“Like Frida Kahlo, the only thing I know is that I paint because I need to.”
Tsveti Sowers first became interested in painting in 5th grade. “I remember trying to make egg tempera to mimic oil paint, which was very unusual for kids.” Tsveti says she began focusing more on painting after moving from Bulgaria to America. She was inspired after volunteering at the VMFA, and took classes with Dawn Whitelaw, Anne Blair Brown, and David Tanner who became great mentors. Through these classes, Tsveti says she learned how to fully express what she was trying to say in her paintings.
Tsveti aspires to paint in the Impressionistic style capturing ever changing, light-filled moments. “I enjoy the spontaneity of painting, I paint fast to capture a moment quickly. I don’t have time to knit pick and focus on details, unless it’s a big project.” Like most Impressionists, Tsveti is inspired by everything natural and organic. “It brings us back to what is fundamental in life, things that ground us. Life is so busy and wild, we need to take time to appreciate everything around us.”
Tsveti attributes her love of painting flowers, and gardens, to her growing up in the countryside of Bulgaria. Tsveti is planning for a plein air series in the coming months which will specifically focus on scenes around Richmond. “My biggest love is painting from life, it is what’s in my heart and what makes me truly happy.”
While Tsveti has found that painting is often one step forward and two steps back, she continues to pursue her art with passion – and it shows. “Now I am starting to unify my work and follow the style I have created.” For Tsveti, painting is part of her lifestyle and, like Kahlo, a necessity. “If I don’t paint I am not a happy person – I need to paint, every day.”