Plamena Antonova Doycheva, born in Varna, Bulgaria, made her studies at the School of Visual Arts in her home city and then at the National Academy of Fine Arts, in Sofia, under Prof. Peter Chuklev (1996-2002).
Since 2001, she has been an active participant with her works in some of the major International Print Exhibitions and Ex Libris Competitions namely, in Bulgaria and in several European countries, in Turkey, Mexico, Uruguay, the USA and Argentina.
During 2007, she was present with her works at International Ex Libris or Graphic Competitions at Gliwice, Poland, Belgrade, Serbia, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, Cremona & Bodio Lomnago Library, Italy, Malbork, Poland, and at The Second International Ex-Libris Competition, Ankara, Turkey.
In 2004, at the International Ex-Libris Competition «The sun and the moon» – Fine Arts Museum Claudio León Sempere, in Buenos Aires, she won a Mention “Ex-Aequo”. The Artist considers her participation in these Exhibitions and International Competitions an important factor being an opportunity to show her works in other countries and to be seen by a wider audience.
Her interest for bookplates goes back to when she was a student at the National Fine Arts Academy, in Sofia and she admits that in creating ex libris, the Artist must take into account the personality of the person who ordered the ex libris which she believes is an enriching experience. Creating ex libris or other small prints is according to the Artist a stimulating process since it poses greater demands in composition than in big prints.
Plamena Doychea uses with mastery several intaglio engraving techniques in her works such as Etching (C3), Drypoint (C4), Aquatint (C5) and Mezzotint (C7) and often a combination of these techniques, with stunning results.
Despite their difficulties she equally likes all these techniques, since she wants to control all the creative process from engraving to printing and that is why she does not like lithography so much.
To P. Doycheva, the choice of the technique to be used depends on several factors, but mostly on her planned notion of the ex libris. The Artist makes sketches, not very detailed, for the composition and outlines, admitting that as the engraving process develops «more things happen directly on the plate».
The Artist places special care in the choice of plates, colors, papers since all these are important for the final output – the print.
Fine examples of hers accomplished work are the ex libris (Fig. 1) for the 3º Concorso Internazionale di Ex Libris, for the Library of Comune di Bodio Lomnago and the engraving – «Red» (Fig. 2), in which depth and contrast are paramount.
Although her engravings are mostly printed in color, Doycheva also favors the black and white or single color print, as can be seen in the ex libris made for Ana Antonova (Fig. 3) and the print executed with the Drypoint technique (Fig. 4) or the amazing «Snail» (Fig. 5), apparently gloomier but no less enchanting, vigorous and full of expressiveness.
Amidst the younger generation of fine Bulgarian graphic artists, Plamena Doycheva is certainly a promising and rising star, given her creativeness and her capacity to express emotions in abstract forms, yet subtle and enigmatic.
A particular interesting and fine example is the ex libris made for the International Competition – “The Dream of Aphrodite” -Rotary Club of Acquiterme, Ovada, Italy (Fig. 6).
The Artist is a Member of the Union of Artists, in Varna.