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Found!! Original artist par excellence – Aleks Kargopoltsev

A scarletcanvas exclusive! Fresh off the easel of Aleks Kargopoltsev!!!

Fresh off Alek's easel

I just simply have to write about Aleks Kargopoltsev. Ever since I stopped at his studio during my LaConner, Skagit Valley, WA trip a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t stopped talking about the extraordinary paintings I saw or thinking about these exceptional paintings…..

Woman with Violin, Aleks Kargopoltsev

The woman with violin was a sort of deja-vu moment for me. In one of my earlier blogs I wrote that as an art buyer, we need to look for the personal connection with the artwork and with this painting, it just happened to me! It was like finding a soulmate!

But let us talk about the artist who created this magic. Aleks moved to the US in 1993 from Russia. By the age of 4, Aleks was drawing and by age 13 passed the rigorous tests that allowed him to enter an art school in his home town of Kostroma, about 200 miles northeast of Moscow. He paints landscapes and seascapes in plein air, portraits, cubist, abstract, contemporary – it is almost like, name it and you’ll find it at Aleks’ studio!

Aleks at work in his studio

Aleks' studio @ LaConner

Here is a sneak peek into some of Alek’s versatile creations – from his cubist recreation of the Last Supper to shades of the nature that he so loves….

Last Supper, Aleks Kargopoltsev

Portrait of Sveta, Aleks Kargopoltsev

Landscape, Japanese Gulch, Aleks Kargopoltsev

Seascape, Crashing Waves, Aleks Kargopoltsev

You can find more of Alek’s paintings here at his website:

Since settling in Arlington, Washington, Aleks has taught at the Andersen Center in Edmonds, Mukilteo, Tri-Dee in Mt. Vernon, The Gene Nastri Community School of the Arts, and Alek’s Studio and Art Gallery in La Conner. If you want to get in touch with Aleks or visit his studio or take classes from him, here are the details:

Alek’s contact details:

Aleksandr Kargopoltsev
Studio Location: 106 S.First Street, Suite B, LaConner, WA 98257
Mailing Address: PO Box 3383, Arlington, WA 98223
Phone: (425)-268-9697

I’ll leave you now to soak into the mesmerizing beauty of Alek’s paintings…

Until next time….


Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – Most influential work of art?

A 2007 newsweek article, ‘Which Is the Most Influential Work of Art Of the Last 100 Years?‘ describes Picasso’s, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon as the most influential work in the past century.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Paris, June-July 1907

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of Picasso’s most famous works, was painted in France and completed in the summer of 1907. The theme of the painting is very simple – five prostitutes in a brothel. But to make this starting composition, Picasso created over one hundred sketches and drew inspiration from diverse sources like Iberian sculpture, African tribal masks, El Greco’s Opening of the Fifth Seal and Cezanne’s Les Grandes Baigneuses.

Still, so many art critiques of the time considered this painting ugly and nasty.  So what makes this painting so eye-catching? so influential that it revolutionized the art world? Well… started a new art movement called Cubism. Even to an art novice, cubist paintings are easily recognizable due to the geometric angles, lines and shapes included in them.

Personally, whenever I look at one of these creations, I think of Lego blocks. It is almost like the artist demystified a real-life object into these little blocks by looking at them from different vantage points and then he arranged and rearranged them just like you would with the Lego blocks until you ended up getting that perfect piece of art – abstract yet letting you see things differently, like never before!

Since Picasso (along with Georges Braque) introduced cubism, over the next several years, he took this art movement to a whole new level, breaking up his objects and figures into little cubes and re-assembling them in every possible way. Here’s a few more of Picasso’s exemplary cubist paintings….

My inspiration to publish this blog on Cubism is a Russian artist I met in Skagit Valley, WA. A remarkable artist, I’ll write about him and his paintings in my next blog.

Until next time….

A day with the artists @ Skagit Valley, WA

I set out yesterday on a trip to see the tulips @ Skagit Valley, WA. Yesterday was the last day of the tulip festival and I simply had to catch the fields of wonderful blooms. Setting out early ensured that I successfully avoided the traffic and before noon, I simply had taken photographs of every single tulip in every possible angle and walked around every inch of the field. Hunger pangs led me to the quaint little town of LaConner by the sea. Filled with local artists and original art, I soon forgot why I was even in this town and walked into LaConner Seaside Gallery, this time attracted by another field of tulips, only it was a painting!

LaConner Seaside Gallery

Inside, I met plein-air artist, Mark Bistranin. For those of you wondering if it was a typo in plein-air, it is actually a French expression which means, ‘in the open air’ and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. But enough art lessons and back to Mark.

Mark Bistranin with his painting

Mark’s paintings, in his own words, “capture and express a sense of place and time.” His paintings, inspired by the Pacific North West, walks viewers through familiar scenes and places they would love to visit time and time again. Mark’s paintings successfully captures the light and reflections that abound in these areas and is a treat to the eyes. If the picture of Mark above with one of his paintings didn’t give you an idea of the contrasts of light and dark that I am talking about, here is more from his collections…..

You can see more of Mark’s painting’s here:

If plein-air, NorthWest inspired paintings are your style, why don’t you walk into LaConner Seaside Gallery @ Skagit Valley or reach out to Mark Bistranin directly?

Mark’s contact details:

Mark Bistranin
17902 Mt. Ridge Drive
Mount Vernon, WA 98274
Phone: (360)-428-0352 (Home), (360)-421-1332 (Cell)

Watch out for more artist features from Skagit Valley, WA in the coming days!

Until next time……

Snohomish county artists get a new home – Schack Art Center opens!


Everett is no longer just the home of Boeing aircrafts. This weekend (Apr 30 and May 1, 2011), with the grand opening of Schack Art Center, downtown Everett is the new destination spot if you have a penchant for local art exhibits.

The opening weekend featured the Nature of Glass exhibits, curated by Traver Gallery ( International glass artists featured their work but to me, the best part was the glass blowing demonstrations by local artists. Nothing enthrals me more than watching an artist use their ingenuity to transform their imagination into a tangible piece of art that then, to the viewer, opens the door to the artist’s mind! And that glimpse into how the art evolved just makes me connect better with the artist and the art.

A sneak preview into the exhibits that are on display until June 9th…..

Mosquito Basket by Preston Singletary

Mosquito Basket by Preston Singletary, Image courtesy Traver Gallery


From East to West: Scene of Japan #39, Hiroshi Yamano

From East to West: Scene of Japan #39, Hiroshi Yamano, Image courtesy Traver Gallery

If reading about the Schack has inspired you to make that trip to downtown Everett right away, remember that Schack is closed tomorrow (May 2nd) but will open to the public starting May 3rd. Visit to learn more about their classes and upcoming events or just drop by – guaranteed you won’t be disappointed!

Until next time….

Better than Mona Lisa?

The mysterious smile of Mona Lisa has beguiled viewers for centuries and is considered the most famous painting in the world. Artists and art lovers around the world rave about the aerial perspective Leanardo introduced, the dramatic contrasts of light and dark, the sensuous curves of the woman’s hair and clothing created through sfumato, etc… etc….

And then last week, I run into a series of pictures posted by a facebook friend depicting rural Indian women. I am neither an artist nor a critique to talk intelligently about the techniques used. But I don’t need to understand any of those to say that this painting was mesmerizing.

With a genteel smile on her face, every single detail on her face and clothing exotically captured, I wouldn’t hold you guilty if at first look you thought this was a photograph!

Watch out for more pictures from this series that I found. And if the original artist crosses my blog or anyone reading this knows the artist, please get in touch with me for I want to make sure the artist gets the recognition well deserved.

Until next time……

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