Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Natalia Clarke Conjures Christmas Memories

December 14, 2018 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Natalia Clarke
December 14, 2018 Dan’s Papers cover art (detail) by Natalia Clarke

Born and raised in Moscow, Natalia Ivan Clarke evokes the holiday season with her still life “Jingle Bell.” To see more of Clarke’s work, you can visit her website, nataliaivanclarke.com.

Natalia Clarke headshot
Natalia Clarke

What was the inspiration for this particular piece?
The classical colors of Christmas—green, red and gold, Christmas songs.

What does the holiday season mean to you?
Family together, friends around, children’s happy faces, believing in magic!

How did you get started in art?
I always loved photography and in 2007 graduated from the New York Institute of Photography. It was great; they taught me how—without words—to express myself, to capture “forever” moments and show people how interesting the world around us can be.

I also wanted to study drawing and painting and be able to create that illusion of the three-dimensional form on two-dimensional, flat surface (a canvas, piece of paper) and, at the same time, to express myself through the colors, subjects, composition—it’s a magical process.

In 2008 I went to the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, located at that time in Riverhead and then at Atelier Armetta in Glen Cove, when I received my training in classical drawing and painting. It was hard work: five days a week, full-time, a lot of cast drawings, live figures and portrait study, still-life paintings, many workshops. I had great teachers: Robert Armetta, James Daga Albinson, Bennett Vadnais, Steve Forster. Now I am a member of Oil Painters of America.

What are challenges you face as an artist?
Not enough time to paint, always divided between what I would love to do and what real life wants me to do.

If you could sit down with any artist, past or present, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would not talk! I would just enjoy watching them working. It would be Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, William Merritt Chase, Antonio Mancini, Emil Carlsen, Anders Zorn, Hovsep Pushman, Nicolai Fechin, Richard Schmid, David Leffel, Roos Schuring, Tibor Nagy and Daniel J. Keys—he’s the youngest, today in his early 30s.

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