Watercolours paintings, drawings and etching prints

Although Olena Donichenko’s work has only recently begun, in 2019, it is showing great maturity. Her singular work is the symbiosis of all the technical acquisitions, know-how and knowledge accumulated since her childhood. Whether in drawing or engraving, she demonstrates an astonishing technical mastery. Her fascination for the plant and animal world and anatomy is widely deployed, with a sense of detail that is not without reminding Dürer. The Renaissance, which dazzled her so much as a child, seems to invite itself under the features of her faces in the manner of Jan van Eyck. The tonalities of her watercolors recall the paintings of the Flemish painters: earth, ochre, white, red.

In small formats, in a dense composition, the artist represents, tangled, bones and skeletons on a background of plants and minerals, from which emerge an arm, a hand, a face, a pregnant belly. The ensemble, arranged in a harmonious whole, recalls the immense bouquets of the Dutch painters, composed of flowers of infinite varieties, among which, with much attention, the viewer can discover half-hidden insects. Olena’s watercolors and engravings use the same processes. The general aesthetic harmony perceived at first glance gives way to the discovery of disquieting shapes: skulls, bones, a pointed bony finger, an old man’s hand, then, one notices the mocking attitude of skulls, skeletons who seem to dance, a young and beautiful face. Is it an allegory of old age, death, decay or on the contrary a hymn to life? It emerges from these achievements presented almost like a tapestry, on two planes, without perspective nor situation in space, a form of quirky humor a bit like Hieronymus Bosch or the surrealists. Reading seems infinite, elusive. One gets lost in the detail, one looks for a meaning in the assembly of the forms and yet, the important thing is not to understand but to let oneself be carried away by the beauty which emerges from it, like life, death, to accept, to be, to feel, to connect to the tangled whole, in a form of dance, without necessarily finding a meaning in it.



Olena Donichenko is a Ukrainian painter and engraver born in 1982 in the city of Mykolaeiv. Her early years are marked by the context of her very industrial hometown in the Soviet time as well as of her family of engineers. At a very young age, she sought to open her horizons and discovered through books the Louvre and the Hermitage Museum. Fascinated by this limitless and diversified world, she insisted on joining the Mykolaiev Children’s School of Fine Arts at the age of 11 and more than convinced she belonged there, she later braved family reluctance to study at the National University of Culture and Art in the same city, in applied textile art section. There, she received a solid classical multidisciplinary training in the practice of painting, drawing, and in particular, the study of the representation of plants, minerals and human body. Olena discovers a passion for natural history and anatomy just like the Renaissance painters.
In applied art, she approachess embroidery and weaving, of which she appreciates the meticulousness they require. The professional opportunities, her specialty, being few, she works for several years as an interior designer and at 30, feeling an absolute urgency to return to her first love: drawing, painting, creating, she decides to come to France to study Contemporary Art. She enters the Superior School of Art and Design of Grenoble-Valence. With her diploma in hand, she completes her studies with a diploma from the National School of Architecture of Grenoble.



  • May 2021

    Group exhibition “Les nouveaux“ , Galerie Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville, Paris 20, France

  • December 2020

    Solo exhibition “Au fil de la plume”, Gallery Martinez D, Paris, France

  • December 2016

    Urban installation “Lumignon” for Festival of Lights in Lyon, France

  • January 2015

    Guest artist in solo exhibition of Quentin Armand “Every penny has a soul”, Contemporary Art Centre of Bastille, Grenoble, France


  • 2020-2021

    Prints techniques professional training (Intaglio printmaking)

    Velasco and Meller studio / Paris, France

  • 2015–2017

    Design and Innovation in Architecture. (DPEA)

    National Higher School of Architecture of Grenoble / Grenoble, France

  • 2013-2015

    National Diploma of Visual Arts (DNAP)

    National Higher School of Art and Design Grenoble-Valence (Art Option) / Valence and Grenoble, France

  • 2000-2005

    National Diploma of Fine and Applied Arts

    Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts / Mykolaiv, Ukraine

  • 1994-1999

    Diploma of Fine Arts

    School Children of Fine Arts / Mykolaiv, Ukraine