Elena Soboleva was born in St. Petersburg in 1966.
She studied in a specialized English school, then at the St.Petersburg Pedagogical University, at the philological English department and got the diploma of a philologist and English language teacher.
Later, she studied Valeology at the National Health Institute of St. Petersburg and got a diploma of valeologist.
Due to her fluent English for the last 23 years she had been working with English speaking tourists on cruise boats as a manager, a lecturer, art specialist and even a satellite operator.
Elena’s artistic life began in 1992, when she was invited to England and recommended to «Bedales» — a school for children from aristocratic families — by Lady Coulson — the governess of the school.
In «Bedales» Elena gave talks on Russian history and Russian language lessons.
The school is famous for its art department, headed by the well-known English artist Mr. George Hatton and it was him who recommended Elena to study graphic art, particularly etching and lithography and gave her a few lessons in this style.
Gradually her drawings became better, and in 1993 Elena had had her first exhibittion at the St. Petersburg Academy of Culture and then another exhibition at the Dostoevsky Museum.
In 1994 Elena Soboleva exhibited her art works at the Moscow Trading House in Helsinki, Finland. At the same time she had got an offer from the Father Superior of the Assumption Cathedral of Helsinki to make an exhibition in the crypt of the Cathedral. The exhibition was dedicated to Orthodox churches and monasteries and so successful, that the Father Superior allowed Elena to have a permanent sale of her art works inside the cathedral.
In 1996 Elena Soboleva became member of the Artist Society of St. Petersburg.
In 1997 Elena was again invited to Bedales school to present an exhibition of her art works in the school’s Art Gallery.
Today pictures, drawings and prints by Elena Soboleva are in many private collections, in many countries of the world.
Three pictures were obtained by the Chief Whip of the House of Lords for the English Houses of Parliament. One of her art works-«View of the Balmoral Castle», was presented to the Queen of England — Elisabeth II.
In 1999 Elena took part in the auction, sponsored by the English House of Lords «Tugs of War» in aid of Macmillan cancer relief.
Elena Soboleva had also contributed with publishers of the American Orthodox Magazine «Russian Pilgrim»; with the Finnish Orthodox Mission in Helsinki and some other organizations.
In 1995 Hotel Manager of the passenger boat «Sergej Kirov» offered Elena to make exhibitions of her graphic works and prints on board the ship. These exhibitions had such a success that the Chief Manager of the «Viking Cruises» company ordered Elena to draw five large maps of the cruise «St. Petersburg — Moscow» for all five ships of the company.
Exhibitions by Elena are always enjoyed by tourists as the main theme of her art works is Russian Orthodox churches and monasteries, and the most important thing is that Elena, fluently speaking English, tells stories and legends about the places depicted on her drawings.
In 2001 Elena discovered a new style in graphic — 3D (three dimensional) style. She creates her new graphic drawings with the help of the transparent paper, thus getting a deep fading effect.
For many years Elena had an idea of making a number of icons dedicated to Virgin Mary. At first she was thinking of painting icons, but in 1999 she decided to embroider icons in beads.
To date she has created 18 icons of the Mother of God; nine of them she shows at exhibitions; one of the icons Elena presented to the Uspensky Cathedral in Helsinki , and another to the Goritzky Convent, near the town of Kirillov (Russia).
Those icons represent images of Virgin Mary that appeared in different countries. Among them there are Russian Orthodox icons of the Mother of God of Vladimir, of Iberia, of Perpetual Help, images of the Mother of God of Guadeloupe (Mexico), of the Lourde (France), of Ostrobrama (Poland), of Medzhugorje (Yugoslavia) and other images. Each of those icons is made of 20.000-30.000 beads and semiprecious stones.
The icons of Virgin Mary were first exhibited in February, 2004 together with 60 graphic and pastel pictures at the St. Petersburg State University.
It was Elena’s private exhibition, dedicated to the 280-anniversary of the University and was officially opened by the Master of the University — Mrs. Ludmila A.Verbitskaya.
Besides her artworks and icon embroidering, Elena has written two books in English — «Legendary Waterways» — a travel guide from St. Petersburg to Moscow, with the history of Russian Orthodox churches and monasteries and towns and cities of the «Golden Ring of Russia»; and «Do you know that about Russia» — a mini-encyclopedia of Russia.
Also she has written a book in Russian language — «Spiritual meditation» — thoughts about the philosophy of life and Cosmic Laws, and spiritual stories. Now she is working on her third book in English — about Peter the Great and St. Petersburg and a book in Russian about Reiki — The Universe Energy — a guide to the use and practice of Reiki healing.
In 2004 Elena founded a School of Spiritual Development and Healing «Antahkarana».
Pictures, icons and books by Elena Soboleva are always enjoyed by people from different countries, different societies and different generations, as by means of her artworks Elena tries to find a key to each soul and to share God’s love and the sense of harmony and beauty with each person.
In February 2005 Elena was elected an active member of the World Academy of Sciences, Fine Arts, Culture and conferred the rank of Academician "for practical and concrete achievements as well as contributing to the solution of the problem: «The Future of Earth’s Civilization — Man Perfected — Perfect Man» and awarded the Academical medal «Man as Creator» for contribution in Fine Arts and Culture".
In November 2006 Elena Soboleva was awarded a silver medal «For achievements in preservation of Russian Culture».
In 2007 the Moscow river shipping company «Mosturflot» ordered pictures of the cruise «St.Petersburg-Moscow» from Elena Soboleva for decoration of the two boats «N.Karamzin» and «L.Krasin». So now, there are permanent mobile exhibitions on the Moscow river boats.
In February 2008 Elena Soboleva’ name and biography was added in a Swiss Person Encyclopedia edition «Who is Who in Russia» (Volume 3) (Who is Who, Verlag fuer Personenenzyklopaedien AG, Switzerland).
At the St.Petersburg conference, that took place in Kronstadt on October,12 2011 Elena represented one of her grachic art works, the historical view of Helsinki — «The Helsinki Panorama of 1868, with the view of the harbor and the Orthodox Uspensky Cathedral» that was built this very year by the famous Russian architect Gornostaev, the one who also created famous churches on the Valaam Island.
2011 — Became member of the St.Petersburg creative union of art workers.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions,
please contact me at e-mail: ElenaArt@mail.ru
or by phone: +7 (921) 595-5119