The painter Olga David was born in the Altai Mountains in Russia. A diploma in panel painting and a degree from the Russian state academy for architecture and art are reflected in your current work as a professional painter.
Instead of making a statement with her art, the artist creates beauty for herself and the others who can enjoy it. Today she lives and works as a professional artist in the sunny Palatinate.
Known for portraits and large-format paintings, the human being, the basic form of the human body, and emotions are the focus of her artistic work. Thanks to her many years of experience, she has found her own style to combine classic painting school and modern aesthetics. The composition is based on the fine gradations of light and shadow, while the depth of the image is created by its different light and dark tones. Her emotional women are sensual, naked – uninhibited, their abstract motifs a joy of color and their portraits an image of delicacy and refinement.
Olga David was already exhibiting in southern Russia at the age of 15. Today her paintings are in private homes and institutions in Europe and the USA.
Hi Olga! Tell us a few words about yourself. What does a typical day look like? Do you just do art, or is art just part of the picture?
Olga: I have been working as a freelance artist since 2003. I studied architecture and art in Russia and worked as an architect there, when I moved to Germany I changed my focus to painting. I paint at least four days a week, at other times I work on the paperwork, customer emails, social networks, look for competitions, and plan exhibitions, also finances and advertising are part of my everyday life.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
Olga: With the move to another country, in the process of integration to a new culture, new way of life, job search, and I got free time, which I spent drawing pictures. I began to paint the reality around me, people, architecture, landscapes. Among my acquaintances, the first customers and buyers of my paintings appeared. So the decision was made to develop this incitement. Which I do not regret at all.
What is a day of working like in your studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Olga: I have two dogs, my day starts with a walk, meanwhile I plan my day. Since I paint a lot of commissioned paintings, I first read the emails from my clients. Then I paint, either in my office when it comes to works on paper, or in my studio when it comes to large-format paintings. A coffee break or short cuddle with the dogs gives me a break and allows a new look at an emerging painting. Regularly I go with painter friends in the great pleinair.
You say human body, and emotions are the focus of your artistic work. Could you tell us a bit more about that? What inspired this subject?
Olga: I love watching people, their facial expressions, gestures, and emotions. Therefore, when painting portraits, I prefer a realistic style to capture the dynamics, liveliness, and intimacy of people. Portrait in French means the rendering of the more accurate character trait. As a portrait painter, I always strive to create a distinctive and expressive portrait that has individual character traits to reveal the inner world, the nature of man, his essence.
My figurative painting shows the human figure and inexpressive posture and movement, actually always the female figure. I emphasize the expressive power of these female forms through their special spatial positions and self-motor activity, the spatial around it I only hint at, in order to bring the human being in the free artistic movement all the more to advantage. This harmonious juxtaposition works like my pastels and lets my imagination run wild, with changing mood and manner, full of energy and joie de vivre.
Which artist of the past would you most like to meet, and why?
Olga: I see a lot of parallels in the way of thinking and choice of solutions. Chagall is almost my countryman, born and raised in Belarus, he moved to France and understood that it was the right decision for his career, his paintings fascinate and put you in a magical and idyllic mood. I think we could find a lot of common ground. His phrase :
“That’s when I knew I had to go to Paris. The land that nourished the roots of my art was Vitebsk, but my art needed Paris as much as a tree needed water. I had no other reason to leave my homeland, and I believe that I have always remained faithful to it in my painting.” I can fully apply it to myself, changing Vitebsk to my hometown and France to Germany.
In reflecting back to the start of your artistic endeavor, what is the most useful advice you ever received?
Olga: It was a piece of advice to take part in exhibitions and competitions. For almost 10 years I had only marketed my art online. Since I’ve been taking part in the exhibitions and competitions, my art has moved to another level, the direct contact with the audience, the potential buyer, and the interested party has increased my potential enormously.
What was the recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most, and why?
Olga: For over a year I have been working on a series of pictures on the subject of “hides and furs”, in the motifs the human being merges with an animal. This transformation, creation of a “new being”, metamorphosis is what I enjoy most.
What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Olga: I think it affects every artist, the decision about when is a work complete. Is it already finished, or can I still add something? Here my dogs help me, I go for a walk for a couple of hours, it’s best to let a few days and “forget” the painting. Then you look at the work with a new eye and the decision is made.
Could you share some of the stories behind your work?
Olga: Any quantity.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Olga: I work with online galleries, local exhibitions, through my website, even a direct recommendation to my existing clients sometimes works wonders.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Olga: I relax when I paint under an open sky.
I would like to make more painting trips to other countries to get more impressions and to experience other cultures with my own skin. In October, for example, a painting trip to Malta is planned and I look forward to the paintings that I bring back from this trip.
To find out more about Olga and her art, please see: