Soon, I started to do lousy black pencil drawings, such as a pencil copy of the Mona Lisa. But for the longest time my favorite medium was color pencils on paper and black ink. Later, after we immigrated to the United States, and I went to elementary school (5th grade), my art got sufficiently better. I won the Martin Luther King drawing contest in my school by making a pencil portrait of Dr. King.
I continued to do art all through jr. high school, where I discovered oil painting through a Russian artist friend of my parents, who was also kind enough to supply me with my first canvases, brushes, and oil tubes. Well, I was off!
I used to draw my friends from photographs, and even sold a number of paintings to people at school. My subjects were primarily people's faces -- a favorite subject to this day. At the same time, since I also got involved in fantasy and science fiction, my own art took on fantastic elements. I persisted with fantasy-realism. In high school, I won a number of art competitions, and in college, I took a graphics class that started me with my college job at the theater graphics department. I'we always been into fine sharp lines, high contrast or smooth perfect flows of color -- hence, the realism or representational tendencies. I disliked sloppy strokes and any shade of impressionism, and only now am I discovering the new freedom in that. My most recent oils have more freedom and maturity, but I still prefer to stay representational.
I've also been involved in other arts and crafts. I made dolls, carved wooden miniatures (furniture), did bronze sculpture. Unfortunately, I am no longer doing that as much, because of problems with my hands related to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Despite all this, I've never seriously considered being a professional artist. Never that is, before the middle of summer 1995. I started reading American Artist and then submitted a painting to a professional art show. To my surprise, my work was not only accepted, but it also won a cash award! And so, Vera the Pro Artist was born...
Here's a list of Art competitions and events that I've been involved in, since I took the plunge and went "pro"....
And now, please visit my Fantasy Art Museum...
What's my favorite artist(s) or movement? Here are some of my top favorites: