Elena Dobrovolskaya


Artist Statement:

First of all I need to say I am a realist. That means I am drawing and painting a real objects and people around me. I know I am “out of trend” because an abstract and imaginative art has taken a leading role now, which is quite disappointing. There are so many beautiful things in our life (reality), you just need to notice it.  So here we go to the artist’s task – to notice and show it to the others, adding a little bit of your personal touch. There is a whole artist’s life inside this “ little touch” – his thoughts, his experience, his taste and his vision. As a result the real life picture looks differently in different artist’s works.

 When I was running my travel company a few years ago, our slogan was “Beauty is in details”. Now I can restate it as my artist’s credo. 

When I turned to oil-painting, I started with still-life. I prefer arranging compositions with fruits, flowers and some befitting objects to explore the beauty of color combinations and the game of shapes, lights and shadows. From time to time, I still enjoy painting still-life, but recently I have been concentrating on portraiture. I really believe there is nothing more interesting in nature than a human face. It always is about a character and a story behind it, which is marvelous!

 Looking at my portraits, people are usually saying something about Gauguin or Van Gogh resemblance, perhaps because of my color palette. I do want to say that I found my inspiration in the portraits of late 15th century German artists like Hans Memling (my favorite), Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein the Elder and others. They belong to the Northern Renaissance period and have this beautiful elegant simplicity (which is false by the way), a fine silhouette definition on the sole-colored background, triumph and dominance of Her Majesty Line, herefrom they look more like graphic works than oil paintings. I love that, as the drawing itself is very important for me. I started as a graphic artist and brought it into my oil works. Also their ability of using just a few colors is fascinating and so powerful! It immediately catches the viewer’s eye from any corner of the room but when they approach the portrait attracted by Color, they are seeing only the Face, everything else is flickering out… that is Mastery!

 I do not hope to even approach this level of excellence, but they have inspired me tremendously. In my portraits I am trying to use only two main colors except body tone itself which is lightening up in front of this setting. I also love to stage classical poses for my models but together with the bright color palette it looks rather modern as a result.