Meet featured artist, Lena Petrova!
Petrova's artwork will be on display until November 1, 2016 at our Central location, 3704 Kerbey Ln.
Originally from the Ukraine, Lena Petrova has been in Austin for almost two years, but she is no stranger to Texas. As a high school exchange student Petrova lived in San Antonio. After finishing her undergraduate degree in the Ukraine, Petrova was called back to the Lone Star state and returned to San Antonio to pursue her MBA at St. Mary's University.
Although Petrova didn't start painting regularly until two and a half years ago, art has been a passion of hers since she can remember. When we spoke, she recalled the painting classes she took as a child and how much she loved attending different museums and galleries.
While in graduate school, Petrova didn't have much time to devote to painting. It wasn't until she moved to Portland, Oregon that she began painting on a regular basis. Surrounded by Portland's vibrant art scene and with more free time on her hands, Petrova's creativity ran on high.
Ultimately, she decided she couldn't stay in Portland long-term because of the gray skies and frequent number of rainy days. She had made several friends in the Austin area and for the third time, was drawn back to Texas.
Currently, Petrova works full-time as an accountant in Austin. Since her career doesn't allow for much creativity, she uses painting as a creative outlet and as a way to relax.
Florals make up the majority of Petrova's work, an inspiration that comes from her Slavic roots and the subject of much Eastern European folk art.
Acrylic on canvas is Petrova's preferred medium. She also works with gouache, which is a highly pigmented water-based paint that has similarities to watercolor.
Petrova enjoys the instant gratification that comes from being able to layer using acrylic paint. This is one way she differs from traditional Eastern European artists—not many use acrylic, and generally opt for oil-based paint instead.
In addition to florals, Petrova is currently working on abstracts and landscapes. In the future she plans to paint portraits that incorporate an Eastern European motif. The plan is to paint portraits that are inspired by different ethnicities and elements of traditional clothing, starting with Eastern European.
Texas has become a source of inspiration for Petrova's future work as well. She aspires to learn more about photography and travel around Texas, capturing her perspective on her second home and blogging about it to show what life is like down South.
You can see more of Petrova's artwork on her website: zoyaandme.com and her Etsy store. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All of her paintings at Kerbey Lane Cafe are for sale. Questions for Lena? Send her an email.