Deana Evstefeeva was born in Russia, but after years of living overseas, Australia is where she calls home. Deana’s artistic roots were planted at 6 years old when she was starting school at the Khabarovsk art school for children . She was the youngest participant to successfully complete her pre-selective exams (including drawing, painting, and composition), but was not granted admission due to her young age.
“I cried my eyes out and begged the director to at least let me sit in on the classes,” she said, “I still remember he told me, ‘show me your hands.’”
She stretched out her tiny fingers. He took her hands and inspected them.
“Can these little hands handle hard work? Can they sculpt and carve wood? Will they paint and draw and repeat to reach perfection?”
The blue eyed girl quickly nodded her head.
He appointed her as an official student.
She pursued her passion with great effort, receiving nothing but perfect marks on her projects until she graduated at 14 years old. Then, she attended public school. Eager to return into the world of arts, she sped through her classes and reached college in no time.
“Those were my happiest moments,” she says, reflecting on her experience at the Khabarovsk College of Arts. Not only did she receive a scholarship for her outstanding work, but she was also the only female student in her class.
At the time, gender biases restricted women from receiving a visual arts education because it required a heavy amount of hand sculpting and woodcarving. Nevertheless, Deana persisted.
“My favorite painting style was always impressionism. I loved all the amazing color spectrum, shades, and textures,” she explains.
Because of that, she developed her own style by combining sculpture and painting to create a 3D effect.The method involves multiple layers to create an “impasto” application of oil paints on canvas with palette knives. It requires precision in tones, values, and saturation as well as great patience for each painting.
Today, she continues to practice her talent in the suburbs of Louisiana (with the company of her family), finding inspiration in both her imagination and the nature around her.