Russian born artist Elena Valerie moved down under four years ago. Australia’s lush landscapes and breathtaking flora inspired her to discover her talent for art and reinvent herself as a visual artist. Elena sought tutors and mentors to perfect her work and show her how to express her own unique vision and style. Elena uses oils, to capture the beauty of flora in a realistic manner and utilises glazing layers to add depth and enrich her vibrant artworks with emotion.
When did you start painting?
It was not until I immigrated to Australia, four years ago, that I took up painting. I realised immediately that creating art was what I was looking for all my life. Since then, I’ve invested a lot of my time and finances to acquire training from a variety of artists including John Wilson, Marcel Desbiens, Andrew Bonneau and Lyn Diefenbach. I longed to study the proper knowledge and techniques of drawing and painting in depth from fundamental classical studies to contemporary art.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
When I came to Australia I was amazed with the tropical flora and its inherent attraction of exotic colours. For the first time, I had a home with a garden with tropical flowers and I began to absorb its charm while studying their forms and colours. Painting projects relax my soul, I have never experienced another activity that fulfills be with the same kind of elation, as I experience with art.
How did your style evolve into what it is today?
My children were born in Australia and watching the innocence of a young flowering life during motherhood is something I’ve echoed in my paintings. The harmonious and life giving part of our wondrous world and its inhabitants are the core of my work.
Do you ever draw inspiration from flowers that are native to Russia?
The flowers I paint would not be considered typically Russian, but are found in the whole of Europe, such as roses, tulips, lilies of the valley and peonies. My grandmother had a rose garden that still vividly lives on in my memory.
What’s your favourite flower to paint?
Roses are definitely one of them, but I love almost all flowers as I discover something unique in each of them. I am fascinated by their colour and shapes and how light penetrates through petals. Flowers offer the planet a natural artwork, they make us happy and we use them to show affection. What would the world be without blossoming gardens and landscapes?
Why is the meaning and symbolism behind each flower important to you?
For me flowers reflect womanhood, the nurturing of love and feelings as well as sensuality. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The earth laughs in flowers”. It seems that the only reason for flowers to exist is to give joy. I get lost in stories about flowers and their historical impact for example, in Greek mythology and European tradition. The story of the edelweiss fascinates me notably, a flower that represents courage, survives extreme conditions of high altitude and low temperature.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions for your work?
I am currently working on a series called ‘In Bloom’ for an exhibition on the Gold Coast that’s open to the public around Christmas
For more of Elena Valerie’s work please visit Art Lovers Australia here.