Barbara Kennedy

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

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.

John and Elli Milan

Artists Statement

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.

Emilija Pasagic

Artists statement

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.

Julia Klimova

Artist Statement

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.

Carole Arnston

Artists Statement

“The joy of exploring the natural world inspires all my work.” Carole’s studio is set among tall cedar trees and overlooks the ocean in West Vancouver, British Columbia. When looking for inspiration she only has to walk out her front door to find it waiting for her. “I feel that I have an affinity with nature, this connection gives me the inspiration I need to convey what I feel and hear onto canvas.”


Arnston prefers to work with oils finding them to be a highly responsive medium to the powerful message of nature. Her still-life paintings take shape in a fluid, wind-like spontaneous style. Paint is applied using a broad-brush approach with subtle colour blending and minute details added through the use of the palate knife.


Carole Arnston was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada in 1954. She pursued an education in the humanities and graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Psychology. After travel and a year spent in Art Education, she set her sights on Architecture and graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. The following ten years were spent working for design firms in Toronto and Vancouver.

In the early 90’s, Arnston became active in visual literacy and Design education, and was awarded by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia for her work in Architecture for Kids. She authored and piloted courses for students in both elementary and secondary schools, and in teacher education in the field of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Arnston’s visual understanding of our physical world is influenced greatly by her architectural background.

Arnston has built on the abstract impressionist influences of artists like Joan Mitchell and Georgia OKeefe to develop her own style of lyrical abstraction. The joy of exploring the natural world inspires all her work. Dramatic images of wind, sea and alpine meadows are rendered with a broad brush, subtle colour blending and painting knives. They invite the viewer to look closer, to see the beauty that she sees every day.

Matt Lively

Lively creates in many non-traditional materials and in oil and says his style is determined by the material he is using at the time. “My subjects are simple and the objects are everyday, but the effect is otherworldly…” says Lively. Inspired by household objects like clothing, furniture and kitchen appliances, Matt draws the objects on paper, canvas, or wood (he prefers canvas and wood), then layers in a unique combination of materials in nondescript colors with subtle patterns. Each composition is unique; each item has its own personality. He likes to work on two or three pieces at any given time. He likes to take those simple everyday subjects and make them more interesting-looking than the original subject they represent. He tries to keep the subjects simple, or even silly, in order for them to be dismissed and for the real subject of the painting – the painting itself – to take on the task of captivating a viewer.

Matt received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Matt’s work has consistently been seen in shows and galleries across the South from the time he was in college to the present. His track record may be due in part to the unique nature of his work – what he calls “construction” paintings and wood collages. What separates Lively’s work from that of the crowd may also be his guiding influence – suburbia. His ideas spring from the “exaggerated suburban scene that I have seen pop up.” He believes that the suburbs are underrated as an art location and that there are many exciting things happening way from the city. “There’s always been some ‘voice of the inner city,’ but there’s never been someone who wanted to be the voice of the picket fence neighborhoods. I want to be that person.”

Liz Jardine

Liz Jardine was educated in New York, at the State University of New York Buffalo with a design degree in 2-Dimensional painting. But she says that everything she knows about art she actually learned by painting professionally for the Arizona-based atelier; The Phoenix Art Group where she was the Art Director for 10 years.

In 2001, she decided she was ready to set up her own studio; first in a loft in Little Italy and now in Downtown San Diego.



Darina Marko

Darina Marko was born in Bulgaria in 1966. At an early age she focused her studies on fine art. After specializing in fine art in secondary school she went on to study at the Academy of Fine Art in Bulgaria for an additional five years focusing her studies on silk printing and batik. After completion, Darina moved to London, England for four years. Darina has spent considerable time travelling across Europe and North and South America and has exhibited her work in England, Germany, Italy and Finland.

Inspired by artists including Egon Schiele and Matisse, Darina bends, twists and distorts her subject matter and perspective. She freely employs mixed media including acrylic, watercolour, oil and pastel. By concentrating on the interactions between visual elements including form, colour, texture and light, her still life work acquires its abstracted aesthetic.

Gavin Benjamin

Gavin Andrew Benjamin combines a passion for painting, photography, printmaking, and product design in his creative process. Born in Guyana and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he began experimenting with many mediums. His current works utilize multimedia to focus on his long interest in flowers and courtly painting traditions.

Early in his career, Benjamin worked with infamous American Vogue portrait photographer Arnold Newman, who inspired Benjamin to elicit the personality of his subjects. Benjamin produced photo shoots for Esquire Magazine, fashion house Kenneth Cole’s national campaigns, and Neiman Marcus’s ‘The Book’. Additionally, Benjamin created “718”, his signature furniture and lifestyle brand that included benches, credenzas, tables, and a line of rugs made in Nepal for Tissage Du Monde.

Benjamin’s various fine art and designs have been featured in numerous national publications and digital press, including Interior Design, ID Magazine’s ICFF Picks, Interior Design’s Spring Market Tabloid –inclusion in an 8–page interior design feature on rugs and carpets, The Washington Post, Clear, City Magazine, V Magazine, Pittsburgh Post–Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, and curator’s selection in Corning Museum of Glass’s New Glass Review.