A Siberian native, Olessia was born in 1980 in a small village, called Komsomolsk-on-Amure, in communist Russia. Maximenko’s parents both worked at the same factory all their lives building military airplanes. Since she was a little girl, Olessia has always loved art and began at a very young age drawing with colored pencils. At age ten, Olessia started formal training at an art school near her home town where she graduated with honors, at age 15, before setting off on her adventures. This original background has given Olessia her very own and very unique perspective.
Olessia enjoyed going outside to paint trees and the grass en plain air while they were still green because summers in Russia are so short and therefore all the more precious. Olessia is influenced by Impressionist artists Van Gogh and Monet and Russian artists Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin and Valentin Serov. She has recently discovered the art of Alfred Hutty who, while he wasn’t born here, truly captures the soul of Southern life.
In late 2019, Olessia's work was selected by the Art in Embassies Program and is on display at the U.S. embassy in Bern, Switzerland.
When Olessia moved to the Lowcountry her life-long dream of being an artist came true.
Olessia writes, “I am inspired by gorgeous Charleston sunsets and moonlight, magical giant oak trees covered with flowing Spanish moss, magnificent palm trees, horse carriages among old historic buildings and southern churches in my beloved, unique, and historic downtown Charleston!”
Olessia is no stranger to hard work, and as a result of this, she is a strong-willed and determined individual. Her candid personality and passion for life, mixed with her extraordinary talent, is apparent in her painting. Her works exhibit an intense combination of colors you can almost feel.