Alyona was born and raised in Ukraine. Since childhood she has drawn for teachers and fellow students, published school newspapers and created posters, displays and entire art shows for various school events. “I guess I have always been an artist at heart. However, my art took a breather while I concentrated on completing my education and dealt with life’s various surprises”, she says.
Her creative bent awoke again after moving to Southern California in 1999. “Before then, harsh circumstances of life kept me from taking my art seriously. But then, opportunity arose, thanks to my wonderful husband Tom (for his support and patience). Everything that has been and will be created, I dedicate to him!”
From the beginning, Alyona’s favorite medium had been graphite and charcoal. However, colored pencils have now captured her inspiration and creativity.
“I began to understand that a medium I had overlooked from childhood could do so much more than just sketch and produce a wondrous array of colors and tones. I discovered new systems and methods that changed my perceptions and molded the results into something much more than I had ever thought possible”, she says.
“A great influence on my work has been the talent of Hans Christian Andersen”, Alyona says. “He could weave very innovative stories about the simple events in everyday life and make them fascinating to listen to. I use the language of shapes and colors to do the same with my paintings. Capture the simple movement of a leaf caught in a breeze and, though it may happen the same exact way only once in all of nature’s complexity, it is saved for a lifetime when rendered by my pencils.”
“People always ask me: Are you sure this is colored pencil?” Alyona’s paintings really don’t look like what you would expect from colored pencils. She applies 20 or more layers of color to give the drawing an oil painting effect – a process she calls “colored pencil painting” because of its surprising realism and intricacy. “Knowledge of the medium’s essences, constant improvement of skills, tools and techniques, searching for new ways to use the medium and being open to experimentation are crucial keys for success. Hard work and passion brings results.
I am enjoying my journey and looking forward to new challenges.”