Former Russian book illustrator Olga Belka has made a name for herself in the art world. She is the only underwater artist in the world. Olga developed her own technology allowing her to paint beneath the sea, where she uses her artistic talents to create unique underwater portraits. Her story has reached art lovers around the world, and inspired many videos featuring her working on the seabed.
Olga’s work has led to several exhibitions around the world including:
Her groundbreaking work also led to invites to participate as a featured guest at art events, as well as being featured in movies, articles, TV programmes, and more in over 30 countries.
As mentioned, Olga’s art career began as a book illustrator in Russia at a major publishing company. However, she also was sought after to create paintings for private collectors. When she discovered diving, she also found a new world filled with inspiration. As a result, she moved to Southeast Asia to get her professional diving level.
As a seasoned diver, Olga realized the potential that the stunning backdrop of the underwater world offered. She developed her own technology that allowed her to capture the stunning otherworldly beauty of life beneath the sea. While she doesn’t discuss the details of her technology, she stresses it is designed to assist in her underwater paintings using eco-friendly canvases and paints. Olga works in two-hour dives to create her work, often having to dive as many as six times to create one piece. She works using oxygen tanks for herself and her models. An original piece painted by Olga sells for up to $3000.
Olga also owns a scuba diving center in Phuket where she offers underwater sessions for tourists to spend a day painting beneath the sea. Sessions with her start at $100. She uses the time to teach people how they can create their own works of the unique light, movement, colour, and life of the Red Sea.
As an artist, Olga believes that it is her mission to share her vision. For her, creating the details of the underwater kingdom provides an opportunity to share her experiences with those who might not otherwise see such breathtaking imagery that seems to exist worlds away. “But what do people who can’t afford scuba diving do? How can they see underwater beauties? It is impossible to render this beauty with photos and videos,” Olga says on her social media.
Her education includes fashion design at the Art and Pedagogical College of Technology and Design, as well as completing her diploma in Modern Use of Folk Arts and Crafts in Design and Contemporary Art from Moscow State University. She also trained with members of the Union of Artists of Russia. Her visual experiences helped her come up with a way to combine her art and love of diving to create her own artistic stylings. She easily translates the optical distortions created by water and light into detailed colours and shapes that she experiences in the water realm. She is known for her underwater diving portraits of models who spend hours with her on the seabed.
However, she also captures sea life, coral, and the other unique natural features that the Red Sea offers. Her art tells a story related to the underwater world from the idealism of sunken treasure to the marine life itself. She incorporates TV and movie props, and uses paints that are safe for marine life, thus making conscious decisions to help maintain the beauty and delicate balance of the world she loves.
Her underwater portraits capture the unique way that humans move and appear in the water world. The undulating waves above, the constantly moving sea, how we change our perceptions, and the feelings of weightlessness all change the way that humans interact with their surroundings. This is the imagery that Olga strives to capture through her art on canvas.
In her underwater studio, she hopes to create work that draws attention to marine life, and how important it is to leave it undisturbed and unharmed. She plans to travel the world where she can experience the different tropical environments, and explore underwater ecosystems that are new to her.
If you are looking for TV and movie props for your own artistic projects, speak to our team at Club Ink today.