Maxim Tulebaev with his art teacher Elena Sirota / Credit: Samir Tulebaev

Eleven-year-old Maxim Tulebaev says the first picture he actually remembers drawing was a snake in the bushes. He credits his friend Declan with helping him. Maxim was only in preschool at the time, but it seems that was the beginning of something big for the budding artist. This month he became the youngest artist to showcase work in the adult section of the Needham Public Library. 

Maxim’s bold and colorful paintings will be on display through Monday. He said he likes to capture the details of what he sees. He was originally obsessed with drawing in pencil, but then decided painting was way better. Why? “Because paints can’t break the way pencils do!”

Maxim’s father, Samir, said he and his wife, Natalya, who are Russian, wanted Maxim to maintain his Russian language and heritage, so they brought him to some Russian cultural classes. There, teachers noticed Maxim’s talent and suggested he study with professional artist and teacher Elena Sirota. She encouraged Maxim to develop his painting, saying his work was very mature for his age. He now studies art with Sirota every Saturday.

Samir said his son also likes to play video games, explore virtual reality, and has a lot of friends. Maxim apparently wants to follow in the footsteps of his parents, both of whom are doctors. But everyone agrees he should continue to develop his artistic talent. As for the picture of the snake in the bushes, Maxim says he no longer possesses it. 

“My parents stole it.” 

Check out Maxim’s paintings this weekend during the Friends of the Needham Public Library fall book sale.

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