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.
To Nemo, the art institutions of his native Moldova presented a stale and uninteresting prospect. Rather than pursue a formal art education he chose instead to travel and experiment with new and innovative art techniques.
“My goal as an artist is to be free”, he says. “I want to be free to develop new techniques and investigate new subjects.”
His interest in multi-media art allows him to bring vastly different elements together as he constructs his very imaginative cityscapes.
Multi-media and mixed media are terms that have to be used when examining Nemo’s art. He can and often does work in a very traditional style. Using both oils and acrylics he creates paintings with a plein-air feel. He is able to capture the light and feel of a place and impart that feeling to the viewer.
Nemo is also constantly investigating and developing new techniques. His international cityscape series is an innovative style combining photography, printing and painting. Through printing and subsequent pasting of his photographs; he then paints with acrylics and glazes to construct a fused and somewhat surreal vision of different cities. The charm and mood of famous cities are combined to create a dreamlike memory of time and space.
Victor Colesnicenco grew up in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova. This Eastern European nation is known for its rich artistic heritage. Nemo, as he is known to his friends, remembers being fascinated by the carvings and other craftworks that surrounded him. In particular, he loved paintings and from an early age he was determined to become an artist.
Nemo began intense inquiry into the style and techniques of the famous painters. He was particularly impressed by the work of Ivan Shishkin and Salvador Dali. He enrolled in art school but did not enjoy the strict academic style of the Russian based academy. Knowing that a standard education was not for him, he abandoned it to pursue training on his own. His talent quickly flourished and soon he was organizing large outdoor art fairs to show his work and that of other young artists.
This point in his life, Nemo enlisted in the Soviet Army where he served for two years. After completing his tour, his motivation to become a professional artist was rediscovered. Together with a good friend he started a business restoring works of art and painting murals in churches. The reemergence of religious freedom in the post-Soviet era offered many opportunities for their business to flourish.
Moving from city to towns throughout the countryside inspired a desire for further travel and Nemo took an opportunity to immigrate to Canada. His family decided to settle just north of Toronto, Ontario. To Nemo, Canada is a gateway to the world. From his new home he is able to freely explore places all over the globe.
The prevalent theme in Nemo’s work is travel and the discovery of the beauty and excitement of new places. He sometimes paints natural depictions of scenic locales or he fuses varying cities to create his own unique cityscapes. His fused or constructed cities seem to offer the viewer the opportunity to visit many places at once.
It is not surprising that when he’s not painting, Nemo enjoys many outdoor activities; especially fishing and cycling. His work is widely collected and is represented in galleries throughout Canada 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.
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.
The rich, abstract paintings of Olga de Jesus Chuqui are at once, dynamic and seductive, contemporary and ancient. They are the ultimate in harnessing contradictory elements into an exquisite, cohesive and balanced whole.
Born in a rural village in Ecuador, Olga’s imagination was seared by the extreme, yet picturesque landscape and simple rural life there. Olga’s paintings, all rendered in a defined earth tone palette, reflect this childhood environment. Trained at an early age to paint landscapes and village scenes by missionaries, stationed in a neighboring village, Olga’s talent and hard work earned her the opportunity to study fine arts in the United States. Once there, she quickly became attracted to the complexities and challenges of abstract painting.
Olga paints in layers, first laying down a placid field of tans and creams in large geometric shapes, then painting over one half of the field in dynamic layers and splotches of dark browns, oranges, and burnt umbers. The layering process lends a sense of time-weathered age and complexity to the paintings, recalling at once stained and soiled parchment, ancient Andean village walls, and satellite images of the earth in sepia-tone.
Her deliberate strategy of leaving half the painting in a placid field of tans and creams against an expressive, almost violent, field of dark umbers and oranges, creates a tension that serves as a never-ending feast for the viewer’s eye and imagination.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Portland State University, Michael currently resides in Southern California. Although primarily a self-taught artist, during the last few years Michael has completed workshops and private study with such internationally known artists such as Ken Auster, Michael Hallinan, Jeff Horn, Mark Kerckhoff, and Michael Schofield.
Michael attributes much of his education in painting to his extensive career in printmaking. During the mid 1980’s he won a first and second place award for screen printing excellence in an international competition. As technology changed, Michael moved from screen printing to giclee production on large format digital presses. He has created giclees for many internationally renowned artists.
His affiliation with the printing industry allowed Michael to form close relationships with many artists. Always the student, Michael constantly questioned his artist friends about all facets of painting. He subscribes to the theory that an artist can learn more in a short period of time if the artist learns practical painting techniques from successful working artists rather than from a more structured, theoretical university setting.
Michael’s style transcends traditional impressionism. His works have a haunting quality of ethereal stillness that transports the viewer to a different dimension. Michael often states that impressionist landscape painters fall into one of two categories: experimental or fantasy. Experimental painters are “gatherings.” The source of their inspiration is the culmination of their visual experiences. Fantasy painters, however, create imagery from their mind – their imagination – embellishing the imagery for effect and emotional impact. Michael uses a blend of each with a greater emphasis on on the fantasy component. The execution of his paintings comes from the mind in what Michael often refers to as “planned expressionistic accidents” from stored images of scenes he has observed in nature and embellished by his own imagination.
Michael began concentrating on his art in the late 1980’s. His work has sold nationally to galleries, dealers, art auctioneers, private and corporate collectors, and national television. Always the experimenter and innovator, Michael has worked in a variety of styles ranging from highly abstract expressionism to “loose impressionism.” “My style is a moving target. I paint what I feel – allowing the paint to flow, rather than working in a particular structured style.”