Elena Markina was born and raised in Russia, former USSR, in the region of the Ural Mountains that divides Russia between Europe and Asia, in a small town near Ekaterinburg. Before Elena Markina came to the United States she was a student at the Textile Institute in Saint Petersburg. She was also one of the participants in a USSR first fashion model contest in Tallinn, Estonia, and became one of the winners. She was chosen by H&M for the Russian Glasnost Tour of Norway.
From her earliest years, Elena was an artist at her core. When she was three, she asked her mother to make her a paper doll. After some time, that paper doll lost her head and consequently Elena asked her mother to make her another one. However, the original doll could not be reproduced. After much frustration for both mother and daughter in trying to duplicate the original, Elena found herself in her room, in tears, with the objective of creating
a doll by herself. This is how Elena first started her artistic endeavors. Pursuing her goals, she graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and Paris, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art with a concentration in fashion design.
Although she worked as a fashion designer, her passion for fine art was strong. She discovered that by challenging her artistic sense of beauty that she could capture through live modeling drawing, she could create conceptual paintings. While working as a designer for Oleg Cassini, sketching and creating fashions on paper, Elena realized she loved what she was doing and wanted to explore it in actual art projects. In her spare time she began experimenting with abstract sketching and conceptualizing unusual figures of women who were thoughtful, spiritual, mysterious, and had a soft, feminine sweep. As a result, Elena's sketches became designs that matured into original art work on canvas.
Over time, Elena had numerous art exhibits in New York. She recently became a member of
the Southampton Art Association (SAA) in Long Island and has been a participant in several
art exhibits with the SAA.