Artist: Erika Farkas
Medium: Pastels on Pastelmat
© Erika Farkas, all rights reserved.
Contact the Artist for additional information.
I am an artist with Transylvanian roots living in Ottawa since the late 1980s. Immigrating to Canada at a time when hi-tech was booming drove me to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. A career in Information Technology with the City of Ottawa 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 and started drawing, something I always enjoyed doing. I began exhibiting my figurative pencil drawings a year later and has won since several awards in local and international art exhibitions.
Having started out late in life, I was interested to try out different media: graphite pencils, coloured pencils, pastel pencils and sticks, 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 graphite or pastel pencil guided by my steady hand.
I am mostly self-taught, having developed my own drawing and painting techniques. To further chisel my figurative and 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.
Since my retirement from the City in early 2022, I am a full-time artist and finally able to fulfil the dream of a lifetime by being what I feel I was really meant to be.
“ We can only see what our perception allows us to see. Distracted by meaningless details, we are often missing the whole picture. When it comes to people, my philosophy is that we humans have at least two conflicting sides: a conformist, needing-to-fit-in side that we show to the world (depicted as monochrome in my art), and a hidden, rebellious, more colourful side we ourselves often ignore, but evident to those who know us deep down. These sides intertwine and merge into our personality without a tangible boundary. This is what defines us as unique and complex human beings.
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, if I don’t just look with my eyes, but also with my heart. Capturing the essence of this beauty has become my life’s passion and gives me tremendous joy and complete emotional fulfilment.”
Artist Website: https://www.erikafarkas.com
Commissions Website: https://portraitsfrompicture.com/