Lily Nova’s Floral Interpretation of Life

To celebrate Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, we spoke to Lily Nova about her stunning floral pieces.

Born into a family of scientists, Russian artist Lily Nova dared to be bold and pursue a career in art. Having drawn all her life, she attained her degree in art with her family’s support while in Russia. Like many creative people, she’s utilised her skills in various jobs – graphic design, illustration and art tutoring. When Lily moved to Australia, she was so inspired by the native flora that she switched to painting full time.

artists living room with painting leaning against couch

Lily’s paintings are taking over her beautiful home.

Her floral explosions are instantly recognisable, but this wasn’t her favourite subject to paint until she moved to Australia. “Australia is blossoming all year round. It’s like music for my heart to see all this beauty and I just try to put it on a canvas.”

artist trimming purple flowers to put in vase

Lily often gets her blooms from her neighbours’ gardens.

Australian nature is full of many colours, and Lily tries to capture them all. She finds her blooms just by wandering around her neighbourhood, and by finding plants in neighbours gardens. This has actually greatly expanded her circle of friends, as she has met all of the surrounding neighbours by asking them for a cutting from their garden.

“I believe that my art is not just about flowers and nature, but about life in general. In every season of the year there is something blooming, and in the same way there is something blooming in every stage of life.”

red haired artist washing brushes in the sink, shot through the window of her studio

A well-worn apron lives in every artist’s home!

Art is a way for Lily to connect with others and express herself. “For me to be an artist is to have an ability and speak fluently in the language anyone can understand.” The language of paint is something that anyone can connect with. This is particularly important for someone like Lily, living in a country whose language is different to her own native tongue. 

artist putting yellow wattle flowers into a vase

Proper arrangement of her flowers is a vital part of Lily’s process.

Lily prefers using acrylic paints in her work, as opposed to oils. She likes the thickness and the transparency of the paint, and the fact that it’s easy to achieve such bright colour palettes. Another preference of hers is to work on a larger scale. She explains excitedly, “I love large sizes. They give me so much freedom for my big brush!”

artist holding plastic plate with magenta paint on it, with paintings out of focus in the background

Lily’s studio is her happy place.

It’s part of Lily’s painting ritual to put music on and have fun in her studio. Singing and dancing while she works is as important to her creative process as the paint itself. In her words, “if I am not happy, I cannot paint.” She attributes this need for joy as to why she often paints bright coloured flowers, although it does often depend on what plants are blooming at the time.

Floral close up of wattles

Some of the beautiful Australian natives that Lily likes to paint.

Since joining Bluethumb, Lily has enjoyed being able to reach more people and make more sales. She enjoys the fact that the platform handles all the administration of selling art, allowing her more time to paint and enjoy life.

Check out the video of our chat below!

Bluethumb Art Prize 18: Finalists Announced


  1. Lorna Gerard says:

    Thanks for sharing Lily,
    I love you bright, beautiful, Australian flowers.

  2. Freddy Grant says:

    Thanks for being featured Lily. Such beautiful photos and artwork.

    For more floral inspiration, check out this blog from our friends at TFD:

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