Contemporary realist artist with an impressionistic touch, painting water in all forms and human condition
Elena Degenhardt (b. 1977) is a Siberian-born German artist, now based in Düsseldorf, exhibiting internationally. Classically trained in art in Russia, she obtained two Master degrees in literatures and languages and got back to art only in 2015, after an international career in teaching and translating. Between 2015 and 2018, she attended pastel classes with Jo Hall at the Norden Farm Centre the Arts in England, portrait master classes with Gareth Reid and life figure drawing classes with Jesmond Vassallo at the Malta Society of Arts. Professional artist since 2017, Elena is now a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America (PSA), Associate Member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art, UK (ASGFA), Associate Artist of the Unison Colour, Member of the famous group PoetsArtists (USA) and of the Pastel Guild of Europe. She has exhibited in numerous curated and juried exhibitions in Europe, USA and Canada, receiving ‚Outstanding Pastel’ Award in the BoldBrush International Painting Competition three times. Her work is published in the Yearbook ‘Arte y Libertad XV’ and Leonardo Art Guide 2020 (Galeria Artelibre in collaboration with the MEAM - European Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain), in PoetsArtists publications, in French art magazine Pratique Des Arts and Artists&Illustrators, UK. She was a finalist in several art competitions, including the UART 2019 Online Pastel Competition and Richeson75 Landscape&Architecture Competition 2020 and a semi-finalist in the Art Renewal Center 15th ARC Salon (2020). Elena’s multicultural and multilingual experience has influenced her artistic choice of themes, such as lost identities, displacement, human fears, memory and time. Her landscape paintings are not reproductions of an external world but reflections of a personal, inner world. Besides creating artwork for exhibitions, Elena works on portrait and seascape commissions. Her artwork is in private collections throughout Europe, in the USA, Canada and Australia.
"Painting is a very reflective and personal process for me which partially explains my love for soft pastels as they create no barrier between me and the painting surface. I am inspired by water in all forms, people I encounter, natural world around me, smell, light, texture and form of things. Time and memory fascinate me. I work en plein air or from life but also from memory, using my own sketches, colour studies and only my own reference photographs. I only paint and draw what I have lived through.”