Albena was born and raised in Bulgaria, under a Balkan totalitarian regime. In this political context, being an artist was fascinating because it was one of the rare activities that allowed for freedom of the spirit. Living in the centre of the capital (Sofia), Albena was lucky to be surrounded by a cultural atmosphere. She was active from a young age in various artistic activities: writing poetry, pantomime, folk dance and drawing.
After studying architecture at university, Albena worked for several years for an office moving company. When she was thirty years old she left everything to follow her husband (French of African descent) and moved to Rouen, France. At the time, she didn’t speak French and had to express herself through her art. In this way she fulfilled her greatest childhood dream: to become an artist.
Albena works in oil paints and in old fashioned glazes when painting on canvas or wood, and in India inks when working on paper. She has also developed a new technique of mixed media on canvas where she creates an acrylic background and uses oil pastels and monolayer oil paints. This process allows for dynamic painting that changes in colour depending on the light.
Albena is inspired by fairy tales of her childhood illustrated by Bulgarian painters. Greek, Hindu (Mahabharata) and Arabic (The Arabian Nights) myths, and Bulgarian and Orthodix icons are all themes that fuel her work. She is also interested in contemporary graphic art and modern cinema.
Using the power of colour, she immerses the viewer in a dreamlike and luminous world. For Albena, the omnipresence of light makes her characters transparent, as if irradiated by an invincible spiritual force. With much tenderness she places them in a world of peace and harmony. Driven by an intense inner life, Albena sees art as a way to soften and elevate the lives of others.