Art Brokerage: Nicholai Fechin Russian Artist: b. 1881-1955. He was born in the Tartar regions of Kazan, Russia in 1881. Nicolai Fechin was born and would later become one of America's premier portraitists and colorists of the southwest in the early 20th century. Born to a craftsman father, Fechin began at an early age the techniques of woodcarving, icon making, and gilding. At the age of thirteen, Fechin received a scholarship to study at the Art School of Kazan, a segment of the Imperial Academy of Art of St. Petersburg. It was there that he studied with Hardships following the Bolshevik Revolution eventually led Fechin to take his wife Alexandra and daughter Eya to the United States in 1923. The family first settled in New York, but not for long. Since a child, he had loved the somber forests and peoples near the Tartar border in his homeland. He found their equal in the high pine forests of the Colorado Plateau, the old adobe villages, and the Pueblo, Apache and Navajo tribes of the American Southwest. He moved his family to Taos, where a small community of artists also made their home. There he purchased a house in the middle of seven acres adjoining the Indian reservation. His father's influence took over as Fechin spent the next several years handcrafting every viga, corbel, lintel, swinging door and niche for icons. Today the home itself remains a work of architectural art. For seven years, before finally settling in Santa Monica, Fechin took great delight in the abundance of subject matter the Taos area provided him. He worked with vibrant hues to paint the native people. He traveled south to Mexico to sketch in charcoal, pencil and pastel the many faces of its people. The sketches reveal the superb draftsmanship underlying all his work. Author Frank Waters once wrote of Fechin's paintings, "How they shout and sing! No man . . . has his intensity of color. Few can equal his masterful draftsmanship. Whatever his subject, Fechin's work is stamped with his immediately recognizable style. Listings wanted.