Alexandra Elizarova
Художница вглядывается в природу и видит в ней гораздо больше, чем привычную глазу картину, наполняя художественное творчество разнообразием подходов и осмыслений.

The pictures of Alla Maximova can surprise you by their multidirection. The artist looks into the nature and sees there much more than a familiar scenery, filling her artworks with a variety of approaches and insights.
The landscapes of Alla Maximova are full of naturalness. A color palette is mainly mild, built on nuances. Subtle color blends add a special picturesque manner to art pieces. Classical composition shows a good national school of the Russian landscape. In many details one can find out the traditions of the exactly Siberian landscape that arise from mountain rivulets and loose-lying northern rocks of Toyvo Ryannel. Artworks predominantly have patterns of silence and serenity of hard rocks of the native region.
Here you can seldom see a human being or his activity - the artist looks into the deepness of the nature, its wild, free and independent essence. It is a special dialogue of the elements and artist. The transfer of motion, life is performed through a light breath of wind or seething stream of a speedy rivulet. On the ground of silent mountains and long grand fir trees one can feel the rustle of grass, movements of coastal bushes and trees branches. The realism of the image lets you dig into the atmosphere of the nature territory the artist has chosen, look at it with her eyes and love it like her. The traditional performance of the painting is combined with impressionism, as if the details at the distance complete the picture by your sight. Nevertheless the artist doesn't miss anything important at the picture and you can see the smallest details: flowers, branches, leaves of grass and trees, distant roofs of a small village, smooth stones of a small transparent pond.
City landscape particularly stands out from works of Alla Maximova. They are full of urban life, not the hustle and bustle of the city but something homelike and cozy. Here a person fits in the environment harmonically and naturally. City buildings, trees, flower beds and people are as a whole unit of this peaceful world.
Human silhouettes are not accurate, but their movements, poses and emotional states are so precisely transmitted in several exact touches that it makes the effect of naturalness and vividness of the figures. All works of Alla Maximova are saturated by love to the native city. She uses not only definite symbols of Krasnoyarsk (familiar buildings, signs, places, peculiarities of the city) but also gives a special attention to the beauty of city landings in different seasons and good perspective of the paintings of picturesque places.
The artist admires of her city and paints it with love. Probably, the artist makes the space ideal without describing a negative influence of people to the environment. But it is the main message of the painter's work - to create in her artistic worlds that world that seems more desired, more beautiful and eternally loved. There are a lot of eldest Krasnoyarsk buildings at the pictures of Alla Maximova: both examples of stone architecture and wooden craft. Who else can hurry up to grasp these moments of leaving eras if not an artist? The artist is attentively and thoughtfully concentrated on the transfer of the atmosphere of her city past and present history. In composition the artist strives to combine all fades of artistic story: several eras, different architectural styles, the history of each building apart and even attitude of a modern person to that building.
Here we see and recollect, not only fix our view but also think historically. The natural environment of city landings gives a special homelike tint to the buildings. The beauty of the city can't be imagined without blooming greenery or fading natural cover. All these things are inevitable part of our life and every piece of this space is filled in with air and lyrics. Still life paintings of Alla Maximova contain elements of fantasy and symbolism. It is the scent of home coziness nearby with fairy tale where every item, every mythical character lives his life and all composition reminds a charming story.
Still life paintings are in a feminine way full of charm and grace. Delicate flowers, whimsical swannecks of kitchenware, warm colors and mild gradations create a feeling of precious coziness, play of imagination and invitation to unusual world the artist produces.
A mysterious and magnetic world of fantastic works of the artist reminds the pictures of symbolists and followers of modernism. The works of this style have surrealistic notes. We see absolutely unreal, unthinkable spaces on the verge of dream and reality, nature and magic. Every picture is a unique inimitable lively world where an act of life, birth, motion, growth and contemplation happens. Rich symbolism is expressed very exactly with painted details.
The artist uses a huge variety of color tones. She sees the world bright and multi-colored, multi-faceted and fairly various. Here color reflects not only emotions but also a state of our soul, endless color plays and changes create a special psychic state that can be compared with music. The artist experiments with techniques and styles. Despite her love to naturalness and realism of native suburbs, Alla Maximova sometimes deeps herself into mythical world of fantastic images: from poor abstractions to plot and domestic impressions. Here you can find mythological characters and quite modern cats, mythical heroes and abstract paintings full of philosophical sense.
The artist often uses elements of a play. Mysterious images not only show the deepness of unreal spaces but also as if playing look at you from a picture and causes a smile and affection. The pictures of Alla Maximova have a lot of modernism patterns of elemental transformation when a human or catlike silhouette is produced from an act of nature. And we understand that the nature is full of ghosts and senses, that it has its own soul, character and quite captured by our fantasy image.
The pictures of Alla Maximova have an interesting microworld, images of nature's fragments, mostly flowers. Like a photographer, the author moves us closer to the core of the hidden from our eyes initial sense and like a painter reveals it in its transforming harmony. When you look into such world you dig into not only admiration but also become an associate of contemplation on more high - esthetic level. As a whole, all pictures of Alla Maximova are a harmonious bright world filled with love and fantasy.
