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Katya Minkina

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I fell in love with Hana, Maui at first sight and instantly knew it would nurture my artistic soul for many years to come. A slow-paced life at the backdrop of the spectacular ocean, rainforest and vast green pastures relaxes the soul and opens it up for deep breaths of inspiration.
It was not until 2015 that I really discovered this magical piece of paradise. After the first visit to Hana, the rest of the year was spent in shuttling between Seattle and Hana for gasps of fresh air and a much-needed connection with the magic 'āina (land). I am blessed to call heavenly Hana my home now - a place of many living paintings that I can't wait to manifest on my canvas.

My life before Hana embraced several other special places with which I will always keep a strong bond: Moscow where I was born and raised, Hyderabad (India) where I spent the early years of my adulthood, Seattle, a point of big transitions, and Hana, a place I chose with my heart.
I was born in Moscow, Russia in 1981. Growing up among my mom's paintings, art books and inexhaustible stack of typewriter paper, I thought drawing was the most natural way of being. At the age of 7, I got enrolled into an evening art school for children where, after a regular day in my other school, I was initiated in the fundamentals of drawing, painting and composition. For the next 9 years my life revolved around methodical still life painting in class, field trips to art museums and the zoo, art history lectures and painting homework that filled my weekends and summer holidays. 
In later years after completing my studies in linguistic and foreign languages, I settled in Hyderabad, India, where for five years I taught French in an international school. Painting and drawing took a back-seat, but the longing never quite went away. In 2008, life took me to Seattle, WA and the circumstances arranged themselves perfectly for me to return to drawing and painting. I discovered life drawing at Gage Academy of Art, and the open studio provided me with a much-needed practice to reanimate and hone my drawing skills. In the course of the next few years, I stuck to the disciplined schedule of a studio monitor to be able to attend as many figure drawing sessions as I could. Slowly, drawing yielded a transition to painting.

I remain fascinated with my primary source of inspiration, which is figurative art. On occasion, I turn to still life painting for its immediate availability, challenges of composition and practice of color palette. The real challenge of the recent years has been plein air painting. Meeting and observing the work of contemporary masters of this genre at Maui Plein Air Invitational events has instilled in me a true admiration of their craft and dedication.
Painting on location in Hana is always an adventure. Juggling the ever-changing natural elements, keeping up with the changing light, trying to block out the distractions has all been a steep learning curve.
Some of my Hana-inspired work can be found in Hana Coast Gallery.

Member of Plein Air Painters of Hawaii since 2015.