Founded 2013 London ​

​​The self-portrait «Awakening» is a work of contemporary portraiture, created in the ancient medium of genuine egg tempera, so rarely practiced by fine artists in our modern day and age. 

Completed in 2017, the painting is the first self-portrait in my professional and artistic life of an artist, and an inseparable part of a portrait collection of contemporaries, which I have been creating for a number of years.

Being a painter, whose artistic life revolves around the creation of artworks on the themes of fairy tales, legends, myths, in «Awakening» I depicted myself in the inspired process of composing an auteur painting inspired by Charles Perrault’s “Sleeping Beauty”.

You see me in the very pose I take each and every day, my upper body arched over the artworks I create, forearms supported by a rest, hand holding a tiny custom squirrel hair brush, in the company of my constant companion, a wooden case containing freshly prepared paints.

In my painted composition, the enchanting maiden reposes in magic slumber, locked in a high tower, soaring above a bewitched city, waiting to be awakened.

Thus, the title “Awakening” was given to the self-portrait, whose leitmotif is the rebirth of neglected beauty in the world of fine art, in resistance to the unaesthetic, crestfallen paintings in abundance today. “Awakening” stands for the triumph of artistry and the exquisite in visual art.

My signature painting technique in genuine egg tempera has reached such a level that allows me to create freely, first and foremost concentrating on and thinking of the intellectual framework of the painting, and how, through art, I can convey the meaning and internal feeling of the artwork.      

With years, I have developed my personal approach to the creation of my artistic works, and the main elements of my paintings are the spiritual components, sparking emotional dialogue with viewers.

The beginning point of every work of art, its heart, is the idea.

When an idea is born, a true artist visualizes the future artwork in the imagination and sees, knows its look.

From there, the creator just needs to express the idea and its vision to life, materialize it, show it to the world. The richer the imagination of the artist, stronger the talent, masterly the skills, the more captivating and moving the artwork is.

One of the distinctive qualities of my artworks is their musicality. 
They possess a sense of rhythm, dynamic, balance and lyricism, communicated through an auteur vision.

All in whole, they are manifested in my paintings through the finest details, reaching harmony in the composition itself, its color formula and emotional vibrancy.

Harmony is impossible to explain in words. Words don’t have the power to express what harmony is, but when a person sees it, meets with it, in any form, one knows, feels, and senses its presence. Harmony cannot be confused with anything else and in my artworks, the search and discovery of harmony, is foremost.

The other individual quality of my paintings is the color palette.

Color plays a most important role in my art, through the color palette of an artwork I convey so much, emotions, mood.  

Just as in music, when we hear a certain combination of notes, rhythm, tempo and tonality, we can become wistful, and even cry, and from another experience euphoria and bliss.        

Just so, in art, through color and its endless variety of combinations, a painter can express a wide-ranging gamut of feelings.

I aim for my paintings to have soul, depth. To capture my emotions and have the artwork and its intensity resonate with viewers, stirring up reaction, conversation.

With my self-portrait, I also wished to erase the stereotypical image of today’s artist: a messy, spattered shirt and tattered trouser wearing odd character.  

Looking at my painting, some may say that it’s not naturalistic for an artist to work in such clothes.

My answer to that is, the entire ensemble consists of sincere elements: a shawl gifted to me by my mother, laced around the head to fasten my hair, a kaftan designed and sewn by me from intertwined cotton rogozhka fabric, comfortable and relaxed, it brightens up the day with its marvelous printed motif.

I believe a painter is an ambassador of culture, committed to treat oneself as an artistic individual and to look like one, gifting people aesthetic visual pleasure.

Being an artist, I adore beautiful fabric designs by talented textile artists and in support of their creations, shall in every way possible display such craftsmanship in my clothes.  

Creating artworks inspired by fairy tales and enchanting stories, ornamented original attire helps me to immerse myself in the irresistible worlds I compose.

Such is my personal point of view of a modern day creator.

«Awakening» was presented to the public and premiered in the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, from May 9 – 24, 2019 at Mall Galleries, The Mall in London. 


Lapis Lazuli Square presents the latest articles and features from Egg Tempera Movement, written by its founders, fine artists and egg tempera masters Elena Vladimir Baranoff and Anastasia Elena Baranoff, sharing their vision on art with the world.


On The Subject Of My Self-Portrait And Creativity


Elena Vladimir Baranoff