About Harikleia Harriet Kuliopulos
It all starts with color and light--evocative, beautiful, intriguing ...
Painting, for me, is a kind of visual meditation in form, color, and space. From the first strong impulse to the last consideration, itís a response to the beauty of light moving over a form, illuminating the land and sea, an object, a face, or absent in shadow. This joyful, Impressionist rendering of what I see visually, as the color of light, connects to what I see inwardly-to memory, stories of people and place, to things deeply felt and understood. As I gaze at my subject, I form a relationship with the subject where something emerges-an idea, a feeling that the person projects or perhaps I project, something mysterious about the relationships between objects in a still life, or the mood of a landscape-and it is these emergent ideas and feelings that shape each work. A color harmony in paint depicting the connections between people, places, and things. A praise offering.
The Poetry of Place
And then there is place. Bostonís Arnold Arboretum. High Head in Truro. The Greek island of Lesvos. When I paint outdoors, studying the scene in front of me and picking out what I want to include in my painting, such as startlingly red berries on a bush or a marsh aglow in pale greens, golds, and oranges, I let the feel and poetry of a place inspire my hand.
Some words on process: I use both the palette knife and brush in my work, but for my landscapes prefer the palette knife, at least for the initial lay in. Working in the Cape School method, I put down my color notes, looking for notes that express the light key and atmosphere of the day and work to achieve a color harmony. The knife is good for putting down the clean, vibrant color that I love-color over color, partially mixed (letting the eye mix the colors), or in thick impasto shapes.
Part of my painting process includes selection. Iím especially interested in space and geometry in my paintings, looking not just at the form, but also at the space around the forms and the relationship between form and space; thus, for example, creating tension in one area or expressing calmness in another. In this way, I express the mysteriousness, excitement, and beauty I see in the subject and its surroundings, both in a specific and general way. To quote Georgia OíKeefe, "It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things."
Beginnings and Teachers
After earning degrees in biology and philosophy at Tufts and Cornell Universities, I worked in the business and non-profit worlds. Then, one summer in Greece while sitting on a bench in front of a small chapel in the Taygetos Mts., I felt inspired to draw the scene in front of me. I was so captivated by this effort I bought art supplies and drew during the rest of my trip. When I returned to Boston I took a beginning drawing class and soon began to study art seriously.
I sought a classical training at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and MassArt, studying under teachers with a strong technique, sensitivity, and understanding. My most important influences have been nationally known portrait artist Cedric Egeli and landscape and portrait artist Joanette Egeli, who teach within the Cape School of Art Impressionist tradition. Iíve exhibited in solo and group shows in Boston, throughout Massachusetts, and in the Thanassi and Egeli Galleries in Provincetown, MA. My work is held in collections in the U.S. and Europe.
Harikleia Fine Art Studios