GUEST ARTIST: “Something New Each Day” by Natalie Rjedkin Lee

Today’s doodlewashes come to us from Natalie Rjedkin Lee (who goes by Natasha), in Manassas, Virginia (follow her on Instagram!). She currently works as a Museum Registrar for the Smithsonian Institution and began making art at a very young age. They say that genetics do not lie and in Natasha’s case this is definitely true.

Her great great great grandfather is Konstantine Karlovich Klodt, the famous Russian engraver who was the brother of Petr K. Klodt the sculptor and the father of Mikhail K. Klodt the famous landscape painter. Her grandfather George P. Rjedkin and father Igor G. Rjedkin were master wood carvers. An example of their woodwork is the Iconostasis from St Seraphim’s church, New York on exhibit at the Moscow State University.

Her family tree is littered with artists and artisans so it was no wonder that at an early age her parents recognized in her a talent for drawing. She was promptly enrolled in private art lessons at the age of eight. She continued with her teacher, Michael Lermontov, until the age of 24, at first studying and then later using the studio for independent driven work.

Interspersed in that period were studio classes in high school and college. She was classically trained in graphite, acrylic, oil, and pastel work, but it was the pastel and graphite that really appealed. By the age of seventeen, Natasha was taking commissions for portraits and by age 24 she had her first showing in New York as part of a group of promising Russian-American artists.

However, as they say, life gets in the way, and after moving to Virginia and starting the professional part of her life, making art seemed to fall by the wayside. Periodically between getting married and starting a family there were some guild art classes and projects, but they were few.

In 2013, she saw an inspirational quote that would change everything:

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.”

Newly inspired, Natasha decided to begin again and this time, make it stick. At first, it was drawing classes and then a watercolor class this summer and she has not looked back since.

Natasha says, “Watercolor was a new experience. I had no experience with the medium and it was a new challenge. I like the unpredictability of it. It can be highly detailed or very abstract. It’s portable and makes it easy to draw/paint on a daily basis. That’s my goal. To create something on a daily basis and practice, practice, practice. What I really want to explore further is mono print making with watercolors.”

Natasha is currently on Instagram taking part in #Inktober. Pen, brush, and ink are a new territory and she loves the challenge. On good weather days, she can be found drawing and painting in the gardens of the Smithsonian. On bad weather days, she can be found at her drawing desk working on new commissions. Her other hobbies include needlework and photography.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful art and story with us, Natasha! So happy to include you in the doodlewash family and we’ll all be watching to see what you’ll make next!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists

31 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Something New Each Day” by Natalie Rjedkin Lee

  1. Natasha, I’m so happy to read your story here and get to know you better! I’ve had great fun palling around with you on IG. I love seeing your posts and I feel like you help keep me going, which I am grateful for. It’s wonderful to get to know people with common interests, as well as diversity. As much as the downside of social media is known, this type of connection is a boon. Best wishes to you. And Charlie, I feel like you are making a bit of magic happen here with your inclusive blog. XO

    1. Jessica, I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply. Charlie had to literally draw me a road map to get to the comment section of this post. (Charlie, I still can’t do it from my phone. Stupid iPhone) So here I am on the laptop. I’m so touched, really. And I feel the same! Life is hard as it is and I’m all for empowering and encouraging. I’m glad it comes through. I always check your account to see what new has been put on paper or what new product you’ve tried. Your work and this site (Charlie) always make my day a little lighter and a iittle brighter. Thank you for that! I hope that in the years to come that sharing exchange will never falter. XO

  2. Another artist to follow! And I agree with Jessica that you are making magic here.. I have no internet service at home at the moment and my cell service is spotty but when I can, I will follow on IG.. 😊

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it. We’ll see what happens after October is over. I may start working on longer projects and won’t post every day or I may start sketching everything that is on my desk at work. The possibilities are endless. And that’s exciting!

    1. Thank you Patricia! I love that piece too. I drew that butterfly when I was 16. That was a loooooooong time ago! LOL! I’m so glad you like it!

  3. Charlie! Thank you so much for asking me to be a guest Doodlewasher. I’m so honored and so thrilled to be a small part of this blog. I can’t tell you how much! I think what you are doing here is so amazing and so positive. I wish you great success with it. XO

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