Natalia was born in Russia and shortly thereafter her family moved to Sevastopol, in the Ukraine. The city of Sevastopol has many archaeological ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine cultures, and Natalia spent a lot of time exploring and playing among them. In this archaeologically rich environment her fascination with ancient art and culture developed.


While attending art school, Natalia realized that she wanted to spend her life in the world of art, but she discovered that there were few career opportunities in the art field available in the USSR. Instead, Natalia got her MA in history, which gave her an opportunity to work with ancient art and culture in Chersones Historical-Archaeological Museum and National Preserve in Crimea, Ukraine.


Natalia’s first official project was to make a sculpture of Neem Karoli Baba for Ram Dass. It was an amazing process of working with old photographs, Ram Dass and his recollections on what Neem Karoli Baba looked like and how he was. It was a great opportunity to learn about Bhakti Yoga. After the piece was finished, copies of this sculpture were requested by the Neem Karoli Baba’s devotees from all over the country, as well as in India. Soon after, Natalia was commissioned by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., author of many books on philosophy, history and the practice of Yoga, to make a sculpture of Patanjali for the Yoga Research and Education Center. That experience prompted Natalia’s interest in the philosophy of Yoga and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.


In 2002, Natalia volunteered to help film a documentary of a conference between American scientists and the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. The sculpture of the praying Tibetan nun came out of this experience, as well as a deepened interest in meditation and workings of the human mind.


Since 1992, Natalia has been attending workshops led by noted spiritual teachers, she has practiced meditation, self-inquiry, and participated in a Vision Quest and shamanic rituals. In 1994, Natalia finished training in Transpersonal Psychology and Holotropic Breathwork with Stanislav Grof, M.D., and for many years she was a part of Holotropic Breathwork community.


In 1997, Natalia met Michele Cassou, an artist and author of “Live, Paint and Passion,” “Point Zero” and “Kids play,” and the founder of Point Zero Painting (formerly "The Painting Experience"). Natalia was attracted to Michele’s work, so she started to paint and train with her. She realized that this kind of approach to creativity was exactly what she was looking for: art not as a technique that needs to be learned, but art as a spiritual practice, a way of experiencing freedom of self-expression, insights and transformation.


Even though Natalia’s sculptures are product-oriented work, and painting is a process-oriented practice, in both, she applies her understanding of a deeper meaning of creativity and incorporates everything that she has learned and experienced throughout the years.


Natalia has assisted Michele Cassou in her workshops at Esalen Institute, CA, Zen Centers in MA and Los Angeles, Zist Art Center in Munich, Germany, and studios in San Francisco, Chicago and Taos, NM.


For several years, Natalia taught process painting in Sophia Center in Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. During the last decade, Natalia has been leading her own painting workshops in California, New York, Florida, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Russia and the Ukraine.


Additional Information:


•Natalia is a recipient of an art grant from the George Sugarman Foundation.

•Photographs of Natalia’s sculpture are featured on 2 book covers: “The Essential Yoga Sutra,” by Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally, and “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” by Edwin F. Bryant.

•Public collections of sculptures: Omega Institute, NY; Hanuman Gar Temple in Kainchi, India; Ashrams: Roseland, FL, Los Angeles, CA; Yoga Research and Education Center, CA.

•Sculptures in numerous private collections.


Even though she enjoyed her work, Natalia still longed for her own artistic self-expression, as well as for her personal freedom. In the USSR she could not explore the deeper meaning of art, spirituality, and mystical traditions in which she was strongly interested. Natalia felt that life had a greater meaning than what Soviet ideology was offering to people, so she decided to immigrate to the United States.


As soon as Natalia arrived in San Francisco and adjusted to her new life, she continued her education in art at the College of Marin, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute. She was especially passionate about sculpting, and after a few years, in 1997, she started to make sculptures professionally. It seemed like every art project was opening a new window into something Natalia needed to experience.