Erika Farkas with her drawing “Alter Ego”

I am a self-taught Canadian artist, born in Transylvania, Romania, and living in Ottawa.  Immigrating to Canada at a young age at a time when hi-tech was booming drove me to pursue a technical training, from which I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.  Although life’s reality took me on a different career path, artistic creativity has always been a part of my life.

At the age of 50, I decided to fulfill my biggest dream. As my dreams of becoming a ballerina or an opera singer were no longer feasible, (for obvious reasons), I started working toward my more realistic goal: becoming a drawing and painting artist.

The internet opened the world to me, and I fell in love with works by contemporary hyperrealist drawing artists Dirk Dzimirsky and Emanuele Dascanio.  I could hardly believe that someone can do such amazing work with a pencil. Therefore, I had to try it out myself.  I started drawing portraits from photos, and within a year, I must have drawn close to a hundred portraits. In 2017, I was fortunate to actually attend in Germany a 5 day advanced realism workshop by Dirk Dzimisrky, which gave me a few pointers on how to improve my own drawing technique.

Drawing, or painting rather, with soft pastels opened me to the wonders of colour that this medium can render, and naturally, I fell in love with pastels.  From time to time, just to keep things interesting, I also work with acrylic and mixed media in some of my paintings. Most of my works are realistic in style, but I often add what I call “a touch of surreal” to them.

Since I started exhibiting my works in 2013, I was lucky to have won several awards at juried local and international art exhibitions in Ottawa and online. Although I cannot devote as much time as I would like to, as I still have a full-time job, I am currently an active member of the Foyer GalleryNepean Fine Arts LeagueArteast Ottawa, and Pastel Artists Canada.

My works can be seen throughout the year at the Foyer GalleryNFAL Gallery, as well as in other artistic events in Ottawa and online. My sold and commissioned works have found good homes in private collections across North America and Europe.

Erika Farkas with her drawing “Dripping”

Artist Statement

Creating art has become one of the biggest joys of my life. I thrive on that feeling of urgency and excitement that I get when the creative juices start flowing through my brain and urge me to pick up a pencil, a brush, or a pastel stick and just have fun with it. 

After working with graphite and charcoal pencils for some years, I was thrilled to discover the colourful and exciting world of pastels. I was able to achieve a much more sophisticated rendering of landscape and portrait backgrounds and able to add a foggy and a mystery element that is harder to achieve with other media. I just love the brightness and intensity of soft pastel pigments. My landscapes can be as colourful with this incredible medium as nature itself. I am looking forward to create many more wildlife, landscapes, and human portraits with pastels and graphite pencils.

I feel that I am only at the beginning of my artistic journey. There is so much more that I can try, so many new ways to challenge myself. This journey is worth all the hard work, because for me it is both therapeutic and emotionally fulfilling.

Interested in my work? Read two online interviews about my art at the links below.