All News & Blogs
Russian-born Stafford woman creates whimsical sculptures, paintings.
Marina Sciascia sculpts witches, gnomes, trolls and other whimsical characters from her imagination. No detail is too small.
PHOTOS BY MARIE SICOLA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
In college, she studied to become an interior designer. But the collapse of the Soviet economy made it difficult to earn a living in that field, she said. So she earned a degree in cosmetology and practiced as a beautician for 16 years, developing her own lotions and face creams from all-natural ingredients.
"But all this time, I have a dream to make something like art," said Sciascia.
She was married and divorced and raised a daughter, now a professional makeup artist and beautician in Krasnodar.
In 2004, a friend urged Sciascia to try online dating. She was skeptical, but agreed to give it a go.
Eight time zones away, Andy Sciascia was also reluctantly trying online dating. A widower, he wanted to meet a Christian woman--preferably a redhead--to share his life with.
The two met on the Internet in March 2004. By October, they were married.
"It was all orchestrated by God," said Andy Sciascia.
Marina Sciascia said she knew he was "the one" the first time he reached for her hand and she didn't tense up as she'd done with others.
"He took my hand and I understand something unusual," she said. "I was comfortable with his hand, and I knew, 'This is my man.'"
DREAM BECOMES REALITY
Andy Sciascia works on construction projects throughout the Washington region, and the couple settled in North Stafford.
Not long after coming to Virginia, Sciascia said she asked her husband if there were any art stores nearby. That's when she discovered Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric. She bought watercolors and acrylic paints and began painting fantastic scenes, many inspired by the fairy tales she'd devoured as a child.
With clay, she fashioned quirky characters who looked as if they'd feel right at home in a Tim Burton film. Each is one-of-a-kind--she doesn't use molds--and she dresses them in handmade, hand-painted outfits adorned with jewels, flowers, ribbons and buttons.
Molded onto wire skeletons, the figures have movable limbs. Sciascia said she'd like to use some for stop-motion animation films one day.
Her husband had no idea she had a flair for the artistic until he got a look at her creations.
"At first, I thought a demon possessed her. She had the weirdest-looking characters. I said, 'Man, what is she reading?'" he said, laughing. "But she has a very, very whimsical mindset, and she loves doing it."
Sciascia said she recalls a childhood filled with browns and grays, but her work explodes with reds and purples, blues and greens.
She sells most of her work via eBay, and her pieces have gone to doll collectors as far away as Spain, Russia and Switzerland. She also occasionally paints murals for children's rooms and has created illustrations for a friend in Moscow who is working on a story book.
Just about every day, she's creating something new.
"I am hungry about my art," she said. "It was my dream and I so long waited."
The only problem?
"I have so many ideas, but only two hands," she said.
Edie Gross: 540/374-5428
You can see some of Marina Sciascia's paintings and sculptures at blogs.mail.ru/mail/marina90_2003. Descriptions are in English and Russian.
Sciascia can be reached via email at Itali77ano@yahoo.com.