Artist and Illustrator
(BFA, MFA, PhD)
Dr BALO Natalia -Artist's BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Natalia Balo (BFA, MFA, PhD) is a contemporary figurative artist, born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 1966. Natalia’s Fine art education (1976–1991) belongs to the best traditions of the European Academic School. . She is a graduate of the St Petersburg Art Academy (1991) and a direct third generation student of the world-famous painters Ilya Repin, Michael Vrybel and Valentin Serov. Her training was based on the classical Renaissance traditions of working with life-models, as well as intense study of human anatomy, perspective, en plein air painting, calligraphy, printmaking and art restoration. She became a member of the prestigious professional Artists Union of Ukraine at the age of 22.
In Australia, Natalia's talent was recognized instantly when her very first artwork painted and exhibited in Australia - “Self-portrait in Ukrainian dress” — won the Grand Overall prize at the Noosa Art Show 1996, and attracted numerous portrait customers. She has since completed many portrait commissions, including the official portrait of Joan Sheldon (then Deputy Premier of Queensland) which participated in the Archibald exhibition of 1998. Natalia has won numerous Art prizes for her portraits, still-lifes and landscapes in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Currambine, Kiama, Scone, Port Stephens, Newcastle, and others.
To add to Natalia’s achievements, she was awarded a grant to complete a PhD research in bird illustration, a project that she worked on for 5 years. She graduated as Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Newcastle, NSW (field of Natural History Illustration) in 2006. The research is published as a book titled “Birds Anatomy for Artists”.
Natalia is exhibiting her work regularly at the Art Shows around Australia; her works are included in many private collections. In 2007, following her Art Awards (First Award in Sydney, City of Ryde, and Best Portrait Award in Kiama 2006) an article on her portraiture was published in the Australian Artist Magazine.
Natalia works in many painting mediums – oil, watercolour and pastel. However, her passion is portraiture - painting people, animals and birds. In addition, she is a qualified specialist in classical art restoration. Her studio is open to the public by appointment. Natalia also conducts regular Art Classes and Workshops.