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Lyudmila Tomova

Lyudmila currently paints figures, portraits, and landscapes in oil and watercolor. She immigrated to the US from Bulgaria in 1990, living in NYC and working as a professional artist. Her award winning art has been featured in International Artist, Walter, and Splash Books among many others. Her work has been selected for thePleinAir Salon, ArtFields, RFAS, NOAPS, AIS, WFWS, NWS and many more. She is also a Signature member of several watercolor societies. She studied Illustration at Sofia’s Academy of Fine Arts and later at FIT in New York where she earned a BFA degree. She resides in Cary, NC.



Lyudmila Tomova is an award-winning artist, well-recognized nationally and internationally for her unique impressionist style. Currently, she paints figures, portraits, murals and landscapes in oil, watercolor and acrylic. Inspired by nature, her work has also been highly recognized in numerous plein air paint-out events. She merges abstract and realistic elements together to create mood, movement and an impression of the world around and within us. Her painting style adds spontaneity, boldness and elegance all at once telling magical stories and evoking complex emotions. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, Lyudmila immigrated to the US in 1990 and lived in New York City working as a full-time artist, editorial illustrator and designer, exhibiting nationally and abroad. Her strong education in Classical realism from the Sofia’s Academy of Fine Arts in Bulgaria and later from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she earned a BFA degree in Illustration.

She’s been featured in the International Artist magazine with a 6-page article, Walter magazine, Splash books, North Light Books’ drawing competition Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture and many others. Her work has been selected for the PleinAir Salon, ArtFields, RFAS, WFWS, NWS, and many more. She was nominated as an Emerging Woman 2016 by the Emerging Women NC and was personally recognized at the NC Museum of Art where the first of her “Butterfly Women” series was unveiled. Lyudmila is also a Signature member of the Watercolor Societies of NC (silver signature member), Georgia, Southern and the Southwestern Watercolor Society. Lyudmila resides in Cary and teaches watercolor, oil, acrylic and drawing workshops in various locations in North Carolina and exhibits nationally and abroad.
Selected Exhibitions and Events:
• Juried into Easton Plein Air Festival
• Juried into Telluride Plein Air Event
• Juried into New Bern Plein Air Event
• 2023 Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition (group juried show)
• IWS Japan Nadeshiko Watercolor Triennale in Kobe, Japan (international group juried show)
• FALC show at the Mayton In, Cary, NC (group juried show)
• 2022 NOAPS (National Oil and Acrylic Painters of America) Fall International Online Exhibition (group juried show)
• 3rd Annual American Impressionist Society All Member Online Exhibition (group juried show)
• Canvas Rebel Feature Article
• Edisto Plein Air of Botany Bay, Edisto Beach, SC (Honorable Mention Award)
• Fine Art League of Cary, Margaux’s, Raleigh, NC (group juried show)
• Foothills Plein Air event in Elkin, NC (People’s Choice Award)
• Hillsborough Paint it Orange plein air paint out (1st Place Award)
• Watercolor Society North Carolina 2022 Annual Juried Exhibition (group juried show, 3rd Place Award)
• 2022 Suffolk Plein Air event (juried plein air event, Best in Show Award)
• Blowing Rock Plein Air event (plein air event)
• WATERcolor & SPIRIT” Triennial 2022 Exhibition in Varna, Bulgaria (group juried show, Daniel Smith Award)
• NOAPS (National Oil and Acrylic Painters of America) 2022 Best of America National Juried Exhibition (group juried show)
• Southwestern Watercolor Society 59th Annual Membership Exhibition, Plano, TX (group juried show)
• Watercolor International Online Exhibition, Greece (group juried show, Merit Award)
• Central Region Watercolor Society NC, Southern Pines, NC (group juried show, 2nd Place Award)
• 2022 National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society Spring Online International Exhibition (group juried show)
• Wrightsville Beach Invitational Plein Air (group invitational event)
• 2022 Southport Plein Air event, Southport, NC (People’s Choice Award)
• American Impressionist Society 2nd Annual AIS Associate Member Online Exhibition (group juried show)
