Diana Savova is a Bulgarian artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She creates realistic and fantasy paintings in different mediums like acrylic, watercolour and oil. In 2003 she graduated from National Academy of Arts, Bulgaria and gained a Master’s Degree in Restoration and Conservation of Paintings.
Diana is from a family of artists and painting has been part of her life as long as she can remember. Over the years she has acquired proficiency in different art media through her professional experience, and through her passion and determination to expand her skills. From 1995 until 2011 she collaborated in collective and solo exhibitions in Bulgaria. She has over 10 years' professional experience across a range of mediums, from set design and painting for the television and film industries to historical art restoration. She has artworks in private collections in Bulgaria, UK and works on commission based work as well.
She has lived in Edinburgh since 2011 and has continued to pursue her art career in Scotland. Now she is the mother and combines being a creative parent with painting!
“I like experimenting and exploring different mediums in my paintings. Each technique is different and requires a different approach. The variety of expression is exciting for me, and that's why I do not stop at one medium in my paintings. This give me freedom and constantly provokes my interest in new stories in my paintings.”
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
I become an artist probably as natural inheritance from my parents. The painting atmosphere in my native home give me desire and inspiration to become an artist. My father was my best teacher.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My style varies because I use different mediums and different approaches in my paintings. I like experimenting and enjoy to see the result. In recent years I discovered the acrylic pouring technique and in combination with traditional painting the result is very fascinating for me.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future? Painting is essential part of my life, so I see my future hand by hand with painting.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
I can’t resist of the beauty of the nature, sunshine and shadows. The most important thing in my paintings are the light and colour. In my landscapes painting is important to recreate the moment and the specific light and colour for this moment. In my fantasy works I like to mix the reality and imagination. I find exciting to provoke the audience’s imagination to see a story and emotions in the paintings.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, and maybe even other artists?
The most important person to encourage and inspire me along my way was my father. All my life he was my best teacher and counselor. Even now when he is not alive I feel his support and use what he teach me.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
In the recent years I have used an acrylic and watercolour technique. I like the combination of the details overall. That’s why I use very small and big brushes. Spatulas & credit cards could be very useful instruments. I have enjoyed this new approach to my paintings - the combination of pouring technique and detailed realistic painting together. Although this technique is hard to control and to know the end result of each pouring. But this combination of the accidental and controlled result I find interesting.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
Light, colour, nature, iconography, mythology, mood, and emotion - these are some key words in my art themes.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
I use sketches to catch and develop my ideas on paper with pencil. This is how I keep the idea safe and protect it from disappearing.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is it more a case of when the moment is right you work?
As a parent of small child I have limited time for painting. So I use every free time to paint. My husband is great support when I want to finish some project. Usually I start early in the morning when my sun is at nursery. If it possible some days I could work all day long.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I usually focus on one piece of art but not ever. The painting process is complicate for me. Sometimes working goes very well but sometimes is like exhausting fight, that’s why I leave the painting beside for a few days and work on something else.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
My art is closely related with my life and consciousness. It follows me in the years and it changes as I change. This is part of my path as a person. I hope this is kind of personal evolution.
Which of your artworks are you most proud off?
There is no specific work I am most proud. The latest works are always most valuable at the present moment.
"Scottish Landscape", Diana Savova, Acrylic on Canvas, 40x50cm, 2013
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
Impressionism, Secession, Art Nouveau.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
To find a way to show your art works to the audience in real and not only virtual space.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
I have some works on stage and probably will come back to them someday. The opposite thing is when you can’t see that the painting is already done. I know from my dad that’s is very important to know when is time to stop. It is not hard to spoil some painting if its overwork. I am grateful that I have learn when it is time to sign it.
"Dreaming", Diana Savova, Acrylic on Canvas, 40cm x 50cm, 2017
What are you working on at the moment?
I am nearly finish one project. It is about four painting in acrylic pouring technique. The idea is to paint four seasons symbolised as four ladies.