“A picture tells a thousand words”, but which words do they speak?

Elena Parashko’s haunting painting of a marooned ship in a drought-devastated landscape was recently selected as a finalist in ANL Maritime Art Prize in Melbourne and then snapped up on the opening night. Elena, who leads a week at Daku next September, describes how she arrived at the idea.

Paintings not only work on a visual level, they also target the intellect and emotion of the viewer. A painting is an artist’s voice that carries their message into the world. But it’s not just a one way form of communication. The viewer also brings their unique personality and lifetime of experience to each artwork they engage with and this strongly influences their interpretation of the inherent message in the work.

As an artist, I am passionate about the creative process and the influence my work has on others. My observations, values and ideals are infused into each piece I craft but I also allow viewers to interact with my paintings and draw their own conclusions. I may pose questions through imagery but I do not dictate what response the viewer should have to it.

Ever Changing Times - Elan Parashko

My painting, “Ever Changing Times”, was a fun on a technical level as I experimented with paint and mediums to create a parched earth effect. But delving beneath the surface, I also wanted to create a powerful painting that reflected current concerns about the impact of climate change on our environment. I did this by exploring an apparent contradiction in imagery. A ship sailing through the desert makes the viewer stop and think on a number of levels. “Ever Changing Times” was entered as a seascape in the ANL Maritime Art Prize in Melbourne, Australia – a bold move to enter a painting with no sea into a maritime art competition. But it must have struck a chord with the judges as it was selected as a finalist.

Proceeds from sales of paintings go to support Mission to Seafarers Victoria.

Elena comes to Daku from 1 – 8 September 2012 to teach a week entitled: Evoking the Elements : Tropical Seascapes and Landscapes.