Shams Diving, diving instructor and artist Olga Nikitina
The colours are environmentally friendly, the canvases waterproof. This is an important requirement, because Olga Nikitina immerses in the truest sense of the word in a sea of colors and shapes. It's early in the morning, when the Russian-born woman shoulders her equipment and sets off for the beach: Olga studied art design with a focus on painting. Since 2008, the 37-year-old active diver joins both vocations, because with the diving instructor license, she has decided to introduce interested people to the underwater world.
Diving instructor and artist Olga Nikitina paints the underwater world
Egypt and the Red Sea have become a new home for Olga. "The colourful, quiet world underwater is inspiring, sometimes even spiritual, quiet and absolutely impressive," says Olga. If diving is already a relaxation, painting in depth is meditative. Olga becomes part of the sea, capturing the beauty of the Red Sea in impressive and authentic images. "Painting under water is nothing like normal painting. It's almost a trance. Surrounded by wonderful coral reefs, colourful sea creatures that swim by and as part of the sea, she can express her love for the ocean in this way.
Special, environmentally friendly equipment allows underwater painting
Depending on the depth at which Olga captures the colourful world on canvas, the colour spectrum changes. "It is absolutely essential that we preserve and protect this wonderful underwater world," emphasizes Olga. André Laban, a diver in the team of legendary French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was the first to experiment with underwater painting. "The chemist developed a special, waterproof cover for canvases and discovered which environmentally responsible colours can be used under water for painting... and it is not toxic to the environment," explains Olga. "André is a role model for me".
Olga likes to paint today at the Housereef of Shams Safaga Diving Centes in Safaga. "We have a wonderful, intact reef on the doorstep with the resident Henrietta, who comes regularly. Henrietta is a big sea turtle. "I once painted her when she was quietly grazing. That has been one of the most magical moments for me under water," says Olga.
Further information about Olga and the underwater painting: