Barbara Kennedy began her journey as an artist at an early age when it was quickly noted by an elementary school teacher that she had an unusual sense of color. Vibrant color is still the focus in her detailed paintings of people and nature. Her primary mediums are oil and acrylic paints, colored pencil and occasionally, watercolor.
In addition to two dimensional works, Barbara creates intricately beaded neck pieces from stone and glass beads, coordinating the colors that occur naturally in the stones with her selection of beads. She also designs and sews clothing and her pieces have been included in several invitational wearable art shows in the Pacific Northwest.
Barbara currently resides in the historic town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on a hillside of the Ozark Mountains.
Jody Stephenson (Eureka Springs, AR) is the artist and author of Faltering Towards Perfection: Art, Faith, and Everything in Between. Jody and her husband, Ron Lutz, live and work at Studio 62, their Eureka Springs gallery. Jody’s work is represented by many fine art galleries and is collected all over the country. Her fine art notecards have been featured in Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Neiman Marcus stores nationwide. Jody has a B.A. Degree in Art History and has participated in numerous post-graduate art studies and one-person art shows.
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.
There is a sense of mystery within my artwork, the same mystery that surrounds every individual as they embark on life’s journeys. When I paint I begin with a sense of where I want to go and how I want to feel, and by the end I find myself somewhere unique and unexpected. In this sense I have discovered a new part of myself.
I am a simple romantic, she confesses, my paintings are about love and passion; between people and within ourselves. When asked how she chooses her subjects she replied, “My tulips and dancing fruit (my people) choose me, either they want to be painted or they don’t”.
Pasagic works the surface of her paper and canvas with a variety of traditional and innovative techniques. Depending on her mood and what is available in her studio she can incorporate as many as a half dozen elements into each painting.
Her technique involves a unique blending of bees wax and oil paint applied to paper, board or canvas. In this contemporary application of the ancient technique of encaustic, the paint is sometimes blended into the hot wax, burnt into it or simply painted upon it. She often fuses paper and cloth into the pigments to create textures, and uses gold leaf and various gel mediums to add unique antique effects. The paintings take on depth and mystery with a balanced tension between texture and form.
Emilija Pasagic is a native of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia. As a child, Pasagic was always painting and drawing. A family friend, who was an established painter, nurtured her fascination with art allowing her to visit his studio and delight in all the art materials and works in progress.
Pasagic studied landscape architecture at Belgrade University, where she met her husband. After graduation, the two worked together as designers. As hostilities arose in the region during the early 90’s, the couple decided to immigrate to Canada where they settled in Ontario. The move to Canada sparked an artistic rejuvenation. She quickly became involved in the vibrant Toronto art scene, joining “The Scollard Street Artistic Cooperative” and VAO (Visual Arts Ontario).
Pasagic admires the works of many different artists but has a special appreciation for the works of Croatian painter Mersad Berber. She sees her artwork as a personal expression, an expression that is rooted in her love and fascination with people and their intricate relationships with each other.
Today, Pasagic works out of her home studio in Ontario. She is represented in select galleries throughout Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
I approach each new work with the idea that I want people to sense it rather than just see it, in much the same way music is felt and not simply heard. If my work speaks to people on an emotional level then I have achieved what I set out to do
I prefer to work with oil paint because it is a classic and time proven medium, my use of vibrant colors helps to enhance the emotional message of my work
Julia approaches each new work with an open mind. Believing that art is a reflection of the artist’s attitude and it is more important how you paint rather than what you paint, she is able to find inspiration in unusual places.
Early on in her career Julia experimented with watercolor, however she prefers oil as it allows her to incorporate intricate details in her work. Through the use of vibrant, precise colors, textures and lines she is able to highlight the emotional message of each piece.
Julia Klimova was born in southwest Russia; her early childhood was happy, filled with laughter and inspiration. As far back as she can remember art was always a part of her life. She was able to use her artwork to open doorways to other places and escape into them while painting. Her mother always encouraged her to explore her surroundings, to find inspiration in the smallest details and to paint what she felt.
Julia is not drawn to any one particular subject, at any time she can have multiple genres on the go. Painting an abstract piece on one easel while putting the finishing touches on a still life on the other. This freedom has allowed her to adapt to her surroundings and to find inspiration everywhere.
Julia went to school to study Fine Arts and upon graduation worked as an Interior Designer. It wasn’t until she moved to North America that she took on art as a full time career. After a brief stay in Tennessee, Julia moved with her family to Southern Ontario where she now resides.
Julia’s work can be found in galleries and private collections in Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
Nazanin J. Kani was born and raised in Iran, in the northern part of Tehran, in 1979. Being from a cultured family, her parents had always valued and included art in their lifestyles. This may have been an underlying influence to Kani, however, her serious interest in art started in middle school when she first began sketching. She, along with a group of friends, would visit galleries for inspiration to create their own works of art. Her parents, recognizing her potential, encouraged her to continue her education in a High School for Performing and Visual Arts where she excelled in Visual Arts classes.
Throughout her teens, Kani continued to evolve as a sketch artist. It was during this period that she developed an interest in abstract and imaginative drawings; where she learned how to bring her imagination onto paper. She also spent time sculpting pottery and similar arts to train her imagination and enrich her abstract ideas. Kani later was inspired to try painting after a trip to the United States. She believes the exposure to a different culture sparked different ways of thinking and a newfound desire to try a new medium of artistic expression. It was after this new discovery that she first considered leaving Tehran.
Kani studied Graphic Design at Azad University, Tehran and was then able to gain experience by working for one of the leading design agencies in Iran before finally moving to the States. Once settled in the U.S., her painting became her focus and she attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she earned an M.F.A. in Illustration and an M.A. in Illustration Design.
Kani sees no distinction between graphic design, painting and art in any form. The play between negative and positive spaces create tension and is an integral part in much of her figurative work. This new style has garnered much attention in her unique way of drawing human figures with exaggerated proportions to convey distinct sentiments and moods in serenity. The expressive colors match those moods and intensify the humanistic motif dominant in most of her work. In an effort to stay green, Kani is also known for incorporating recycled materials in her mixed media pieces. She has been primarily influenced by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, favorite artists throughout her life.
Orlando was born in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, South America in 1946 into a family of twelve. He has lived and worked in the United States for more than three decades, dividing his time between California, Florida, and Hawaii. Creating images drawn from his psyche, his deftly drawn forms radiate an uncanny aura and sensual richness which appeal to our deepest level of consciousness. His recurring themes of personal growth, education, family, spirituality, his love of music as well as the exploration of life itself attest to his belief in the educational and healing powers of art.
In works that transcend all barriers, Orlando Agudelo-Botero gives form to his inner-most feelings and insights with manifestations that are not meant to be merely visually pleasing, but to engage the viewer, to inspire and to provoke a dialogue concerning humanity’s evolution and our place in the universe.
Orlando Agudelo-Botero was the recipient of the White House Hispanic Heritage Award in the Arts, and contributed as a Trustee of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. For the past four years his artwork has inspired the sets of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony. Heroic-sized, 28-foot recreations of his artwork were created for the stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and was broadcast nationally by NBC. His work is held in many important collections, both private and public, and his art is exhibited world-wide.
“With the vast farmlands and expansive prairies out here in the Midwest, you are able to see for miles and the horizon line is often a haze. Looking out over the land and trying to discern exactly where the sky ends and the earth begins is sometimes difficult. We are used to seeing and also assuming there are defining lines between things, so noticing a bleed between the two captured me. I am often absorbed in reading books on Buddhism, quantum physics, and systems in nature – and in all three there is the constant reminder that there are no defining lines between anything – including the body and the mind, and between life and death. The act of painting is a form of mediation on this – like anything that can hold one completely in the present moment. And in that moment it is clear there is no separation between anything.”
Clare Doveton received a full scholarship to Parsons School of Art and Design in New York City, where she received a BFA in painting. After living and exhibiting in New York and California, she moved to the Midwest with her family.
Clare has served on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Zen Center, and decades of meditation practice play a key role in her work. She completed permaculture design certification through KPC as part of her continued interest and research of integrated systems and patterns in nature. Doveton was the Featured Artist for the Lawrence Arts Center Benefit Art Auction in 2015, and is presently in her second term on their Board of Directors. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide.
Doveton’s paintings have been featured in Present Magazine, Farmhouse Magazine (cover and feature), Studio Visit Magazine, Ink Magazine (cover and feature), The Journal, The Kansas City Star, Spaces Magazine, KCMETROPOLIS, First Intensity Magazine (cover), and Lawrence Magazine. Clare’s work can be found in private and corporate collections internationally, including The Art of Emprise, Quest Financial, New School University, NOVA Financial, Truman Medical Center, One Light, Tradewind Energy and others.