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Artists of the Month WINNERS - January 2023!

Updated: Feb 20, 2023



ART from HEART is excited to announce the Winners of the Artist of the Month - January 2023!


4 Artists, 3 Mediums, 4 Countries:


Marina Alaeva - Painting - Russia

Ernest Strauhal - Drawing - USA

Caren Garfen - Textile Art - UK

Marek Zgodka - Painting - Poland/UK



The competition is open to multimedia artists worldwide and was created to showcase, promote and raise the visibility of the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The winners are featured on our website and social media platforms and considered for any upcoming curatorial projects by ART from HEART. Artworks are selected based on creativity, originality, quality of work, and overall artistic ability.



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Marina Alaeba - Painting - Russia


© Marina Alaeba, All Rights Reserved.

Top Left to Right:

Image 1: Hush, Apocalyptic Landscape Series, oil on canvas, 2022

Image 2: There is a Light and it Never Goes Out, Magical Forest Series, oil on canvas, 2022

Image 3: The Depth, Magical Forest Series, oil on canvas, 2022

Image 4: Birth, Magical Forest Series, oil on canvas, 2022




Artis Marina Alaeva was born in Izhevsk, in the Udmurtia region of Russia in 1983. Her paintings are imbued with colour, light and magic. She is instinctively drawn into the forests that surround her for her inspiration. A childhood experience of finding herself alone and lost deep inside a local forest formed a huge and lasting impression on her.


The feeling of being a ‘witness’ to something greater and the primal consciousness of the forrest are ever-present themes within my work. There is an unbearable beauty to many of my visions. These are not literal landscapes, they are emotionally symbolic responses that harbour an intense sense of belonging.

Marina’s instinctive, Expressionistic style of painting reflects her intensely individualistic nature. Her heightened colour palette and delicate brush strokes fashion a world saturated with spiritual light, beauty and mystery. This is often countered by an overwhelming sense of helplessness and solitude. All of these diverse elements invite the viewer to become a ‘witness’ to the world Marina has created.


Marina gained a degree in Industrial Design at Udmurt State University in 2005, and a further degree in Architecture and Engineering at Kazan State University in 2010. Marina began her career as an Artist in 2018 when she travelled to the UK for an Artists internship/residency at painter Gavin Watsons' studio. She has participated in numerous Group and Solo Shows and has been featured in numerous publications.


She continues to live, work and be inspired by the myths of the ancient forest lands around her home city


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Ernest Strauhal 許志仁 - Drawing - USA


Ernest Strauhal Black and White Drawing

© Ernest Strauhal, Untitled No5, pen and ink on vellum, 2022. All Rights Reserved.



Artist Ernest Strauhal 許志仁 (b. 2000, San Francisco) works in sound, print media, and installation. His work draws references from the environment, incorporating landscapes, gestures, and chance in his works.


I create meditative visuals through automatic drawing to create a reprieve from the cacophony of commercialism and consumerism in the 21st century.

Ernest obtained an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 2024 and a B.F.A. from the California College of the Arts, in 2022.



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Caren Garfen - Textile Art - UK


© Caren Garfen, All Rights Reserved.

Top Left to Right:

Selection II, Cotton, silk threads, 74 vintage ophthalmic lenses, 74 miniature picture frames, photographs, hand stitch, 2022

The Weight of the World, Textile, silk thread, gold and silver metallic threads, fringes, hand stitch, 2022

Star Witness, Textile, silk thread, fabric dye, printing ink. Dyeing, hand printing, hand stitch, 2020

Labelled, Miniature suitcase (from Germany), textile, silk thread. Hand stitch, painting, 2020




Artist Caren Garfen worked for fifteen years as a miniaturist, hand-sewing one-twelfth-scale, miniature doll house samplers. She created her own designs and painstakingly recreated authentic embroideries for adult collectors that were sold in the States and Europe through an American agent, whilst she exhibited at top-of-a-range doll house shows in the UK. It was a wonderful period of her life, but she was ready for a change.


In 2002, Caren embarked on a five-year, part-time degree in the Applied Arts as a mature student and became a fledgling artist, doing something that she had wanted to do since she was a small child.


I am now a fully-fledged artist specialising in textiles, meticulous hand stitching, and intensive research. When these facets are combined, the artworks become discourses relating to issues that affect us as a society.

Over the years Caren has created artworks relating to the domestic, women’s issues, gender stereotyping, dieting, and eating disorders, incorporating the tiny stitches that she perfected as a miniaturist. Textiles, the use of the tiniest of stitches, and carefully chosen objects draw in the viewer to reveal unexpected stories within the artworks. The tactility and familiarity of cloth in our lives make textiles the perfect tool for engagement.


Since 2019, Caren has been researching the Holocaust and examining the shattering rise in global antisemitism in the 21st century. When she became aware of this upsurge, she began documenting all the incidents in a sketchbook, and the list became longer and longer.


Jews, either individually or as a people, have become a target for the woes of humanity, or for simply being members of a particular religion. This is nothing new, but antisemitism has once again reared its ugly head.

Through her work, Caren attempts to make sense of our complex and problematic world. She continues to explore why antisemitism, which often sits just below the surface, has suddenly burst out into the mainstream.


My works have been painstakingly hand stitched with historical and contemporary research as well as personal stories of those who survived the devastation of the Holocaust.

Caren searches out objects, such as vintage optical lenses, doll house accessories, key fobs, and old books, which when positioned alongside the stitched cloth, become potent devices. Caren's work has won several awards, can be found in public and private collections, and has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, as well as in Australia, Canada, the USA, and Japan.


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Marek Zgodka - Painting - Poland/UK


© Marek Zgodka, All Rights Reserved

Left to Right:

Friday, oil on canvas, 2021

Kings Road SW3, oil on canvas, 2021-22

I love Hackney, oil on canvas, 2021

Nft1, oil on canvas, 2022



Artist Marek Zgodka is a self-taught Polish artist based in London for almost 30 years. He owes his experience and love for painting to his mother, Anna, an artist, and painter. Enchanted by her mother’s world of exhibitions and paintings, he developed a passion for fine arts.


Marek is an abstract expressionist painter, with great sensitivity, who creates works by bending reality and sometimes even touching on irrationality. On canvas, he expresses his subjective point of view about things, people, and the world. He uses colour and form to express his feelings or his experiences at a moment in time

His motto is that ‘Everything that is not obvious is exciting'.


Marek appreciates the inseparableness of the mind and quantum process and embraces the philosophical nature of emotion.


I believe I have an increased sensitivity to emotional or social stimuli; all is related deeper in Quantum states within. I believe we can translate Quantum process and receive information, through a perceptive-conscious state of mind and combine those to get the right outcome. For me, that translation is Colour and form on my Canvas.

Marek's applied forms and colour are secondary to seizing on canvas the emotional reality of the subject matter but impossible to create without it.


Marek's artistic process is deeply intuitive, subtle and on many occasions expressionistic /extemporized. However, he considers the interaction of Gaia and deep Laniakea energy the beginning of a journey towards our perception of the second that just passed away, presented together with a narrative of global consciousness and the unknown murmuration of physics and philosophy, conjuring up a great momentum for him and the colour and form to evolve on the canvas.


I never paint the same feeling over and over as tomorrow is another day of fresh airing breath to our beautiful world where new awareness is evolving. This will never end; existence will go forward, and perception evolve together with the connectivity of the sublime conscious nature of the surrender world.

The Future is discovering new emotions presented on the canvas in various layouts, and technics to deepen positive emotions in the viewer.


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Apply NOW for an opportunity to get featured in February 2023

Increase your outreach, and visibility, & raise your artist profile!

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