Hello Dear Lidia Mikhaylova. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is how does “Covid-19” affect your art?
First, thank you so much Marvelous Art Gallery for giving me the opportunity to talk to you, it is a great honor for me.
I would say that isolation has had a positive effect on my artistic practice. Of course, there were some stressful moments, but painting helped me stay sane and focused. I am deeply convinced that living in a world where we cannot have control over everything and where there are no guarantees, we can nevertheless do our best every day. I spent most of the time in quarantine in Newton, MA, I walked a lot and painted everything that surrounds me. Observing simple American life — these wonderful houses with gardens and the ocean — strengthened my opinion that we are surrounded by wonderful things in everyday life, we just need to learn to notice and appreciate them. During this period, I studied a lot of different techniques, I came up with new projects, I kept painting the ocean and began painting on silk. I have a lot of creative ideas and plans!

Can you describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I have a friend, Zhanna Lee, and she is a Certified Tantra Educator & Holistic Intimacy Coach. I attended her workshop MY BODY IS A TEMPLE; its main idea was to learn how to stay grounded and connected in a non-judgmental and heart-opening environment. During the workshop, a realization came to me that as an artist I can also help women, regardless of age, faith and body shapes, to develop and feel their inner strength and confidence. So I started my Sexual Art project. I chose silk painting for it, which is in my opinion the most refined and lively material, and flowers, as a symbol of female beauty and divine blessing.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

I am a very happy person, because until now I have received only positive responses on my artworks — delight, admiration, gratitude. And I am very glad for this, I have a great feeling of gratitude to my family, my friends and all the buyers of my paintings for supporting me as an artist! I want to tell you about the last review I received for a painting that I named Poppies. I was painting it for a long time and in the final it was very different from the sketch agreed with the customer. In the process of work, I did not put any special meanings into the picture, but simply gave myself up to what came from somewhere from within. I was very worried to show this painting to the customer because she perhaps would not like it,  because I was deviating from the option that we had agreed on. But I did not expect such delight and such personal meanings and insights that the customer saw in it and told me. It was a miracle and magic for me. And it continues to be. I simply called this painting - Poppies, and the customer changed it to Choice. And yes, it really is about choice. About the choice that we make a hundred times a day, and especially about the one when we choose ourselves. And the best praise for me, as an artist, from the client was - “Lidia, your paintings are special, they express a state of soul”. Isn't this the happiness of the artist?

We are seeing a lot of artworks related to nature. Would you like to tell us what fascinates you the most about it?

Everything is pure beauty in nature! Sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, century-old trees, ocean and sea spaces, flowers growing in your own garden or being presented by a loved one — all this and more — this is a wonderful reality around us and it is so beautiful that it often seems that everything is a figment of our imagination. In my works, regardless of what I depict on them, first of all I want to show the viewer how beautiful our world is, both internal and external. It is important for me to fill the viewer with kindness, love and sincerity. My dream is that people contemplating my paintings experience the same feelings that they experience when they fall in love.

Can you give us a spoiler on what’s coming next for Lidia Mikhaylova?

I am currently very passionate about silk painting. I participate in some workshops, try different techniques, and the beauty and practicality of this art draws me in more and more. A couple of months ago I watched David Attenborough's amazing film Life on Our Planet. This film is a message to humanity - and it made me think about how we live on a beautiful Earth and interact with what surrounds us. After watching the film, I thought for a long time how to apply myself, how I can help nature. After all, it is very important to be friends with our planet, to listen to it, to follow it, so that there will be enough not only for our century, but also for our children and great-grandchildren. The beauty of our planet inspires me and other artists, and this beauty comes out through our hands to canvases. There are so many living things around, different things, with a rich inner world, and we need to treat nature as living and feeling. See it alive and feeling. And I wondered — What can I do? And an insight appeared - there is the beauty of nature, I have hands, I have all the necessary materials and there is a great desire to create beauty, and also there is a goal for people to see that many beautiful plants and animals are already threatened with extinction. I became interested in painting and maybe even creating clothes with the meaning, wearing them, giving gifts with the meaning - depicting animals and plants that are threatened with extinction. I see you! I see your faces and I want as many people as possible to see you! We see you! This is such a large and ambitious new project that I really want to bring to my life.
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