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Yelena Dyumin: Creating Classical Art in a Modern World

At the heart of Yelena Dyumin’s art is her heritage. This Russian artist has deep roots in Omsk—a historic, Russian town in the middle of Siberia known for its active arts community.

Upon moving to Sydney, Australia in 2005, Yelena began blending her European experiences and classical style with the vibrant colors inherent in Australian life and nature. The move not only created a new home in her heart, but inspired new artwork that harmonized the two cultures.

The ever-colorful Harbour View illustrates Yelena’s free spirit and creative license. Although I’ve never seen the Sydney Opera House in person, I find myself experiencing the excitement and energy of the area, which I think would have been lost if she had stuck with the stark white coloring of the building.

Harbour View

Her happy-go-lucky brush strokes create playful movement, and the vivid color scheme makes the building jump recklessly from the page, in contrast to the blackened, evening sky.

Conversations II on the other hand, conveys a different, more wistful feeling.

Conversation II

Yelena is able to see something most others cannot, then fully conceptualize it in her mind and successfully translate it to canvas. The barely-there cages in this painting (along with the unpredictable colors, patterns and textures in the background) give just an inkling of this remarkable ability.

As beautiful as those two paintings are, what first drew me to Yelena’s work was her café-inspired, figurative pieces, which I found to be relatable and meaningful. She excels at painting deep, emotional connections between objects, places and people.

For example, Tete-a-tete brought back happy, carefree memories of Saturday afternoon luncheons and wine tastings with my girlfriends, in which we had an abundance of lighthearted, frank and serious discussions.


Classic architecture, colors and objects—like the pearls, stained glass windows and formal attire—collide with my own memories of dressing up in my mother’s clothes as a child, creating for me an added sense of nostalgia.

To see more of Yelena’s figurative, contemporary, and Australiana art, I encourage you to head on over to her beautiful website and explore the rest of her work.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

A diverse cultural background seems characteristic of most artists these days, and that’s definitely true of painter Ewen MacDonald. After studying history at University College London and the Institute of Education in London, Ewen moved to the deserts of Central Asia and now finds creative inspiration on the Asian side. . . read more

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