainly inspires me to create. My country of origin, my roots are also in me and in my art.
What artists inspire you the most, living or dead?
Tatiana: Mikhail Vrubel, Van Gogh, Claude Monet. To this day I am curious to know why. They surround me with their vibration.
What is a day of working like in your studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Tatiana: Some ritual? I don’t know … “I walk around like a puppy before getting settled”, I order something, I water my plants, I look at any book … and suddenly I’m painting. Or, sometimes it doesn’t work out, I got distracted by something. I say to myself: well … I’ll try again for a while. For the meantime, I do other things …
What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Tatiana: Disconnect the head from the process, the reason, the analytical part … At some stage of creation, it is useful, then it annoys… I don’t know how I get over it… I get distracted.
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most?
Tatiana: At this moment I am painting three very particular oils. Where what is represented plays a secondary role. Encapsulated emotionality is the only protagonist… It is hard to explain in words. I’m excited about what will turn out…
What’s the coolest art tip you’ve ever received?
Tatiana: Be yourself.
What advice would you give to upcoming artists, how to think out-of-the-box and grow?
Tatiana: Connect with your own essence. We are all unique. No two people are the same in the whole world. So the innovative is assured if you achieve it. Be loyal to your feelings and practice a lot.
What’s next on the horizon for Tatiana?
Tatiana: Ufff, we’ll see later. Paintings, more paintings I hope.
To learn more about Tatiana and her art, please check: