John and Elli Milan
The Milans credit their success as artists to their, “love of Life and Faith in God.” Through their paintings the artists invite people to look deeper and smile as they enjoy what art brings to their life.
John says, “My faith in God is my strength. He’s inspired and directed me in my work since childhood.” Elli says, “sharing the creative process allows us to grow together in our relationship and our faith.”
Woven into the fabric of their abstract compositions are hints of narrative, mysterious little stories with whimsical imagery that reflect their positive outlook on life.
The Milans create their paintings together. Through years of studying and creating art they have developed many innovative techniques, the most significant of which is the ability to work together in a creative spirit. Although John and Elli are both accomplished artists in their own right their collaboration brings out a side of their work that nether could reach on their own.
Both John and Elli start by applying a primary surface to the paper or canvas. Than with a random elegance the two artists begin constructing a collage from bits of paper and various fabrics.
Once this base coat is ready Elli maps out the initial composition in acrylics. Inspired by the collage work below her painting reveals the shapes, colors and overall mood of the final image.
The piece is then passed to John, who applies the final coat of paint. Both oils and acrylics are used as well as various gels and glazes. His work responds to Elli’s composition but he also moves to his own rhythms.
The overall effect is a cohesive jumble. The aggressive yet calculated layers of paint and fabric create a bright and playful scenario.
Both the Milans were fascinated by art as children. John’s mother encouraged his natural ability to draw; he received his first set of paints from one of his mother’s friends. Elli was never without a piece of crayon; as a result her mother was always discovering pieces melted into her clothing after going through the wash.
Both artists grew up in Hawaii and met as teenagers at a beach party on the North Shore. Soon after, they decided to go to art school together in Savannah Georgia where they attended Savannah College of Art and Design.
The couple moved to Athens, Georgia, to finish their art studies at the University of Georgia. It was in this small but vital city that the couple developed their independent personal styles and began showing and selling their work. With the arrival of their first child, the couple moved closer to family to Phoenix, Arizona.
The couple has had a long love affair with the country of Greece. They have taken many extended trips over the years, setting up a studio each time to paint what has inspired their artwork and refreshed them as artists.
Both John and Elli are well-published artists, with careers that have seen their work placed in galleries throughout Canada, Europe, and the United States.