Chicago – the city, its colors, shapes and sounds – shaped young Nick Paciorek’s world and brought him where he is today: a renowned artist whose work is seen from coast to coast.
At age five, when other kids were enthralled with the Major League baseball being played at Wrigley Field, Paciorek was awed by the colors and the brightness – in the field, the bleachers, and the people.
As a teenager, Paciorek spent countless hours at art exhibits. He continually returned to his favorite, an Impressionism collection at a museum in downtown Chicago, impacted by the ability of an artist to control the world on canvas simply through color choice. It was then that Matisse became Paciorek’s central influence.
As an artist, Paciorek aligns himself with a new generation of Fauvists. He uses broad strokes of brilliant color for their emotional impact.
Each of his pieces is a celebration of light and color, a vivid interpretation of his subjects. For him, choosing the exact combination of hues for each painting is foremost.
Large cities with active skylines, busy streets, and hard edges are one of Paciorek’s favorite subjects. He’s influenced by the relationship of one building to another, and the immediacy of light hitting a building in a certain way. He finds that a particular street may represent the entire mood of a city.
A resident of Chicago most of his life, Paciorek’s education brought him to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. He now maintains a studio in Providence.
The paintings of Josef Kote are symphonies of light and color. They are lyrically stunning and romantic, edgy and current. Kote achieves this delicate balance of seemingly contradictory qualities through his complete mastery in technique, and through years of experimenting to find his own unique style. With the lightness of a true master’s hand he combines classic academic and abstract elements, fusing these, literally letting them run into each other with dripping rivulets of riveting colors and light.
Kote’s trade marks are his bold brush work and sweeping strokes of vibrant colors applied – more often than not – with a pallet knife, while other areas of the canvas are left monochromatic and devoid of detail creating a negative space that lets the eye drift to infinity. The results are paintings that tremble in stillness with energy and light.
Influenced by many places where he lived, Albanian born artist J.Kote began his journey towards artistic self-discovery in his youth and never looked back. From very young age he was endlessly drawing and had the innate urge to create. By the age of 13 he had made up his mind to become an artist and devote his life to the arts. He focused on getting accepted into the finest art high school of his native Albania. Ultimately, after competing locally and nationally, he was awarded a coveted spot at ‘’National Lyceum of Arts’’ in Tirana.
In 1984 Kote followed this amazing feat by being accepted into the ‘’Academy of Fine Arts’’ of Tirana, where J.K was educated in the traditional approach of the old masters. Yet even as a student he wanted to break loose of the limitations, he wanted to experiment and grow, sometimes leave paintings seemingly unfinished, shatter the boundaries of classic realism. While still in school Kote also worked at a movie studio, and made a small but well received animation film Lisi.
In 1988 Kote graduated with a diploma in painting and scenography. The years of practice and his 8 year solid art education had prepared the young artist well to pursue his life’s quest of living and breathing art. It had set him on his lifelong journey to find his own unique style and language, to create stupendous paintings pulsating with the light and energy that he sees all around him.
Kote began his professional career as a scenographer at the Petro Marko Theatre in Vlore, but in late 90-s the 26 year old artist grew restless and decided to debark to Greece, where the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and brilliant light infused his paintings in tone and style and lent them a more impressionistic air.
Highly respected, the young artist did well and received many important commissions, including in 1998 The Meeting of the Leaders for the Hellenic Cultural Union in Thessaloniki which depicted the Assembly of the Founders of Modern Greece, and a portrait in 2000 of the former president of Greece, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, for the Greek community in Toronto.
After a very successful 10 years in Greece, Kote was weary to rest on his laurels, and he moved to Toronto. Already renowned for his beautiful portraits and scenic paintings, Kote now garnered additional kudos for his gorgeous urban scapes, and snow scenes. His color and style moved away from the impressionistic influence toward a more expressionistic feel. The paintings from this period, many of them masterpieces, are a clear indication of the continual development of Kote’s style and his fluidity and growth as an artist. Thanks to a host of avid collectors worldwide Kote saw his dream and years of labor come to fruition. Achieving this goal, however, only made him strive for higher ones.
