This Russian artist's favorite subject is flowers, which she represents with a sweetness and a poetry built on a rigorous design. On most of her still lifes she adds an insect or a small animal.
Elena was born in 1968 in Slantsy, near the border with Estonia. Her family moved to St Petersburg and she attended the art school attached to the Academy of Fine Arts until 1986. She was accepted as a student at the Academy itself, and graduated from the Graphics Department in 1992.
From 1989 she has had work accepted by several different publishers in St Petersburg and now has a very successful career as a book illustrator. She had recently completed the design and illustration of a Russian edition of lewis Carroll’s own young children’s version of Alice in Wonderland. In 1995 she became a member of the Russian Union of Artists.
Between 1995 and 1999 she took part in exhibitions in Germany, France and Switzerland. In 1999 her work was awarded the ‘behst in show’ prize by visitor ballot at the International New Watercolours Biennale in Germany. Subsequently she had one-woman shows in several galleries in England where it has been very well received.
The painter provides an encrypted image that the viewer decodes. The most important thing to understand is that composition is at the service of something: there is in every painting an important element, a center around which the many other subordinate elements are articulated. It is probably here that meaning, knowledge and experience come together. The key to any composition is a sense of harmony and a knowledge of the harmonic nature of our world. Since the earliest times, humanity has been able to make the most of this knowledge, which is found in the formula of the golden section, that is, the mathematical incarnation of the harmonious relationship between forms existing in nature. Any composition can be created and verified with this logic. In my painting, I use the greatest possible number of compositional tools at my disposal: the story itself that I am trying to tell (the synopsis of my painting), the colors, the values, the space, rhythms, contrasts, scale, line, etc. are all elements that I use. I am guided by my emotions and feelings when I set up my composition. Then I turn to logic to analyze what I have done and check what it has given, before having recourse to my emotions, etc. It's a process of going back and forth between reason and feeling that is endless.The Art of Watercolour #15, p24 Elena Bazanova