Her works live and breathe, they are full of motions and symbolism, attentive concentration on moments of being and eternal feeling of beauty. We can tell a lot about the pictures of Alla Maximova but best of all she can describe her works herself. Alla reveals the secrets of her mastery in a small interview. And we have a chance to get to know with our author, capture the sense of her art work and get close to its realizing.
Interview with Alla Maximova
Alla, your fantastic works are unusual, with elements of surrealism, abstraction and modernism. Where do you take images for your fantasies?
Images for pictures come unexpectedly, when I am in a definite mood or impressed by some information or something happening in my life, it is my troubles and thoughts about universe, world system and happiness. When I wish to realize something or I am stuck with emotions, for better understanding and sharing the picture from the inside. Feelings that overwhelm me should be expressed on a canvas and we get a definite image. Sometimes the image that comes first differs much from the picture on a canvas. It happens when during the process there appears a kind of need and vision of what you should do it in other way as if you are led by somebody. As a result, you get something unexpected and more interesting than you have supposed. And then I realize that such final form of the picture is much more interesting in its sense and technique than I can even imagine.
Do you believe that nature is endowed with symbols? Or does an artist himself give it visible meanings?
Yes, I believe that nature is endowed with symbols. An artist is a person that transmits information by means of visual images.
What are you fond of (books, music, films) and how does it influence your art work? Does it happen that some seen or heard piece of art makes you to create a new image plot?
I like reading, listening to music and looking good films. And sometimes something read, seen or heard touches my soul and then an image or idea is born and a picture afterwards. My pictures are the result of my own troubles, experience, gained knowledge and observations.
Do you like to experiment (with techniques, styles, genres, images)?
Yes, I like to be various, try something new. More often the goal is not to paint a picture in a definite style. I have an idea and look for means of its transfer or even mix different techniques. Everything happens like an insight. A picture is not always a reflection of my inner world, sometimes I want to impress the beauty of the seen landscape, flowers, face. When I paint, I literally realize the matter of an object and understand it better. It is my inner need for sharing. But at first I wish to feel or better realize what I see or trouble for. For me painting is a tool of knowledge of myself and world around and a chance to share something beautiful with others. And at the moment when you begin to work, you get a solution how to do it better. The trials, searches, solutions - sometimes they are successful, sometimes not at all. But it is a fascinating process and to be honest I don't like to analyze my works from the point of techniques and genres. For me, a picture is a whole unit.
Who is your idol in the artistic world? Does he influence you?
At once I remember the quote: "Do not make an idol for you". I don't have any. I like different artists, working in various styles and genres. The most important in any picture is a soul, feelings and emotions that it produces inside you. I think that a successful picture is when you look at it and forget about techniques and styles and that you even look at the picture.
And as if you dig yourself into another world, another reality. For example, I like the paintings of Konstantin Korovin for his technique of reflection of reality. Textured touches, bright colors give me the feeling of life. I respect art works of Ivan Shishkin. His art pieces are full of love to nature. He catched and transmitted the smallest tone nuances.
When I look at his graphic works, I see not only a drawing, I see its nature, space, deepness and feel the color. I like works of many artists. In different life periods pictures of this or that artist become closer to me. Some time ago it was Salvador Dali.
Do other artists influence my works? Obviously, yes, they do. If I see an art piece of an artist that reflects my inner state, conforms to it, resonates with my soul, it will finally echo in my paintings.
You have many landscapes of Krasnoyarsk and Siberian earth. Could you be called a fan of your motherland?
Probably, I can be called a praiser of my motherland. I really paint a lot of landscapes, including Krasnoyarsk.
Siberian nature is beautiful, rich and majestic.
I was born and grown in Siberia, so that it is especially close to me. It makes me thrilled and admired. Krasnoyarsk has become native and close to me since the very first days of my study here.
What do you like most of all acts of nature: mountains, flowers, rivers, sky, etc.?
All acts of nature are equally close to me. And every nature phenomenon has different states. For example, I prefer rapid, transparent water though sometimes I want to paint calm water as it can reflect a sunset or sunrise of heavenly beauty.
And then such water enhances the state of tranquility or riot of colors. How could you not admire flowers? It may be a bush of roses or field of daisies or Siberian globe flowers. It is very beautiful.
My soul sings and requires reflecting this beauty on a canvas. Mountains are strength and power. Sky is space, lightness, freedom, sometimes joy or sadness. It is soft fluffy clouds, flying through sky and endlessly clean space and a lot of other emotions.
Nature has a huge variety of states. Nature is like a human being and human being is like nature. It is a whole unit.
What are your favourite genres in painting and why?
It is a difficult question as I like both landscapes and still life paintings and portraits. But more often I paint landscapes. I like to sketch in nature. It fills me with power.
What style of painting do you prefer?
Realism, symbolism and surrealism are three styles that I choose more often than others.
How do you succeed in painting so realistic landscapes?
To reach such realism in landscape you need a lot: technique, experience of observing nature, constant work, trials, mistakes, success, love to nature and the process of producing a picture itself. Such realism are the result of all these things.
What is the most important thing, in your opinion: more truthful transfer of the world around you or a special sense of an image?
In my opinion, both of them. It depends on the message the artist wants to send to audience. May be, the main special message is to reflect the reality in the most truthful manner.
Review and interview are
performed by Elizarova N.Y.

fine art expert and senior researcher of the
Krasnoyarsk Museum and Exposition Centre, 2016.

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