I am a visual artist who works in two mediums: oils and dry pastels. I was born in Germany, raised in Russia and have lived for the past 20+ years in Canada. Currently I live and work in Mississauga, Ontario. My full name is Maria Ivanova, but I use a shortened version of my last name Iva as my artist’s name. I can call myself a late bloomer. I started painting after I had a successful career in education, a Doctorate Degree in Linguistics and had raised two children. I started as a fine art photographer and my main interest lay in creating still life images with interesting light. I used the light brush technique. At some point I realized that the technical limits of photography did not allow me to express myself and slowed down my creativity. I started taking lessons in painting and quickly fell in love with it. I was lucky to meet a very giving and talented Hamilton painter and instructor Johannes Vloothuis, who taught me landscape and plein air painting. I also studied with John Anderson, John Pryce and several American artists: Susan Sarback, Luis Griffels and Richard MacKinley. As a landscape painter I try to do most of my work on location (en plein air). I love nature and enjoy painting wilderness scenes. My main subjects are trees, water, grass, rocks and sand. In my work I use a colourist approach. I am inspired by sun-lit scenes with vibrant colours and I try to pass on this excitement to my viewers.