• 2022 National Juried Show of the Spokane Watercolor Society (group juried show, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention)
• Azalea Plein Air Festival, Wilmington, NC (group invitational event)
• American Impressionist Society’s 6th Annual Impressions: Small Works Exhibition (group juried show)
• 5th Best of America Small Works National Juried Exhibition, Birmingham, AL (group juried show)
• LWS 52nd Annual International Exhibition (group juried show)
• Central Region of the 2022 Watercolor Society NC Online Member Exhibition (group juried show, 1st place Award)
• Georgia Watercolor Society 2022 National Exhibition, Watkinsville, GA (group juried show)
• Southern Watercolor Society 45th Annual Juried Exhibition, Bradenton, Florida (group juried show)
• Annual FALC Exhibition, Page Walker Historic Center, Cary, NC (group juried show)
• International Watercolor Masters Contest 2022 (group juried show, Award of Merit and Top Rising Star Award)
• 5th Annual Paint it Orange Plein Air Paint-out (plein air event, Honorable Mention Award)
• Theater Art Galleries 2021 in High Point, NC (invitational art auction
• “Light Captured”, TAG gallery, High Point, NC (two-person exhibition)
• Artistic Excellence Competition of Southwest Art Magazine (group juried show)
• 2021 Southport Plein Air Festival (The Adrian Spencer Hayden Award)
• Bulgarian Culture exhibition at the Cook’s County Treasurer’s Office in Chicago (invitational group show)
• 93rd Grand National Exhibition of the American Artists Professional League, Salmagundi Club of New York (group juried show)
• 58th Southwestern Watercolor Society Membership Exhibition in Allen, TX (group juried show, Certificate of Recognition, 3rd Place award)
• 2021 San Diego Watercolor Society Plein Air Exhibition (group juried show)
• San Diego Watercolor Society’s 41st International Exhibition (group juried show)
• Voyage Raleigh Magazine featured article
• LazyDaze 2021, Cary, NC – Featured Artist (featured on WRAL local TV)
• ArtFields, Lake City, SC (juried art festival)
• International Artist Magazine (6-page article)
• Annual Finalist in the 10th PleinAir Salon (international magazine)
• 46th Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition (group juried show)
• 44th International Watermedia Exhibition, Houston, TX (group juried show)
• IWS California USA First International Online Juried Exhibition “Brushstrokes of Harmony” (group juried show)
• 2021 North Carolina Artists Exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (group juried show)
• CCAN 2020 National Competition, Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene, TX (juried group show, Best in Show Award)
• San Diego Watercolor Society Fourth Annual Plein Air Show (2nd Place Award)
• 311 Gallery – “Flowers, Faces and Facades”, Raleigh, NC (4-person show)
• National Watercolor Society “100 Years” National Exhibition (group juried show)
• Halle Cultural Center, Apex – “Apotheosis”, Aug. 1 – Sept. 11 (solo show)
• LazyDaze Festival, Cary, NC, 2020/ 2021 – Featured Artist
• Durham Art Guild 66th Annual Juried Exhibition! Sept. 4 or 7 – Oct. 10 (group juried show)
• 57th Southwestern Annual Exhibition, Blue House Too Gallery in Allen, TX from Sept 2 to Oct 3 (group juried show)
• 9th Annual FVDA En Plein Air Paint-Off, July 20, Fuquay-Varina, NC, (2nd Place Award)
• FALC Annual exhibition at Page Walker Historical Center, March, (3rd Place Award)
• 1st Annual Women in Watercolor International Juried Competition in the Animal/Wildlife category, June (top 10 finalist)
• WSNC 2020 Annual Juried Exhibition, Oct. 4 – Nov. 21 (Holbein Artist Materials Award)
• 2020 Raleigh Fine Arts Society’s NC Annual Juried Artists Exhibition at CAM, Feb – June (group juried show)
• Litmus Gallery, “Urban Saga” – 3-person exhibit – Feb – June 2020
• North Ridge Country Club Annual Juried Exhibition Gala – Feb. (1st Place Award)
• Louisiana Watercolor Society’s 50th International Exhibition – May (group juried show)
• Bond Park Community Center, “ZIP 27519”, Jan – Feb, 2020 (3-person show)
• 2020 41st Georgia Watercolor Society Juried National Exhibition – March – April (group juried show)
• Missouri Watercolor 2020 International Exhibition, Feb – June, Barcelona, Spain (group juried show)
• Paint Out event in Hillsborough “Paint it Orange”, NC, Nov. (People’s Choice award)
• Frank Creech Gallery, “Artistry”, (Solo show)
