Artist Spotlight – Ari Targownik

It is my pleasure to shine the artist spotlight today on Ari Targownik.

I discovered Ari’s work on Reddit and loved the looseness of his brushwork and harmonious color selections. 

Ari is aspiring to become a full-time artist just like many of you. I trust his talent will get him there soon enough.

Here is his story. 

 Ari Targownik, Tamalpais East
Ari Targownik, Tamalpais East

(Before diving into this post, make sure to pick up a copy of my free Landscape Painting Starter Kit.)

How long have you been painting and why did you take it up?

My first experience with painting was high school, but I didn’t really start painting until college, so about 19 years – some years I painted way less than others.

My initial reason for picking up painting was, again, exposure in college.  But it wasn’t just exposure to the medium, it was exposure to Fine Art itself – learning about great artists from the past, art history, etc.  I’ve been drawing/sketching for as far back as I remember, so painting just seemed like the eventual evolution of drawing.

Are you a full-time artist? If not, what is your day job?

I do not have a job and I am working towards being a full-time artist, but I can’t say I’m quite there yet. I did work in the video game industry doing 3D modeling, concept art, and illustrations – something I may continue to do as freelance work here and there.

Ari Targownik, Dillon Beach 3
Ari Targownik, Dillon Beach 3

Did you receive any formal training or were you self-taught?

Both. The most influential training for me happened in foundation year of college, when I essentially learned to draw.  

I’ve also taken a landscape painting workshop, picked up bits from tutorials, books, and learned from trying to figure things out myself.

How would you describe your style?

Because I tend to jump around a fair amount with regards to painting approaches, this can be hard for me to say.

The most familiar thing to say would probably be “impressionistic”, but this is more about me trying to convey a general experience – as opposed to an investigation in light and weather effects. So maybe it’s closer to “post-impressionistic”.

Do you have any preferred subjects to paint?

I often use still lifes as a vehicle for experimenting with different approaches to painting.  My preference for what I like in landscapes has varied over time, but I am drawn to strong architectural forms.

I am trying to make more work with the human figure, whether it be from observation, imagination, memory, or a combination of all those things.

Interior scenes can be very interesting to paint as well – capturing the space and the way light bounces off things.

 Ari Targownik, Flowers
Ari Targownik, Flowers

Where do you find painting inspiration?

When I’m inspired by something I see, it’s usually an interesting combination of shapes – something that is either striking, pleasing to look at, or both.

This is often, but not always, caused by light and the way it breaks up a given scene. I am also inspired by other things such as music and movies. When that happens I can get ideas that are usually more imaginative and expressive.

How long on average does it take you to complete your paintings?

An outdoor painting is usually about 2.5 hours, and I will often touch the piece up a bit when I bring it home. Still lifes can take anywhere from 2 to 20 hours, depending how detailed or ambitious it is.

Ari Targownik, Island
Ari Targownik, Island

Are there any other artists who inspire you?

Yes, absolutely. Musicians, directors, and of course painters – Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Diebenkorn, Rackstraw Downes, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and others.


I would like to give a huge thanks to Ari for his time and I hope you all appreciate his story. There is much to learn from other artists and not just the old masters. 

You can find Ari on Instragram or his website.

Here are some more of Ari’s paintings:

Ari Targownik, Howarth Lake
Ari Targownik, Howarth Lake
Ari Targownik, Mid-day Mountain
Ari Targownik, Mid-day Mountain
Ari Targownik, Irises
Ari Targownik, Irises

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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