More beautiful than a real photograph, a traveler creates watercolor landscape paintings.

Elena Efremova’s watercolor paintings are a unique way for her to show off the places she has visited and lived. The artist, who is originally from Russia, currently resides in Marseille, France, but was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Regardless of where she is, Efremova takes the time to create detailed renderings of her surroundings, which she then aligns with the actual scenery. She takes a photograph of this arrangement, which adds a playful, handcrafted touch to what could have been a mundane landscape photograph.

Efremova says she paints these in plein-air, which means she brings her supplies with her and creates the artwork on the spot. Because she does this, her compositions benefit from the passage of time. Efremova is able to capture the essence of a location, whether it’s a cityscape, an ocean view, or the mountains, and reflect it in her artwork, which has a carefree fluidity and spontaneity that complements the use of watercolor pigments.

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