Absence makes the art grow fonder 

Art on the Edge Studio Tour returns after COVID hiatus

by Sabine Wilson

Bakhtina is a powerful fine art painter whose works are easy to get lost in. Painting with her heart on her sleeve, Bakhtina revisits her childhood in Russia to draw inspiration from and also to pay homage to.

"My childhood inspires my work. I came here in the 90s after the Soviet Union was dismantled," she said. "A lot of my work ties back to my heritage and my culture and that is very grounding for me."

Weaving in themes of home, nostalgia and infinity Bakhtina merges a feeling of home with her experience living in America.

"As an immigrant, I had to connect myself with something that isn't in my immediate surroundings," Bakhtina said. "So, I find myself painting landscapes in various forms whether inside my characters or reflected onto something. The deep forest is where I'm most connected because of course, all of the Russian forests."

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Artist making her mark in Toledo

by Susan Schuytema, August 20, 2021

There are things that for me, as an emigrant of the United States, have influenced my work in a very real way. That longing and nostalgia for our homelands can be crippling at times for emigrants. I paint what I need to paint." Nearly all her paintings include elements of the landscape of her youth.

"The closest link for me is the astounding visceral sensation of being in a place you love. Place, for me, has always been an important concept," she explained.

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Local Artist Yelizaveta Bakhtina Mixes Old and New World Art to Olympia

by Gabriel Basea

I met with Veta in her studio. Inside, the walls are filled with her recent works and the cabinets are loaded with well-loved paint tubes and distressed brushes. She offered me a fresh carrot and the interview began. Veta grew up in St. Petersburg at the end of the communist era when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Recalling her childhood, she had nothing but good things to say. Her family had properties in both the buzzing city and the peaceful countryside so her environments were diverse, and being a child, she didn't have to bear the weight of being an adult in such a serious time. She also came from a literary family: her grandfather was an author. "We also had family friends that were translators," she shares, "which afforded me an immense library of children's books from around the world that were translated into Russian".

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