Ivan Blagorenko’s love of art percolated while growing up in Belarus, which was part of the former Soviet Union.
"I took a lot of trips to St. Petersburg and Moscow and spent time in various museums in those cities,” Blagorenko said. “I had a lot of friends who were artists and I guess I have an artistic gene, so that was the combination that did it for me. That exposure gave me a push to go into art.”
The painter works mostly with oils, but also enjoys drawing shape studies with pencil. “Oil gives me the ability to express myself,” he said. “I can use the colors to put life into shapes that I draw.”
Blagorenko is known for his landscapes, although he has done some portrait work. “I think I’m drawn to landscapes because of the environment I grew up in,” he said. “We had a cottage where I would spend my summers. We would go fishing and have to hike through a thick forest to get to the lake. “When I was there, it was just part of my life, but now I can realize how rich nature was for me,” he said. “That’s probably one of the reasons why I paint in the realistic style.”