For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

The American landscape has always facinated me, the solitude of a deserted barn or farmhouse, or the simplicity of an old wooden garden bench with its paint cracked and peeling. So much of nature intrigues me and inspires me to paint. The way light reflects off of an old watering can is just as compelling to me as the grandest of landscapes. Finding new ways of interpreting and presenting these images is my joy. I knew from an early age that art would be my passion in life. I began my professional art career at Walt Disney Studios, painting backgrounds on such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Lion King. I was Art Director on Fantasia 2000 and most recently was the Production Designer for Sony Pictures', Open Season. After 28 years as an artist and art director for film, I'm sharing my personal vision in print, and finding it to be the most rewarding and challenging experience as a visual artist. Michael's animation art may be viewed at:

Barbara Edidin

"One thing that I would like to communicate through my work" says artist Barbara Edidin, "is a sense of abundance". Abundance, richness and opulence are some of the feelings that Edidin's drawings evoke. Working with only colored pencils she creates remarkably realistic still lifes composed of simple objects, flowers, fruit and fabric. Despite the humble subjects that compose these arrangements, the result is such a lushness of color and pattern, that it "overflows the eye". "What I am striving for is a balance between realism and abstraction. My work is perfectly realistic, but the pieces are so "full" that on first sight one might see just a swirl of pattern and color that seems very abstract, then out of that swirl emerges objects that are recognized as being absolutely realistic. The eye bounces back and forth between these two ways of seeing, blurring the line between realism and abstraction."
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1952, Edidin attended the Kansas City Art Institute, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. During her academic career she became interested in ceramics and fiber arts, especially quilt making. "I came back to drawing through quilting. After a couple of years it dawned on me that I absolutely hate to sew! So I decided to draw the quilts." The influence of her quilting background is apparent in the repeated juxtaposition of patterns and the intricacy of her textile subjects.
Edidin's technique with colored pencils is unique. And as many artists know, anyone who is dedicated to this medium considers it a labor of love. The drawings are not executed quickly, but this effort has yielded artistic rewards. Her recent still lifes amaze the eye with their utter clarity. Edidin's drawings, with their jewel-like colors and crisp lines, look like oil paintings. The great patience and focus with which she creates each image is apparent. Silver gleams like silver, crystal refracts light like crystal. The work is startlingly realistic, with a deep, luxurious surface, pushing the limits of the medium to a new level. But dazzling her audience with her technique is not really her aim. "I hope that people can look beyond the technique, and find in the work something that moves them, something beneath the surface, something of myself. When that happens then I am really showing them what I see. Then I am sharing my way of looking at things."
There is a magnetic attraction in Edidin's drawings, a promise to pull the viewer into the piece. One finds oneself drawn into the still life the same way that one is drawn into the view through an open window. Her drawings are a window into a world of deep lushness and a vision

Barbara Groff

here and here

Pastel is an extremely flexible medium. Depending on how it is applied, pastel can be smooth or sharp, blurry or focused, muted or vivid. It can be used to cover broad areas with color or drawn with delicate and precise lines. A finished pastel can be properly referred to as either a painting or a drawing. Barbara Groff uses her pastels to cover the entire surface so it is proper to refer to them as pastel paintings. Using dry, not oil pastels, Groff attains a level of realism that is nearly photographic. This effect is emphasized by her use of in- and out-of-focus areas. This device controls what the eye focuses on much the same way that a camera does.
Because pastel is pure pigment the artist can achieve an astonishing depth and richness of color. Also, because they are pure pigment, pastels are very stable and resistant to fading or change.
Barbara Groff is a designated Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America, Inc. She was a top ten winner of the Pastel Journal Magazine International Competition in 2008 and 2009. She has won numerous national and regional awards for her work.

Eduardo Fiel

Eduardo Fiel
also here

Carioca Eduardo Fiel, nascido em 26 de Junhode 1975, pintor autodidata, utilizou o óleo sobre tela pela primeira vez em 1996. Passando a dedicar-se profissionalmente desde 1999, desenvolvendo suas obras examinando técnicasque colaborassem para transmitir a “idéia e a intensidade do real”. No ano de 2003, através de séries de naturezas-mortas e nus femininos adquiriu visibilidade e reconhecimento de sua identidade artística, versátil e contemporânea.
Atualmente, Fiel trabalha com galerias conceituadas no cenário do mercado de arte,
assim como para colecionadores nacionais e estrangeiros.

Self-taught Brazilian painter, born in June 26,1975 in Rio de Janeiro. Make use of oil on canvas in 1996. Professionally in 1999, developing yours artworks taking into consideration techniques to make possible to express the “idea and the intensity of real”. In 2003, through the still-lives and nudes series has visibility and recognition of your versatile and contemporary artistic identity.
Currently, Fiel work with renamed galleries of Brazilian art market, as well to foreigners andnatives collectors.

Ivan Slavinsky - Иван Славинский

Ivan Slavinsky - Иван Славинский

"I painted and drew as long as I remember myself. Every kid likes to play with colors and make funny little stick men. I was making hundreds of those, from morning till evening ".