• II International Triennial Watercolor Exhibition of IWS in Bulgaria ′The Spirit of Watercolor”, Traveling juried show to 8 cities (group juried show)
• NC State Fair 2019, Aug (3rd place)
• Barnes Corner Gallery, Wilson, NC – Featured artist solo show, Oct. – Nov. (solo show)
• 2019 Watercolor Society NC Annual Juried Exhibition, Imperial Center of Rocky Mount, NC, Nov. – (achieved Signature Member status and Jack and Georgia Newton Memorial Award)
• Litmus Gallery “Anything Goes” Annual Juried Show Oct., Raleigh, NC
• 2019 Center for Contemporary Art National Juried Competition in Abilene, TX, Sept 2019. (Best of Show Award)
• 2019 Clayton Art Faire, Clayton, NC, Sept. – (Honorable Mention)
• Halle Cultural Arts Center, “Art Has no Boundaries”, Sept. (3-person show)
• Theater Art Galleries juried exhibit “Art Meets Form” in High Point, NC, Aug. (2nd place award)
• 2019 Missouri Watercolor Society International Exhibition, St. Louis Artists Guild Gallery in Clayton, July, (Signature membership status and Princeton Elite Brushes award)
• Watercolor Society NC, “Intrinsic”, Alamance Art Gallery in Graham, July 2019 (group juried show)
2019 Town of Cary Plein Air Paint Out, June (People’s Choice Award)
• Annual Paint the Town Competition, Cayton, NC – June (1st Place Award)
• GAWA Annual International Watercolor Online Contest – (Among 50 best e-certificate Award)
• Fuquay-Varina En Plein Air Paint Out, Fuquay-Varina, NC, May (2nd Place Award)
• 2019 Durham Arts Guild Annual Juried Exhibition, Sun Trust Gallery, Durham, NC (group juried show)
• 2019 Wendell’s Art Walk Plein Air Event, Wendell, May (1st Place Award)
• 2019 ArtFields National Juried Exhibition, Lake City, SC, Apr. – May
• Litmus gallery, “Exposed” Juried exhibition, Raleigh, NC, Apr. – June
• Unity Center of Peace, Chapel Hill, NC, April – (solo show)
GWS 40th National Juried Exhibition, Bowen Center for the Arts, Dawsonville, GA, March – (Signature Membership Award)
• “Boot & Blues” for Cary Visual Art, April (fundraiser show)
• Southern Watercolor Juried Society’s 42nd Annual Exhibition, Mar – July (group juried show)
• Semans and Allenton Galleries of the Durham Arts Council Juried exhibition “Portraits of Durham”, Durham, NC, March (group juried show)
• Express library, Raleigh, NC March (solo show)
• 49th LWS International Exhibition, New Orleans, NC May 4 – 24 (group juried show)
• 2nd Annual Women Artists Art Exhibition at Fusion Art, Feb. (Honorable Mention Award)
• 44th Annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition, San Diego, CA (group juried show)
• Litmus Gallery and Studios “Anything Goes” Juried Exhibition, Raleigh, NC, Dec. (Merit Award)
• Fine Art League of Cary Juried Annual Exhibition, Page Walker Center, Cary, NC Dec. (Honorable Mention Award)
• Cary Gallery of Artists Gallery, Central Region Watercolor Society NC “Intensity”, Cary, NC, Dec. (group juried show)
• Watercolor Society Of North Carolina Permanent Collection Exhibit at Duke Eye Center, Nov. (group juried show)
• Orange County Arts Commission “Paint It Orange” Paint Out, Hillsborough, NC, Nov. (Honorable Mention and People’s Choice Award)
• Golden Belt Art Walk, Durham, NC, Oct. (group juried show)
• At Carrboro Town Hall, Carrboro, NC, Oct. (group juried show)
• WSNC Annual Juried Exhibition, West Jefferson, NC, Oct. (Permanent Collection and Jack Richeson Award)
• Clayton Visual Arts Center, Clayton, NC, Oct. (2-person show)
• Reflections Gallery, WakeMed in Cary, NC, Sept. (solo show)
• MOWS International Exhibition, Laotian Museum, Quingdao, China, July (group juried show)
• Skylines, Clayton, NC, Aug. 2018 (solo show)
• 38th San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition, San Diego, NC, May (group juried show)
• Town of Cary Plein Air Paint Out, Cary, NC, June (Best Figurative Representation Award)
• 23rd FALC juried exhibition at Page Walker History Center, Cary, NC (3rd Place Award)
• Artspace, Raleigh, NC, May (People’s Choice Award)
• Fuquay-Varina Paint Out, May (1st Place Award)
• WSNC Central Region “Coalesce”, Raleigh, NC, May (group juried show)
• Litmus Gallery and Studios “Exposed” Juried Exhibition, Raleigh, NC, March 2 (group juried show)
• 2018 For the Love of Art Auction & Gala, VAE Raleigh, NC, Jan 2018 (Fundraiser show)
• Hillsborough Gallery of Art, “Resolutions” , Hillsborough, NC, Jan (juried show)
• WSNC Central Region Exhibition, Halle Art Center, NC Sept. (People’s Choice Award)
• Annual Georgia Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition, Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville, Aug. (3rd Place Award)
