I am a self-taught Canadian artist with Transylvanian roots living in Ottawa since the late 1980s. Getting an engineering degree, followed by a career in information technology, left me with little room for artistic endeavours. My eye-opening moment was when I turned 50 and I realized that life was too short to let my dreams go to waste. So, I picked up a pencil, started drawing, and have not stopped since. I began exhibiting my figurative pencil drawings a year later and has won several awards in local and international art exhibitions. Today, I am a full time artist, and finally walking on the path that I feel I was really meant to walk on.
Having started out late in life, I was interested to try out different media: graphite, charcoal, coloured and pastel pencils, acrylic, oil, resin, often mixing several of them together for an enhanced visual effect. I experimented with styles from realistic to abstract, and even 3D collage. But in the end, I always seem to return to what really started me on this path: realistic pencil portraiture and figurative art. Although working with a brush or a palette knife have their own merit, there is no better feeling for me than the control I have over a pencil guided by my steady hand. Today, I work mostly with pastel and graphite pencils, but occasionally I also work with oil and mixed media.
To further chisel my portraiture skills, in 2017 I had the privilege of taking a week-long advanced realism workshop with hyperrealist Dirk Dzimirsky in his studio in Warmsen, Germany, where I learned a few tips and tricks of graphite pencil drawing. A few years later, another week-long workshop with Canadian artist and teacher Martinho Correia, introduced me to Caravaggio’s realistic oil painting techniques and his use of chiaroscuro. Both experiences strengthened the core foundation which I can build upon to express my own figurative style using pastel pencils and soft pastels.
As an active member of several art organizations in the Ottawa area, I exhibit throughout the year in selected community and commercial galleries, most notably at the Foyer Gallery.
What inspires my art is the beauty of my perceived reality. I can see so much beauty in the intricacies of the human figure, in the emotional power of a gesture, in the smile of a ragged old face, in the innocent expression of a child, in the seductive glance of a person, in the magnificence of the natural world, in the serenity of a still life, if I don’t just look with my eyes, but also with my heart. Capturing and sharing the essence of this beauty through my artworks has become my life’s passion and gives me tremendous joy and complete emotional fulfillment.
1701 Woodroffe Ave
Ottawa, ON, Canada
A selection of my works can also be purchased on these art marketplaces:
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People & Pet Portrait Commissions
- 3rd Prize in Works on Paper for ‘Morning Bath at the Lake’, Arteast Ottawa’s Juried Awards Exhibition, 2018
- 1st Award for Excellence, Judges’ Choice Award, 1st Members’ Choice Award for ‘Alter Ego’ at Nepean Fine Arts League’s Annual Exhibition, 2018
- 3rd Members’ Choice Award for ‘Aromatherapy’ at Nepean Fine Arts League’s Annual Awards Exhibition, 2017
- 1st Prize in Works on Paper for ‘Dripping’ at Arteast Ottawa’s Juried Awards Exhibition, 2015
- Special Merit Award for ‘Old Iraqi Man’ at Light Space & Time’s Open Art international online competition, 2014
- 3rd Prize in Works on Paper for ‘Deep-Rooted Bittersweet Memories (Self-Portrait)’, Arteast’s Juried Awards Exhibition, 2014
- 1st Award of Excellence in Works on Paper for ‘Dripping’, Nepean Fine Arts League’s Members’ Night Exhibition, 2014
- 3rd Prize in Works on Paper for ‘Angie’, Ottawa Art Association’s Members’ Choice Awards, 2013
- 3rd Prize in Works on Paper for ‘My childhood picture’, Arteast’s Juried Awards Exhibition, 2013
- Director’s Choice Award for ‘Still looking ahead’, Infinity Gallery’s Figurative Art Expo international online exhibition, 2013
- Honourable Mention and 2nd Members’ Choice Awards for ‘Young and old’, Nepean Fine Arts League’s Members’ Night Exhibition, 2013