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Katerina Mertikas: Whimsical Paintings of Childhood

Is there anything more uplifting than seeing the pure, incandescent joy of children at play? Katerina Mertikas doesn’t think so, choosing to paint whimsical depictions of her family and other children at the height of happiness in a style she calls “naïve expressionism.”

“My paintings convey to the world the message of love, peace, innocence and friendship,” the Canadian artist of Greek heritage says. “I love vivid colors and depicting children in all their joys and excitement.”

In Katerina’s first painting below, she’s depicted almost an entire community out and about on a blustery fall. With the school day over, children flock out of the bus and into the streets on their way home. Armed with bags and books, and covered head to toe with hats, wool sweaters and cozy boots, the kids wave to one another cheerfully, thankful another day of learning is over!

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Autumn is in full swing, and you can’t help but smile as you take in the dazzling oranges, yellows and reds that dot and line the trees and homes. Only a wet sky and damp street foretell the oncoming winter months, with their drizzly gray tones that still can’t stifle the happiness and warmth of the scene.

In the winter, of course, children’s laughter rings out even louder across snow-covered streets and backyards covered in blankets of white.

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Remember when you were a child, and you could barely wait to get all your winter garments on before you darted away from your mom to join your friends outside? That’s what this painting reminds me of!

Houses are nestled in mountains of snow as children use that large blanket of white stuff to sled, build snowmen and frolic about merrily. Meanwhile, a spirited, pick-up game of hockey is underway, as players skate toward the puck on a picturesque rink.

It’s easy to feel the zest for life and joy of the moment radiating from children in this painting!

Lastly, let’s return to autumn in the painting below, which has all the rain Katerina’s earlier painting threatened.

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It’s no matter for these girls, who jump from their front stoop armed with colorful umbrellas and shiny rubber boots. All the oranges and blues make an energizing, yet lovely contrast, while the leaves dotting the path mimic the dots found in the umbrella and the nearby orange and purple flowers.

Katerina is deeply involved with charities, and regularly shares her art through cards, stamps and calendars to help raise funds for worthy causes. She has been honored with a “Women of Distinction” award in the arts category in 1999 and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, whose patron is Prince Philip of Edinburgh.

Learn more about her, as well as view more of her endearing and timeless paintings, on her website.

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San Diego artist Sandro Giacomangeli has been painting wildlife for over 30 years, and hopes that that his artwork will help promote the idea of conservation and respect for the natural world.

Using multiple layers of acrylic paint and various scraping tools and mixed media on wooden canvas, Sandro is able to create the illusion of texture and. . . read more

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