Russian-born Elena Dobrovolskaya was drawn to art from her early years but the path to becoming an artist was not a straight one. Despite studying drawing in her school years she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.
Her career soon turned to business – she founded her own travel company. 15 years in travel business gave Elena a unique opportunity to visit the best art museums in the world and to study art history from the original works of the great masters.
Elena radically changed her life in 2010 – she closed her business and returned to her passion for art. She took up private oil painting lessons with the renowed artist Oleg Leonov - an academician, bright member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, famous for his realistic portraits and landscapes.
From her teacher she captured a Russian school technique of Old Masters and added her own vision of classical portraiture with a bright, tasteful color palette. After only a year at Leonov’s art studio Elena Dobrovolskaya was accepted as a member of the Creative Union of Russia’s Artists.
In 2011-2012 years she worked as a curator of large-scale photo exhibitions in New York, Moscow, Paris and Strasbourg, garnering extensive press-coverage and appreciation by the audience.
In 2012 Elena moved to the US. She is a member of the Artist Guild of Pushkin Society in America. Her art works were exhibited at the galleries and private events in Greenwich CT, Philadelphia PA, and at the Tenri gallery in Manhattan NY. In May 2018 a series of her graphic portraits were presented at the Grand Central Library in New York. Elena is a finalist of a few Artavita contests. Recently she was awarded the International Prize Velazquez (art critic’s award), the ceremony took place at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona on April 6, 2019. Elena Dobrovolskaya presented her collection of portraits in oil and pastel at the prestigious and biggest American exhibition ArtExpo New York in April 2019 .
It seems that she has already found her own style – her oil portraits are vibrant, colorful and very feminine, delicate, romantic and sexy, modern and classical at the same time, with monochromatic yet dynamic background. Each of her heroines has a great personality, a strong character which you can feel looking at the pictures. Her choice of media in the graphic works underlines the most interesting features of the model each and every time. A combination of warm sanguine for the face and body and colorful soft pastel for the clothes and accessories creates a magic and unforgettable look and could be called her “artistic style”.
Elena Dobrovolskaya’s art is represented by the Artifact gallery in Manhattan, NY, where in March 2021 she will have her first solo exhibition.
Elena lives and works at her art studio in Katonah, Westchester, NY.