Contemporary realism -
Irene Georgopoulou, “Refugee,” pastel, 20 x 16 in. Created for an exhibition about refugees in Greece.

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, Irene Georgopoulou.

Irene Georgopoulou was born in 1964. Since becoming a full-time artist in 2009, she has won several awards, and her work has been published in art books and magazines, most notably Poets and Artists Magazine, International Artist Magazine, Artist’s Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, Pastel Journal, and a series of Strokes of Genius books. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and of the International Guild of Realism, and has achieved Master Circle Status with the International Association of Pastel Societies.

Irene paints realistic still lifes and portraits in pastel. She is a collector of objects that stimulate her creativity, and she loves transforming common objects into luminous still life paintings. She also finds portraiture fascinating and tries to create a certain emotional content with her work.

Her work has juried into art shows, and she was among the finalists in many art competitions. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in the USA, Italy, France, China, Greece, and Turkey. Irene’s art is in many private collections worldwide.

Contemporary realism -
Irene Georgopoulou, “Joyful Memories of Childhood,” pastel, 14 x 11 in. A drawing of my boys’ toys on a Disney comic which reminds me of my childhood.

Artist’s Statement

When I travel back in my memory lane, colors seem to dominate my feelings and images. I have been interested in painting ever since I was a little girl and used to draw on every piece of paper that I could find. My busy schedule as a wife and mother of two boys kept me from pursuing my dream until 2006. I am a pastelist by preference, and I loved this medium from the moment I picked up my first pastel in 2009, a turning point in my life, being a moment of enlightenment and revelation. Pastel is, beyond a shadow of doubt, a magical medium that reflects light in such a way that the painting’s surface emits a mystical glow.

I am mainly a still life painter but I also enjoy portraiture. I am constantly obsessed by colors, and I find myself spellbound by the playful impact of light while it piously strikes objects and creates luminous reflections. I enjoy depicting the uncomplaining movement and mesmerizing illusion of water. Pebbles, glass marbles, shells, toys are among my favorite subjects. Combining light and dark flavoring with brilliant colors gives an eye-popping sense to my deliberately chosen small-in-size paintings. By focusing on small daily objects, I try to gain insight into the secret nature of things by exploring them deeply. The expected outcome is bound to be the awareness that small still life objects do have an evocative expression and they can undoubtedly offer the viewer the privilege to experience art through a variety of angles. I aspire to praise the beauty of simple things and their undeniable contribution to the surroundings.

As an artist I feel an irresistible attraction toward realism. My passion is exploring and unveiling details. I love painting close-ups, and my need to depict the chosen subject with great precision seduces me into a constant battle to master new skills of realism. I am self-taught and I paint what I find beautiful, enjoying the process of painting. It’s always such a pleasure when my work resonates with people.

Contemporary realism -
Irene Georgopoulou, “Back in Time”, pastel, 8 x 11 in. A drawing of my dad’s collection of old coins. I have used pastel pencils mostly but also pastel sticks for highlights.

Learn more about Irene Georgopoulou at

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