Like a rolling stone Kote moved to New York, The Big Apple, in 2009. Here his paintings and style morphed again. The colors grew bolder and his style became so unique that it cannot be ascribed to an existing genre. This highly prolific painter, who works on his craft almost daily and long hours, is never satisfied, always seeking, always experimenting, and always growing.
Only the future will reveal the great heights his art will ascend. Certainly one thing holds true for all of Kote’s master works: they capture shimmering moments in time and space and are filled with light, energy and love for whatever subject he chooses to portray.
Vladan Ignatovic born in 1955 studied Fine Art in private “”Summer Academies”” in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. After arriving in Toronto in 1993, he began painting murals for both commercial and residential spaces as well as participating in numerous local art exhibitions.
Since 1995 he has worked providing background imagery in the animation industry in Ontario. His latest work may be seen in the animated series, “”Anne of Green Gables””, released by Sullivan Entertainment.
Vladan paints abstracts and figurative using oils, acrylics and mixed media.
For Hallman, her art is in the process itself, which she regards as the essence of her work. On the surface, the work may appear simple, yet there is considerable emotional depth inherent in the artists multi-layered approach.
It is Layers she says, That expose the passage of time. How some things are covered up and how others are revealed. Each completed work possesses a unique history, in which the layers represent the way things were and the finished piece defines the ways things are.
Hallman begins her works with stick figure drawings on paper. The loose and somewhat abstract forms act as a matrix for the composition. She then begins the process of rubbing dry pigment (by hand) into the paper. Between the layers she masks off sections with tape and scrapes away others. She describes the process of removing tape and unmasking areas as being similar to revealing and discovering the nature of the subject. The creative pace is intense; the result is super-saturated hues and curiously crude textures.
Hallman employs symbolic elements in her works assigning meanings to simple objects. A pea depicts nothingness while a horse epitomizes freedom. One familiar element in her works is a bird, perched on a shoulder, representing the trusted companion.
Terri Hallman was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a small town west of Milwaukee. She had a childhood fascination with the shape of things, reproducing them and then recreating their surfaces. She recalls that drawing was a continuous part of her daily routine.
After graduating high school Hallman attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, specializing in Design. While still in school Hallman began working as a product designer, her work in this field won numerous international awards.
Hallman enjoyed visiting the local galleries and museums in Milwaukee as she continued her drawing and painting. When she felt she had enough pieces worth exhibiting she went out in search of a gallery. Interest in her work was immediate and she chose to exhibit her work in the then popular MC Gallery.
Traveling around the world is a great love of Hallman. She spent a number of years living in San Diego, California where she explored a variety of creative opportunities. After a short stay in Lafayette, Louisiana she settled in Houston, Texas. Overall, she likes the South for its easy and friendly culture.
Hallman is an extraordinarily driven and innovative artist. There is a constant audience for her work that keeps her busy creating full-time. Her work is widely collected and featured in galleries throughout Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
I started painting in the Russian Impressionist Tradition when I turned 45…Landscapes, and etc. finally gave way to a subject that I knew intimately – Cows – having spent time on my grandparents farm as a child, and then later raising them.
But, the pull to follow my intuition finally led me to paint abstracts – and then abstracted figures…
One thing has led to another – which most things do – finally culminating in my current style.
I love layering paintings, frequently taking older paintings and adding to them, conversing with the paint and the canvas after meditation time, allowing that which is asking to come through to do so. They unfold and develop intuitively. Sometimes I start with an intention, or sometimes I just allow and know that this process works best for me.
I paint a layer, and then glaze – layer after layer – allowing the layers to build upon themselves creating the depth and richness in the paintings that I love. I find that even the “mistakes” frequently become an intrinsic part of the painting, and I instinctively know that this is much as our lives are.
