• Brooke Collier

Nikolina Kovalenko - Environmental Artist

Nikolina Kovalenko is an independent visual artist communicating society’s dual connection with nature, exposing both its beauty and consequence. Nikolina grew up in Moscow, Russia where both of her parents and grandfather were artists. The majority of her childhood was spent playing with art materials and art books, allowing an environment of psychology and creativity to begin at a young age.

Nikolina Kovalenko has graciously decided to donate 30% of her profits to our nonprofit, Counting Coral. Nikolina’s artwork continues to inspire and captivate those who have the pleasure to be involved. We are thrilled to work with her, and hope to share the magic on canvas as we go.


White Coral, Oil on canvas, 36x36 inches, (91x91cm), 2020 (sold)

To reach Nikolina’s artwork, and to keep up to date with her projects, visit her site nikolinakovalenko.com. To contact Nikolina for any art inquiries, her email is nika.k.art@gmail.com, also found on her website.

Nikolina has just released a limited edition print series featuring her Utopian Reefscape painting Dandelion Reef. These signed prints will be 16 x 20" and sold for $180.


Dandelion reef

Oil on canvas, Original - 54x80 inches, 2020 (sold)

Nikolina received her masters in Fine Art from Surikov Art Institute, in addition to her time as an exchange student at University Der Kunste in Berlin. Nikolina now resides in Brooklyn, where she has created environmental momentum with her art.

Nikolina is always inspired from real world sightings, and more particularly, the fragile truths of that environment. Experimenting with zoomed-in textures and abstract depictions of landscapes, Nikolina invites the viewer to bond with the art and to follow the emotions that arise. Nikolina chooses vulnerable ecosystems as her subject matter, areas such as rainforests, mountains, glaciers, and most recently our underwater world.

The Hill Of Red Coral

Oil on canvas, 14x20 inches, 2020 (sold)

Check out Nikolina’s artwork at nikolinakovalenko.com, and any personal inquiries at nika.k.art@gmail.com.

Nikolina’s variety of projects are all specifically inspired by location, from deforestation and melting glaciers in Iceland, to illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Nikolina’s artistic decisions are remarkably detailed, bringing her paintings to life.

Nikolina is currently in the world of Utopian Reefscapes, her latest series of paintings that communicate the beauty and diversity of coral reefs, and touching on the devastation of global warming. “I imagine a diver of the future seeing nothing but dead monochromatic ocean bottom, deprived of color, texture and movement. I feel it’s my duty to convey the mesmerizing underwater world while it lasts.” Nikolina decided to display a thriving ocean, abundant with fantasy and life. Utopian Reefscapes speaks what could be, and delights all eyes with underwater Garden of Eden



Sapphire Waters

oil on canvas, 16x20 inches,(41x51cm), 2020 (sold)


As mentioned in Nikolina’s interview on Counting Coral Chats, she was working on a painting. This has now been completed, and we would love to share. Titled, Turquoise Legend, Nikolina’s latest depiction of the utopian coral world is filled with textures and colors. A truly magnificent and soul capturing painting.


Turquoise Legend,

Oil on canvas, 54x80 inches, 2020


Nikolina received her PADI license only last year. Before Covid-19 restricted most travel, she traveled to the Red Sea in Egypt to explore the wonders of the sea and collect materials for her paintings. Nikolina shares the difficulties of diving and photography. With so much excitement and so much to accomplish, Nikolina progressively improved.

“It felt like exploring a new planet, with alien life, colors, textures and shapes. From that moment I knew this was all I ever wanted to paint.”

Approximately 5% of the ocean has been discovered, this leaves 95% unexplored. The ocean covers 70% of our planet - Nikolina shares, “We are just guests on this Earth…with horrible manners”. Nikolina hopes that her Utopian Reefscapes will inspire more curiosity, awe, joy, and sense of shared responsibility for our beautiful, fragile planet. They have done just that.

Nikolina’s artistic process starts with a quick drawing on the spot, she then photographs the sight allowing her to add additional details later. After giving herself time to digest, Nikolina unwraps the emotion and details from the moment onto the canvas.


Growing up as an artist in Russia, Nikolina’s art education was rigorous, focusing on realistic techniques and perfecting the works of the past. In combination with her education in Berlin, Nikolina now brings in a meticulous sense of reality whilst incorporating her individual style and emotion. Her inspirations include Goya, Matisse, Gauguin, Rothko, Adam Fuss, Neo Rauch, and Robert Longo among many others.

Another example of Nikolina’s creative communication of our planet is her previous project Saving Trees Through Art - a dedication to the Amazon rainforest. Nikolina spent time in Brazil, sketching the remains of illegally logged trees in the rainforest. Nikolina dove into the individuality of the trees and the individuality of the volunteers who will help replant them. The final project shows a beautifully dynamic blend between the cut down tree and a fingerprint of a volunteer planting a new tree. Destruction and revitalization paired through art.


Nikolina’s art fills her world with purpose and light and in harmony enlightens the world she paints. She uses her paintbrushes to express her thoughts and make a difference. As Nikolina continues her journey in Utopian Reefscapes, we will be sharing her magnificent coral paintings which will be available to purchase as she completes. 30% of the proceeds will be donated directly to Counting Coral, helping support our collaborative efforts in reef restoration.

Check out Nikolina’s artwork at nikolinakovalenko.com, and any personal inquiries at nika.k.art@gmail.com. Follow along for updates at countingcoral.com, and @c