God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing. - Rabindranath Tagore
My palette knife oil impasto textured technique has emerged as my favorite medium for the present moment. I also enjoy working with my fresco style paintings, abstracts, photography and wood Intarsia projects.
I was born in Russia and am now living in Colorado. I received my formal art education through three years of correspondence courses with the Moscow Art Academy. I consider myself more as a self-taught artist. I am always eager to learn something new and experiment with new ideas.
My interest in art was inspired and probably inherited from my father. He was a talented artist who painted still life and nature. He was also an independent writer and philosopher. He coached me in my art education and taught me about beauty, sensitivity, humanity and joy. If there is no joy, I can't work at all.
I believe the ability to perceive Beauty brings inner peace and clarity. Creation is possible when that inner peace is attained. When this happens, it can manifest itself outside in different forms including art.
When I do my art work, I don't perceive myself as a creator, because there is no 'ME' in creation. I see myself more as a conductor and a tool to transform INNER into OUTER. Where there is inner joy, peace and beauty, it is sure to manifest itself. Inspiration of an artist is ability to hear that call and preserve it in color. The language/message of art: its colors, shapes, perfume and energetic field around - preserved in an art form.
My philosophy is about that INNER world, because inner and outer are related. It is like a wave between two worlds. I believe that understanding (truth), which is perception of beauty, comes as a splash with that wave. If one is blessed with perception of beauty, one is capable of recognizing Truth. That state is a state of goodness, compassion and love - therefore peace, inside and out.
Where there is INNER peace, OUTER is always reflecting it. The same is also true for outer peace. It brings harmony that is a necessary balance in life. It is vital for a healthy, energetic, productive life. Art makes that possible. It has its ability to pass that blessing to everybody and everything around. It is the law of life. That solid LAW that BEAUTY, TRUTH AND GOODNESS are ONE. There is no place for opposite in such world. Where that Trinity Is, everything is taking care of, creation happens.
As John Updike said: “The artist brings something into the world that did not exist before, and they do it without destroying anything else.”
The art that has been created does even more. It transforms everything around it with its energy. It heals.
I teach myself through reading, meditation, observation and practice. However, there is a foundation for all of these methods. I’m aware of a very real inner world, where all creativity is born. It gives me the power and energy to act, to transform that energy into a form of art. The final product I call - wall decor ;)
My desire for that wall decor is to imprint that eternal limitless energy into a limited art frame. I've learned that sometimes vivid, alive colors can do it all. I use it in my abstract paintings and palette knife technique. Palette knife is a wonderful tool to create texture, vivid colors, and to reach impasto surface. When I want to paint something surreal or abstract or landscape, I use palette knife. It is good also for impressionism and cityscape and seascape, still life, flowers, people, etc. The list goes on and on.
I'm in love with palette knife and sometimes with very heavy impasto technique. It is almost three-dimensional in appearance and leaves visible brush or palette knife strokes in the painting. For me, impasto is a type of sculpture on canvas. The only tool I use is a palette knife. From the front, impasto paint is highlighted by whatever natural light is in the room (since it sticks out so much) and with heavy impasto you will be able to see shadows underneath the paint too. Also, I combine modern art with antique style technique. Check it out and you'll be in love too!
My Russian heritage gave me a desire to reproduce Russian icons, Greek and Italian frescoes. With that classic Fresco-Secco style, I create an antique look to my paintings. I have made some Russian Orthodox icons too. I'm not an iconographer, but I learn to create all my art with that sacred spirit.
Russians believe that every Russian icon is inextricably connected to the soul of the Christian iconographer, of the believer who comes to the icon as a spiritual, symbolic representation of Christ, His Mother, or His Saints. The Russian people do not approach icons as idols, but as the spiritual image of the one to whom his soul addresses itself in sorrowful or joyous prayer.
The Russian iconographer creates his icons with prayer and fasting, and it is understandable that it is said that the hand of the iconographer is held by an angel of God. He considers that it is not his hand but his soul that had created the icon, with the blessing of God. Look at an ancient Russian icon, look at the Mother of God of Vladimir, at her eyes and you will read such strength of spirit, faith in God's mercy and grace, and such hope for salvation. You will see not just eternal beauty. Here are a few links to icons I have created:
I also do photography and I'm learning a lot from our local Camera Photo Club. We have healthy competition twice a month. Through this we learn together how to use cameras and that wonderful tool called Photoshop.
You can find more of Lena's work online at Fine Art America:
If you’d like to see more of Lena’s work in person, the following galleries are currently showing her work:
Art Depot Center
2069 W Powers Avenue, Littleton, CO 80120
Gilpin Art Gallery
117 Eureka Street, Central City, CO 80427
877 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
Mountain Living Studio
741 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO
Roxborough Art Gallery
8357 N Rampart Range Road, Littleton, CO 80125