Since the Impressionists, many artists have opted to leave the walls of their studios and instead paint on-the-spot. While this approach brings most people outdoors, diving instructor and professional painter Olga Belka has taken it to new depths with her underwater paintings.
Immersing herself in her two passions—scuba diving and painting—the Thailand-based creative crafts works of art while exploring under-the-sea ecosystems. Taking anywhere from two to six dives to complete, each piece offers viewers a glimpse into what Belka sees while below the surface, from colorful coral reefs to friendly schools of fish.
As a diving instructor, Belka is aware that not everyone has the means to see what she sees. And, she notes, photographs and videos cannot replicate the magic of the sea. Through art, however, she feels that she can best capture the indescribable beauty of what lies beneath.
“Every time, while scuba diving, I want to capture the underwater beauty and share [my] impressions with other people . . . ” she says. “I want to share my vision of the underwater kingdom with the world.”
While she doesn't divulge the exact mediums she employs, she explains that she has “developed a unique technology of painting in salt water.” She also notes that her methods are eco-friendly, ensuring that she leaves a positive impact on the sea, her “boundless resource of inspiration and energy.”