Yelena has been painting and drawing since her childhood in Russia. After graduating university, she worked as a technical illustrator, combining her two degrees in engineering and graphic art. Yelena moved from Russia to New Jersey with her family in 1989, where she started a greeting card business, creating custom-drawn wedding invitations and birthday cards using pen-and-ink and pastel. She also worked as an advertising illustrator for many years, creating images for various local businesses and publications throughout the New Jersey area.
In recent years Yelena has become very interested in plein air and the idea of sharing her instant impression of the moment, in the moment. Most of her landscapes are now painted entirely outdoors, in natural light. Additionally, Yelena continues to pursue her fascination with portraits, both in her studies and commercially.
Yelena's work has been juried in various art shows, and has also been exhibited at the Veranda Art Gallery in Fair Haven, as well as the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, where she has been an Associate Member since 2010. Yelena is also an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America, a member of the Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Cost, and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters. Her first plein air competition was the Sixth Annual Bayonet Farm Art Festival, where she was awarded the 2009 Sycamore Award for Inspirational Power of the Arts. Since then, she has participated in a number of juried art shows. In 2010 she was invited to participate in the 4th Annual Out & About Norfolk plein air competition, where her work was awarded the 2010 Jerry's Artarama Merit Award. Yelena's work was also juried into the Ridgewood Art Institute 31st Annual Regional Juried Show, where she was awarded the 2011 David Davis Award for Outstanding Work.
Yelena currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters and continues painting everywhere she goes.