Felix Voltsinger

 Felix Voltsinger was born in 1954 in St. Petersburg, the most beautiful of all Russian cities. A talented child, he attended a Regional Art School and at the age of twelve was admitted to the high school of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Graduating in 1971 with honors, and finding the Academy program too restrictive, Felix took a year off and apprenticed with a restoration master. For a year he restored frescoes in medieval churches and cathedrals, traveling throughout Russia. This experience offered the opportunity to study restoration and conservation and exposed Felix to the exciting world of antiquity. Returning to the Academy, Felix was admitted to the Restoration and Conservation Department, where he studied art history, painting, drawing and composition, as well as the techniques and chemistry of the Old Masters. Copying the Old Masters was mandatory, and for six years Felix worked in this strict environment to master the discipline. Every summer, the students would travel to different parts of the country to accomplish practical studies, such as drawing and painting landscapes. Every year since, he has continued to undertake extensive summer sketching tours.

Felix graduated from the Academy in 1979 with honors and was immediately offered a prestigious position within the Restoration Department at the Russian Museum. After a year, he accepted a position at The Hermitage, the world’s largest museum of fine art. He remained a conservator until the very moment he left the Soviet Union in 1982 to come to the United States.

Felix worked in various restoration studios in Boston and New York, and eventually opened his own restoration studio, working for collectors and dealers in New York. During this time, Felix traveled extensively throughout the United States and fell in love with the open and stark beauty of the West. In 1996 Felix followed his impulse to paint Western landscapes. He left his studio in New York and moved to an isolated cabin, without electricity or running water in the mountains above Salida, Colorado.

Summers, he still packs his tent and travels throughout the Southwest, sketching and doing studies. Winters find him in his studio, bringing his experiences of Western landscape to life in paint.