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The fanciful world of artist Maria Maneva

Maria Maneva expresses her ideas through natural materials with the ease other artists use brushes and paints. And if for most of us seashells and pebbles are only a memory of our summer vacation, Maria Maneva views them as a source of art.

Their natural beauty and brilliance is due to the use of colorless varnish, Maria Maneva explains. “We don’t notice the lifeless shells lying on the sand under our feet until a sea wave washes them clean. Then they show us their incredible brilliance. The same happens in this art, Gabrovo-born artist Maria went on to say.”


It all started when destiny took her to the Black Sea capital Varna. “Life took me to Varna and God blessed me with this art, because I knew nothing about it”, Maria Maneva said in an interview for Radio Bulgaria:

“I saw sea mosaic in 2008 for the first time. After I made my first attempts in this field, I developed my own mixed technique. My works of art contain mussels, pebbles, seashells with natural colors. I use sand for background. I color the sand to make the work look more expressive. Thus, I give my painting dimension.”


Maria admits that most of her paintings contain motifs of flowers and birds. “The inspiration comes from the material itself. When I collect or sort them, an image of a flower or a bird’s wing appears in front of me. I try to recreate them as close to reality as possible and work with their natural shape and color. My paintings have become more precise and beautiful over the years”, Maria Maneva said further.


The artist has participated at several joint and solo exhibitions. In her words, her husband is her biggest admirer and her daughter, who studies at the National School of Arts “Dobri Hristov” in Varna, does not spare her criticism. As for the coronavirus pandemic, which radically changed people’s lives, Maria says the following:

“I worked very hard during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new situation did not affect my psyche. On the contrary, I was even more active and ambitious, because I work alone anyway.


People engaged in this type of art are working alone and long hours. May we all rejoice in divine health! Hopefully, the pandemic will soon be over and those who suffered from this illness recover, because health is the most important thing in life”, the artist went on to say and added: “I pray for peace and love in the families, especially in the days of isolation, because the family has a very important role in society. Let’s help each other and do good!”


English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: courtesy of Maria Maneva

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