Our “mistakes” or learning experiences as I prefer to call them, are layered with time and other experiences, creating the fine masterpieces that we are today.
I used to demand that every painting be a Mona Lisa, and I realized that NOT KNOWING what the outcome is, or will be, is a part of my process, not only when I paint, but also in my life. KNOWING, that it will be okay, if I just follow my intuition, rather than trying to fit everything into a neat little package.
It has changed how I feel about everything now….My “I’ll never be an artist” moments are rare now…oh yes, they still happen, but not nearly as frequently, and if I just step back, take a moment, and breathe, I know everything will turn out exactly as it should.
My story of believing in myself, the courage that it has taken and following my intuition about what I knew…what I know…I hope, will give others permission to also do so.
Fine art and music have always been an integral part of Irina Koulikov’s life. Born in Kokand, Uzbekistan, Irina studied fine art at Moscow State University in 1986. Irina explored her musical talents studying vocal music at Leningrad Conservatory for two years and later becoming a choir singer at the Rimsky-Korsakov Opera Theater. In the early nineties, Irina’s work began to show the stylistic influences of Oleg Koulikov, who she eventually married. By 1993, she had left her singing career to devote herself to painting on a full time basis.
The Dutch masters and French painters influence Irinas work. Her flattened forms and textural emphasis are not unlike the work of Marc Chagall. Employing an encaustic method, her distorted perspectives and calculated relationships between elements creates a sense of tension. Irinas landscapes parallel nature but are independent from it, therefore, drawing ones attention to the materials used in the piece and its color effects. In her still life work, the warm rich browns, stark creams and vibrant reds combined with her deliberate placement of items are inspired by the work of 18th century artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.
When people pose for a photograph their expressions tend to have a hallow quality about them; in painting I try to capture the real, unguarded essence of the image. Regarding his group compositions he says, My goal is to render a likeness of the scene before me while at the same time capturing the energy of the relationship between the subjects. I try to leave the audience with the idea that something has just happened or is about to happen.
Trained as an urban designer, Braul creates a pictorial space that is seemingly three-dimensional. The thick, fluid application of oil paint gives the surface of his work an almost sculptural appearance. By using a combination his hands, palette knives and brushes, the medium is worked in palpable strokes to create a rich, material texture.
Harold Braul was born in 1960 in southern Ontario. His early introduction to art began at age 6, when he studied under the tutelage of a private teacher. It was during this period of his life where he became a faithful disciple of color, line and light. In his later years his works would become informed through his study of Industrial Design at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, however to this day he maintains the child-like whimsy that first drew him to the medium.
Braul draws his snapshot scenes from imagination that is filtered through memory. While his work depicts the realities of everyday life, each figure and setting is conjured from the artists own interior vision of urban existence. Similar to the French Impressionists of the 19th century, Braul finds beauty in the mundane sights of the modern city: a commuter awaiting his connection, or the billow of an overcoat on a rain-swept street. These glimpses of the everyday are rendered in bold color tempered with a soft, seductive luminescence.
Braul uses loose strokes, vibrating lines and diffuse light to highlight themes of motion and flux that characterize his work: a cyclist corners a turn, a bird prepares to take flight, a bistro boils with bold, noisy color and lively figures. Each moment represented suggests an unfolding narrative. Each moment, though ordinary, expresses the extraordinary play of light and color that may be found in the simplest scenes of city life.
My works speak of my feelings of happiness, I love to paint, it feels great and I hope my art is a way to transfer this positive energy and wonderful feeling to others. I want to share the warmth of the afternoon, the smell of the exotic flowers and the sensuous taste of the ripe fruit with the viewer. Wander with me through the roads of Tuscany or come enjoy a quiet moment in a romantic setting somewhere in Spain.
Eventov’s paintings are characterized by a thick application of acrylic paint using a selection of different sized palette knives. The paint is applied as both blended and pure colors. Smaller knives are used to create depth and detail in her paintings. She then uses a series of varnishes designed to create a wet paint effect.