Ivan Slavinsky was born in Leningrad in 1968 and raised in a cultural and highly educated family. His father was a famous artist, the head of an "official" art movement, highly appreciated in the Soviet Union; his mother, wasan acknowledged art critic. They had high standards and did not pay particular attention to the artplay of their son. Till one day ...

By Natalia Shuvalova

"I was about 5 years when I felt tired of making the same old stuff. I noticed a nice picture on the wall (a reproduction of Raphael) and decided to make a copy of it. When I finished, I brought it to my mother. She could not hide her surprise, a sort of: 'My son is a genius!' When my father came home, he was struck too! He did not say much but the next day he took me to art school. "
To be exact, first he took little Ivan to the Children's department store to buy the train set Ivan had wanted so much. "He bought me two! I asked for it before, but it never worked! At that point I thought: artists have a really nice life! "
Ivan got the degree from Art School and spent only two years at the Academy. He did not see much sense in staying there as his father has always been his major teacher. He taught by his own example and attitude towards art. It is hard to define the style Slavinsky works in. There are too many different ones: surrealistic portraits and landscapes that evoke pictures from Ray Bradbury stories; or impressionist still life pictures. Ivan admits that every masterpiece, of any school, has inspired him to work. He has learned from all of them to pursue his own ideas.
"I do not think that it is the style that makes the artist recognizable, but how much of his soul he puts into the work," he says.
His first exhibition took place in 1991, but his name was already popular in St. Petersburg. When the Soviet era ended, artists got the freedom to create whatever they loved. No longer did they have to bother about "official" art. Slavinsky believes he was lucky to start at that time. Even five years earlier, his surrealistic landscapes of St. Petersburg streets would not be have been appreciated, to put it mildly.
"At that time there were no galleries. The Academy was supposed to make an annual exhibition of young artists but their exhibition never reflected what was truly going on. Most of the artists would go to the streets (laughs). There was no negative connotation
about that phrase. We were so enthusiastic about it. We would wake up at 4 a.m. to get the best places. "
Did it pay well?
"Quite well! The paintings sold like hot cakes! Foreign tourists were so eager and hungry to get something from Russia. Soon enough I got regular clients. "
Slavinsky did not spend much time on the streets, though. Soon enough he went to France.
He planned just a tourist visit, but a tour guide in Paris liked him and his wife so much that at the end of their three day visit he said: "Why would you not stay. Let's go to extend your visas and you both can stay with me! "
He smiles at the easy way in which the French authorities allowed him to stay. He did not come home for nearly ten years.
French experience influenced his views on art and on the life of an artist in a cultural capital. He had the opportunity to share the premises of a deserted factory, where artists lived, painting on carpets, picking up garbage and eating tins of cat-food for lunch! But he seems to have been born under a lucky star. Finally, he got exhibited in one of the galleries and gained his reputation.
Before that, his lucky star allowed him to get his money for living from Russia ... illegally.
"I had paintings sold back home. The problem was that there was no way to transfer the money: no banks, no money transfers. So I had an idea. I called my friend (all the time wondering if any official was overhearing our conversation) and gave him instructions on how to put the cash into the tubes of oil-paints. He did. Then he went to the airport and asked the pilot (yes, at that time it was as easy as that!) To give the case of colors and brushes to the artist in Paris. The pilot, by the way, was very honoured to help! "
Now, when his name is recognized in France, Holland, Italy, he is living back in Russia.
"I feel that it is easier for me to express myself here. After all these years, I can say for sure that there is a cultural difference between the countries that influence an artist. Today's western art is too much about experimenting and novelty, while the public still has the taste developed over the course of centuries. It is great to experiment, but I strongly believe that an artist is also a craftsman whose duty is to satisfy the taste of the public. I do not mean it is the only duty. Besides, most of the modern artists in the West do not posses the basic painting skills. In this respect, Russians have an advantage. We can do wild things, but never loose our roots in Repin and Shishkin. "
As mentioned before, Ivan is a fantasist in his creative work. Though he easily shifts from style to style, he is predominantly surrealistic. But he depicts his fantasies with great technical skill.
In July, he opened his own gallery in his native city. He believes that every artist needs to have one. It gives the freedom to exhibit the works, and to create something not bothering whether it will be sold. He never had problems with that, but it always troubled him what the gallery would say about his other extra large size work.
"It is a problem even to take those paintings through a doorway," he laughs.
Recently, he has been requested to paint the interior of the Archangel-Michael Cathedral in Cannes. It is an old Orthodox cathedral with a rich history, which houses the remains of Joann Kronshtadsky, Duke Andrey Vladimirovich. Slavinsky is very honoured, happily admitting that he has already received the blessing of the Priest.
No doubt he will be traveling a lot as his work with European galleries is not over. But his main passion is his own gallery on the Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg. He is much loved and in demand at home. The opening of the gallery on the 24th of June was a grand event attended by Russian TV, cinema and music celebrities. He arrived with Renata Litvinova, the famous actress and film director, in a cabriolet, and walked up the red carpet while smiling at the numerous photo cameras.


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