Animals and plants were the source of a career for Marina Strijakova in her former Russia, but since arriving to Australia, she is transitioning her love of nature into art.
Marina, a mother-of-three, has developed her love of nature into her unique style of art through a combo of Millenia Chinese calligraphy brush strokes and western painting techniques.
Marina grew to love nature from an early age, pursued that as an animal keeper in Moscow Zoo and later became a biologist. "In the Russian forest, I knew all the birds and animals and knew the names of all plants.
"But when I migrated to Australia in 1999, I suddenly felt lost in the Australian bush with nature. It was all so different! I did not feel the spirit of the land or the connection between me and the Australian forest!"
Despite her initial doubts, she began a series of workshops in art education, ranging from Chinese painting, collage, acrylics, painting realism and mixed media.
As a result, she found her passion in combining the Millenia Chinese calligraphy brush strokes and western painting techniques to create a unique, inspired style.
She said: "In my landscape, nature and nature-themed abstract works, I reflect on the beauty of the world around us. While I know that many artists focus on nature as their subject, I hope to bring a different and thus outstanding perspective.
"In my mind, you need to immerse yourself in a piece of art to feel its magic."
Her collection of paintings are predominantly commissioned in larger formats. A variety of medium, including impasto, modelling paste, heavy gel and gesso is used to add a texture to the paintings. Ink, acrylic and oil paints add the colours and shades, multi-layered to add a feeling of depth.
She added: "I use my private recipes to create my own paint and medium, I fabricate custom brushes for specific stroke and texture effects.
"My purpose in life is to take the basic ingredients of canvas, medium and paint, add a recipe of my own imagination and turn the original material things into a piece of art with emotional and aesthetic value."
She said that Australia's nature now forms the backbone of her creativity. "Over time, I learnt the plants and trees, the names of the birds I hear in the morning. I learnt about the life of the Australian nature, the diversity and interdependency, spirit of the land.
"I started to feel the unusual beauty of Australian bush, beaches, forests, mountains, they finally became a part of me!
" I wanted to tell about these feeling, share these feelings! I believe this was the turning point when my art aspirations and desires began. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, I immersed myself into the multi-faceted world of painting."