Eventov creates Mediterranean themed landscapes, where her scenes are imaginary and idealized striving to capture the joyous freedom of a bright blue sky and quiet cafes. She also creates works where the scene is reminiscent of rural landscapes in North America. These paintings are executed using a special palette knife and imitate a mosaic technique. The smaller, more regular strokes allow the painting to come to life through the reaction of the viewers eye to the subtle shifts in color and tone.
Maya Eventov grew up in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union. St. Petersburg, as it is now known, is a city fabled for its beauty and culture. At a very young age her parents introduced her to the great artistic treasures of the city. Countless hours were spent at the magnificent Hermitage Museum studying the works of great masters. The works of the post-impressionists and those of the Russian Avant-Garde especially fascinated Eventov. The palette of Matisse and Gauguin affected her interpretation of color while Rodchenko and Malevich influenced her sense of balance and composition.
From the age of six onwards, Eventov studied art in one form or another. She was accepted into the prestigious High School #190, which is affiliated with the St. Petersburg State Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts. As a student she participated in the various state juried exhibitions, but always found them traditional and boring. She much preferred the underground exhibitions organized by the students. After graduating in 1987 with a masters degree in graphic design, she began working as an illustrator for children’s books.
Eventov took advantage of the fall of the Iron Curtain by travelling, exploring the lands of her dreams. In the early 1990s she immigrated to Canada. Here she found an immediate appreciation for her artwork and quickly became involved in the local art scene. Today Eventov and her family reside just outside of Toronto, Ontario.
Eventov continues to travel, finding inspiration for her works in the varied landscapes around the world. Her work is represented in galleries throughout Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
Born in 1971 in San Bernardino, California and raised in the Atlanta area, Craig first recognized his creative drive via crayons on his parents’ walls, like many inspired young artists, and by the age of seven, his capacity for detailed visual interpretation became undeniable. After excelling in an introductory drawing class in school, Craig continued to develop technically and conceptually through his own diligent studies while always planning to pursue a formal art education.
He accepted a soccer scholarship at the University of Mobile, Alabama, along with 3 summer art classes and in the first, Pottery, Craig’s light bulb switched on in a rejuvenating glow. Learning became enjoyable from that point forward in his life and he was immediately thrust into the scholastic limelight. To help sustain his education he found financial support and enjoyment in driving to New Orleans on his weekends and creating portraits for passersby on the streets, with original rates that baffle today, at $15 for charcoal and $30 for watercolor. This endeavor helped him perfect his flair for replicating the human figure and afforded the budding artist a sense of economic autonomy. With a focus on studio art, his minor concentration in theater further diversified Craig’s craft and armed him with additional techniques in makeup and set design. This blending of disparate influences and media is visually apparent in all of Craig’s works, which demonstrate a broad knowledge and appreciation of the human form as well as the colorful world these beings occupy. Craig earned an area award for academic excellence and the university’s most prestigious exhibition, “Art with a Southern Drawl,” featured one of Craig’s pieces, out of 42 chosen from a field of more than 1,600 submissions.
In his prolific career is a culmination of textbook artistic knowledge and keen aesthetic sense that has gone from a “slow and studied” application to “fast and free of precise thought”. Craig’s collections run the gamut from abstract expressionism to haunting, graphic realism, each one a reflection of its creator’s unique vision. He is most well-known for his Populus series, which drew inspiration from a balcony overlooking Orange Beach, Alabama where patrons enjoying a wedding party seemed to form the shape of an eye where they stood. Craig explains, “Inspiration begins with a ‘What if…’ as I consider alternate imagery, surfaces, effects, results, etc. It comes from the past in conjunction with now. Like a bolt of lightning.” Since the epiphany, his Populus series is now home to dozens of celebrities and icons of all ages including: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Freddie Mercury, James Bond, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Van Gough, Gandhi, James Dean, Lady Justice, John Lennon, Queen Elizabeth, Darth Vader, Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, and many more.