Artists: From Russia with love |

Artists: From Russia with love

Michael and Inessa’s story is so adorable that they had to paint it.

They’re two of Russia’s most renowned impressionist painters and they’re stopping in Vail during their American tour.

Michael and Inessa Garmash arrived from Russia Thursday night and will visitors Friday evening in Vail Fine Art Gallery. Saturday they’ll be in the Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery for another reception.

Accompanying them will be their translator and model for many of their paintings, Kristina.

Both Michael and Inessa were born in Russia where they were schooled and studied art, and launched an artistic love story that has lasted a lifetime.

Michael began painting at 3 years old. By 6, he had started his formal education at the Lugansk Youth Creative Center. His teachers sent his works to a variety of exhibitions in the then Soviet Union, where he received almost universal acclaim.

Inessa was born in 1972 Lipetsk, Russia, and she was also an early bloomer. She entered the Lugansk Fine Art School at age 15. At 17, she was named the year’s best undergraduate to the Lugansk State Fine Art School.

Their artistic collaboration began quite by accident.

Before he graduated at the top of his prestigious school’s class, Michael exhibited all over France, including galleries in Paris, St. Etienne, Avignon, Lion and Marcel.

One day, Michael spotted Inessa for just a moment, but a moment was all it took. He courted his future wife by painting her image all over her hometown while she slept. She married him shortly thereafter.

Several years after their marriage, Michael began a painting of their 2-year old daughter, Polina, for a project at school. However, Polina found the painting during her father’s absence and the toddler decided to add some of her own artistic touches.

Inessa didn’t want her husband to be upset, so she summoned her own considerable artistic training and fixed it.

Before he saw it, Inessa packed it up and gave it to him to submit for review, where it was praised as his best work ever.

When it was unveiled, he was surprised to see the “new” painting and immediately recognized his wife’s hand.

Michael and Inessa have painted together ever since.

Vail Fine Art gallery owner James Tylich is internationally recognized for his collection of paintings and sculpture from around the world.

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