Elena Brebner

Paintings drawings sculptures and pastels





I have always loved the natural world, and I endeavour to communicate this joy to others while exploring my own vision of nature. Most of my work involves painting out of doors, where I enjoy expressing the dancing swirls and rhythms in nature, and the movement of changing light and fluttering leaves. I absorb the feel and spirit of the landscape, channelling my perceptions in the movement of my hand and touch of the brush with colour.

It often takes an hour or two of driving around to find a view with a composition that I find inspiring. Before painting, I spend about 20 minutes making a preparatory sketch, to help me decide upon the composition & free up the flow of my energy. Then I will spend several hours painting in the landscape. I always work from life rather than photos.

My degree was in zoology, which, although a science, was also very much connected with my love of nature. I still take a great interest in the subject, & find that an understanding of evolutionary theory enhances my appreciation of the natural world.

I have, among other sources of inspiration, followed the teaching of Cecil Collins as interpreted by a number of his former students. This emphasises the spiritual dimension of art, and sees creativity as an expression of an inner life which can be reached through discarding habits and clichés of expression acquired perhaps through more traditional training.

However, my biggest inspiration is the great artist of nature, whose work is infinitely superior to any work that humans can produce. For me it is not about capturing nature; that implies a grasping and wanting to possess a subject, and has an acquisitive quality to it. Whereas, for me, it’s about responding to what is there and allowing it to resonate in my heart, and finding a way to express that joy.