From the Studio of… Ignata Vassileva

We are pleased to share with you this look into the life and studio of Bulgaria-based artist, Ignata Vassileva.

Favorite material to work with?
My favorite materials to work with are oil, ink, and pencil.

What themes do you pursue?
The Garden of Eden, Medieval gardens, and people and nature in harmony.

How many years as an artist?
Prior to learning to read and write… I started drawing in the margins of the books which I was taught to read. I was told off, yet nothing helped and I went on drawing. It was a long time ago.

See Ignata’s portfolio here

Where is your studio?
I transformed half of my flat in Sofia into a studio. It’s located in a quiet area near the Vitosha mountain.

Art school or self-taught?
The Jules Pascin Academy in Sofia.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I cannot start anything without music and a cup of nice Japanese green tea. It wouldn’t work otherwise. Mozart, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Monteverdi… and the sweet aroma of green tea… Everything in the world comes at its place! Harmony!

Click here to view Ignata’s paintings

What’s around the corner from your place?
There are 5 to 6 50-year-old linden trees (intoxicating aroma in June) on the one side and 3 old apple trees, many cherry trees, a wild pear tree, lilac, rose bushes… and about 30 species of birds.

Where can we find you outside the studio?
You can find me outside the studio at the University Botanical Garden Sofia, or with my friends associated with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, or at a Japanese tea ceremony.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
Botanist, ornithologist.

“Song in the Golden Garden”

What do you collect?
I collect books on botany, ornithology, tea cups, and superb tea.

Favorite contemporary artist?
David Hockney

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
“Eight-Planked Bridge (Yatsuhashi)” by Ogata Korin

Who are your favorite writers?
I like Medieval Chinese poetry, Japanese haikus by Basho and Issa, Plato, St. Augustine the Blessed, Medieval chroniclers…

“Green Summer”

Is painting dead?
No, this is impossible! The pleasure to paint what you are excited about, the pleasure to play with colours, with composition… There will always be artists who cannot resist this absorbing temptation.

Monet or Manet?
Monet! One day I want to have a garden more wonderful than his.


What inspires you?
I love medieval books. They hide images and words, the spirit of a past age in which there was still a harmonious link between man and nature.

The gardens that I create in my paintings are strongly influenced not only by the texts and miniatures in the old codices, but also by the everyday destruction of nature in our world. The gardens in the medieval Near East and Europe had the Paradise as its model. The selection of the plants to be included was dependent on rules and symbols. The Far East cannons were quite different in the creation of a garden an in its depiction. Nevertheless the two cases were similar in the fact that a harmonious connection was sought with nature.

When I pain and draw, I fill my gardens with birds and plants which hardly survive in the harsh ecological conditions of the modern world. I’d like to give them a small – even though imaginary place – where they would feel happy.


  1. Hermit says:

    Your understanding of both botany and ornithology clearly shows in the work that you do. They’re of a quality that wouldn’t be out of place in such books on those subjects :)

    • Ignata Vassileva says:

      The temtation to envent something on my own is combined with what I observe and this makes me a story teller – my stories and tales are with happy endings, which distinguishes them from any scientific illustration… I simply cannot stand the sad paintings of destructed nature – this is when I start searching for beauty… and I hope I can find it. :)

  2. Cheryll says:

    Your paintings are beautiful

  3. Oggie says:

    Wonderful unique paintings.

  4. Anna de Paula says:

    Your paintings are so delightful! I am proud to be your first cousin. Let’s drink some Japanese tea the next time I visit Bulgaria. Keep on creating beauty!

    • Ignata Vassileva says:

      Hi Anne! Thanks for good words! Може и китайски чай да пием…при мен има всякакви видове ! ;)

  5. Katya Piccione says:

    Wonderful paintings! I’d like to see more of them here! Thank you.

  6. Georgie says:

    Fantastic, beautiful paintings!!

  7. Ignata Vassileva says:

    Тhank you!
    I aspire to this! :)

  8. Darocha says:

    Thank you Ignata Vassileva for your wonderfull world and paintings. Great Art.
    Beyond the time line of beauty. This is really art.

  9. Bri.buckley says:

    Wonderful work beautifully painted wish you great success

  10. There is a wonderful sensitivity to your painting and drawing. Your work is very beautiful indeed. Bravo!

  11. Rosalind says:

    Beautiful work! I especially love your paintings that include gold leaf.

  12. Mariana says:

    Love your work!!!! beautifull!

  13. Esmira Gul says:

    Ignata, thanks for your art! It radiates harmony & positive energy.

  14. Olgateresa says:

    I love your work and am trying to discipline myself for more detail…however I love the whimsical style and I want to incorporate more “beautiful foliage and animals” in my work.. I work in oil and pastel. How long does it take for you to complete a drawing?…does it take a long time for you to create your pieces? otb

    • Ignata Vassileva says:

      I make pictures and drawings, a huge amount.
      Then read and seen in old books and painted it in the gardens is collected on my mind and begins the process of creating each composition. Long process!

  15. Cherry Hall says:

    Very interesting to read the answers to the Questions – love the sound of those trees near where you live and how you work . Beautiful work .

  16. Здравей!Поздравления за красивите творби!!!
    Виж и моите неща ако искаш!


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