Born in Moscow, Evgeny Baranov and Lydia Velichko Baranov are known internationally for their exquisite oil paintings. Evgeny received his Masters of Science in Architecture from Moscow Architectural Institute in 1984 and Lydia received the same degree in 1987. The two met when they were working as architects with the Institute of Special Projects in Restoration, Moscow. They were married and moved to the United States in 1990. They currently reside in Pebble Beach, California.
The Baranov's lives are so intertwined that their love for each other seeps into their art. Together they compose the values, harmonies, depths, and palette of each individual canvas. When painting, they share responsibility to create beautiful artwork that reflects each of their unique sensibilities. A very small number of collaborative studio work examples can be found throughout the history of art; however, the Baranovs collaborate not only in the comfort of the studio, but en plein air as well. Working in a duet enables them to perform faster in the ever-changing plein air conditions and evaluate their own accomplishments in a more comprehensive manner. "As always with collaborative work, the greatest challenge is learning to respect the opinion of the creative partner and to accept constructive criticism," they say.
It is not only their talents and tremendous ability to work hard, but also their broad education in art, architecture, philosophy and aesthetics that help the Baranovs find their way in the art world. They believe that "An artist, first of all, is a person of comprehensive knowledge in many fields. Art is an endless process of learning; from nature, in a museum, with a book." For more than 15 years, the Baranovs have given instruction to a large number of students, from beginners to professional artists with university degrees in the field. Among his greatest accomplishments, Evgeny is an author of a unique program for drawing and painting based on the best traditions of the Russian Imperial Art Academy. Lydia has outstanding architectural acclaim, including being elected to participate in the first USSR/USA ICMOS Exchange Program for Young Professionals in Architectural Preservation in 1989.
The realist art, portraiture, genre, landscape, and still life works of the Baranovs are scattered throughout government, corporate and private collections in over a dozen countries of the world, often with more than ten major paintings accumulated in a single collection. Notable collectors of their work include the Royal Family of the United Kingdom, the Hearst Family, the Clint Eastwood Family, and the Russian Federation. They have been featured in numerous publications, including Art of the West, The Artist's Magazine, Southwest Art, and PleinAir magazine and have accrued countless awards from competitions over the years. Most recently, the Baranovs won First Place in the June-July 2015 PleinAir Salon sponsored by PleinAir magazine.