• WSNC Central Region, “Effervescent” exhibit, Halle Center, Apex, NC, July (group juried show)
• Town of Wendell Plein Air Competition, Wendell, NC, June (1st place Award)
• 4th Town of Cary Plein Air Paint Out, Cary, NC, June (2nd Place award)
• Unitarian Universalist Church in Chapel Hill, “Oceans ad Moods”, May (solo show)
• Fuquay-Varina Plein Air Paint Out, April (2nd Place Award)
• Village Art Circle gallery “The Color of Light” , Cary, NC, March (2-person show)
• NC Museum of Art “Emerging Women Bow Tie and Butterfly Gala”, Raleigh, NC, (selected featured artist presentation)
• NC Museum of Art, CVA Art Gala, Raleigh, NC, Feb (fundraiser show)
• Village Art Circle Gallery, Cary, NC – “Remnants of Great Spirit” (solo show)
• Industrious Offices, Raleigh, NC – May 2 – June 30 (solo show)
• Sertoma Art Center Hall Gallery – May 1 – June 30 (solo show)
• Southern Watercolor Society 39th SW Annual Juried Exhibition, Pryor Gallery, Columbia, TN – May 9 – June 28 (group juried show)
• IWS 1st International Watercolor Biennial, Toronto, Canada (group juried show)
• Appetite 4 Art Auction and Gala (to benefit the Boys & Girls Club) – Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) – April 9
• “Winter in New York” has been selected for publication in North Light Books’ Splash 18: Value | Light + Dark edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf. It’s part of the Splash: Best of Watercolor series for the ArtistsNetwork!
• Fuquay-Varina’s En Plein Air paint-off – April 15-April 16 – Fuquay-Varina, NC
• 2016 Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition – March 13 to April 30, Bowen Center for the Arts, Dawsonville, GA (group juried show)
• Room 100, sponsored by the Durham Art Guild – solo exhibition – “Aqueous” – Feb 5 (solo show)
• Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery – “Figures & Faces with a Personal Flair” – Feb 5 (featured 4-artist show)
2015 and Prior
• Selected for North Light Books’ 2015 drawing competition Strokes of Genius 8: Expressive Texture!
• Northeast Watercolor Society 39th Annual International Juried Exhibition (group juried show)
• 52nd Southwestern Watercolor Society Annual Membership Juried Show, Richardson, Texas (Jack Richeson Award)
• Illustrious, Durham Art Guild, juried exhibition at SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC (group juried show)
• Cary’s 2nd Annual en Plein Air Auction and Gala – (People’s Choice Award and an Honorable Mention for “The Serendipity”)
• FRESH, Art Space, Raleigh, NC (group juried show)
• ROYGBIV, VAE, Raleigh, NC (group juried show)
• BB&T Mayfair, Cary, NC (solo show)
• Searstone, Cary, NC (solo show)
• Glenaire, Cary, NC (group show)
• Cary Ballet Conservatory, Cary, NC (group show)
• 300 Building Ashville Ave, Cary, NC (group show)
• Fonville Morisey, Cary, NC (group show)
• 2015 DAG Members’ Showcase, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC (group juried show)
• 2015 FALC Juried Annual Show Exhibition, Page-Walker Art and History Center – Cary, NC (Jill Wise Honor Award, group juried show)
• The Durham Art Guild’s 21st Annual Sweet Arts Art Auction & Fundraiser, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC (group juried show)
• Daily Transactions, Bond Park Community Center, Cary, NC (solo show)
• Appetite for Distraction, Acme ArtWorks, Chicago, IL (solo show)
• Soul Tantrums (solo exhibition), Golding Gallery, NYC, NY (solo show)
• Winter Interludes, Macy Gallery at the Westchester Medical Center, NY (group juried show)
• Japanese Print Exhibit, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, NY (group juried show)
• French American Friendship, World Trade Center, NYC (group juried show)
• Generation Next, Limelight, NYC, NY (group juried show)
• 18th Annual Exhibition, National Arts Club, NY (group juried show)

Artist Statement

I jokingly call my approach “create-destroy-create” for this is exactly how I paint – an ever-continuing rhythm of gestures. My love of painting figures also translates in my plein air work where I almost always add figures in their natural environment. Some of my recent awards include Best in Show for the 2022 Suffolk VA Plein Air, an International Artist magazine feature with a 6-page article and many others. I started painting en plein air at age 13 as a student in the Special School of Fine Arts in Bulgaria where I’m from originally.

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