Site Review: Tatiana L. Sougakova

Site Review: Tatiana L. Sougakova

“I do not paint images. I paint energy.”

By Richard Malinsky, Arts Editor
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Richard Malinsky

Tatiana L. Sougakova is a Russian-born American abstract artist, living and working in New Jersey, United States. 

Her website bio details her artistic journey beginning with her graduation from the Restoration Arts College, St. Petersburg, Russia in 1984 with a Fresco-secco painter degree (the technique of painting on dry plaster with pigments mixed in water).  After graduation she created murals and stained glass commissions, designed costumes and sets for community theater productions, and briefly interned at the famed State Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

The career of an artist is not always a linear path, and in 1991 she changed direction and earned an MA in Slavic Languages from the University of St. Petersburg; she then moved to the United States, where she worked in the field of linguistics for nearly two decades—until the Art Muse re-emerged in the early 2000s.

Her new paintings explore vivid colors with organic forms in an abstract expressionistic style. In “Micro World,” twisting organic forms seem magnified, like individual threads from a swatch of fabric seen through a microscope:

Micro World, Tatiana L. Sougakova. Acrylic, 16″ x 20″

A return to painting certainly opens the door for reflection and experimentation. Although slightly different stylistically, I was drawn to the beautiful little painting “Celebration.” Perhaps this painting celebrates her Russian heritage and return to artistic life—images of colorful Slavic folk-dance costumes, and extraordinary hand-painted Easter eggs come to mind in this playful piece:

Celebration, Tatiana L. Sougakova. Acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″

“I do not paint images. I paint energy,” she explains. For Sougakova, her use of color and pattern is a way of capturing that energy and transmitting it to the viewer. Her process is one of discovery and exploration. She often paints to classical music, the impetus for a rhythm and flow in her paintings. These qualities are clearly evident in the ongoing Sundaze series:

Sundaze, Tatiana L. Sougakova. An ongoing series of over twenty acrylic works.

From a very early age, Sougakova developed a fascination with the bright color and transparency of stained glass. That fascination continues today in her experiments with transparent and semi-transparent images, in her search to discover more flexible ways to present color and light to similar vibrant effects. On her site, she posts works in progress , and here is a sneak preview of one of her latest works:

Untitled, Tatiana L. Sougakova. Work in progress.

Tatiana L. Sougakova has been exhibiting in the United States since 2007.  Her work has been featured in juried solo and group shows in galleries and alternative spaces.

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