Visions of Nature: Spotlight on painter Niko Papadatos

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In this Spotlight Interview, Niko Papadatos shares his incredible path to following his artistic dream… see more of his work at www.nikopapadatos.artweb.com

Being a painter

Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself

Born in Canada to Greek immigrants, I have lived a life full of passion and dreams. One of my many loves is the ocean and all her hidden beauty. Alive with poetic mystery, the ocean beckons me to gently capture those special moments that are revealed to us for a brief moment. My desire to live by the ocean has moved me to his Panamanian beach front studio where my inspiration gently calls daily, as the waves remind me that every dream in life is attainable.

A successful entrepreneur, I have always had the desire to capture life on canvas. After running a thriving cosmetic empire for several years, and maintaining a successful boutique salon for his exclusive clientele, I decided to slow down my fast pace of life, and share the special moments with my family.

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My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. It was a difficult time learning and dealing with the challenges that are accompanied with this terrible illness. At 50 years of age I packed up my mother, my life long partner Mario and my (hairless dog) Calvo, and headed to Panama to live and celebrate life. Be it the warm ocean breezes or the sound of the waves, my life has changed dramatically. My mother, rather than struggling daily with simple tasks, showed signs of recovery while my artistic desires exploded on canvas.

For several years now I have been sharing with the world the beauty of life captured on my canvas. With every heart felt stroke of my brush or pallet knife you can feel the intensity of colour exploding on the canvas. At times you feel like you could simply walk right into his art. Listen closely and you too may hear the sound of his waves.

My self-taught technique and unique approach to painting has brought me international recognition.

When did you decide to pursue painting as a career?

At the age of 50 and at the height of my career I decided it was time to follow my dreams. It was time for my desire to capture life on canvas and share life with my family. Putting my power suite aside, my new office attire consists of a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. From my Studio (30ft balcony facing the ocean) I gaze out into the sea as I capture the beauty of nature and create amazing masterpieces to share with the world.

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What training did you have?

Completely self taught, I mastered the art of colour through my career as a hairstylist and CEO of a major cosmetics line. I understand colour, texture and mixing to achieve the perfect pigment.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

Selling my first painting was the most amazing moment in my life. It was the turning point for me.

General Questions

What’s your favourite quote?

Earth with out art is just eh!

Who is your favourite artist?

Scott Naismith.

What are you aiming for?

To share the views of nature I experience every day with the world.

How will you get there?

I am very passionate about my work. All my life I have strived to be the best. I would like to believe that I have achieved many of my goals.

Is anything holding you back?

There is nothing holding me back from achieving my dreams. After all what is life with out dreams?

You and painting

What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?

Excitement, happiness, tears. I would hope my paintings bring back great memories, optimistic futures, visions of nature that reflect moments in ones life. I am always excited to hear reviews and the ultimate compliment, to hear someone say they just must own my art.

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From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?

A piece of art can take anywhere from one day to one year depending on the complexity and desire.

What music do you like to listen to when you work?

I love to listen to Greek and Spanish music. Usually very dramatic.

What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?

I am new to Panama and setting up my new studio. Once I am well established I would like to set up some exhibits and gallery showings in this beautiful country I now call home.

Being inspired by painting

Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?

All artist that have put their art as a priority have and always will inspire me. A true artist is hard to come by. Their warmth and understanding of the world always warm my heart.

What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?

Nature, ocean and sky. I love bold colours and dramatic moments in life.

What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?

I have a piece of work entitled Fuiste Tu. It is one of my most favourite pieces. It is bold, full of texture and life.

a painter’s advice

For those thinking about turning a passion for painting into a career, could you give any advice?

Don’t wait for the perfect day. I believe that if you make your passion your career you can only be successful and happy.

Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?

Share your work with the world. Don’t be afraid to show your work at galleries, websites and events.

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