Art from around the world and around the corner


Emilija Pasagic

Emilija Pasagic is a native of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia. Formally educated in landscape architecture, she worked in Europe for several years. She arrived in Canada in 1993 and settled in Toronto, where she and her family continue to live. Emilija had always drawn and painted and the settlement in Canada sparked an artistic rejuvenation. Early works include paintings on silk and an intense series of abstracted fruits and figures. She became involved in the vibrant Toronto art scene, joining \"The Scollard Street Artistic Cooperative\" and \"VAO\" (Visual Arts Ontario). Her focus is now on the painting of still life, particularly fruit and flowers executed in a richly textured mixed media. Her technique involves a unique blending of bee’s wax and oil paint applied to paper, board or canvas. In this contemporary reference to the ancient technique of encaustic, the paint is sometimes blended into the hot wax, burnt into it or simply painted upon it. Careful layering and scratching is used to accent the texture. The resulting tones are the yellows and oranges of Spain and Morocco and the olives and crimsons of the Mediterranean. The happy placement of flowers and fruits seemingly narrate life’s journeys. They tell stories of being together or apart and of creating identity. The intensity and drama of relationships between people and emotions inspire Emilija. Her paintings are an outlet, a way of showing pain and love in a medium tha6t doesn’t invoke either. Sharing with the viewer her memories. When asked how she chooses her subjects Emilija replied “My tulips and dancing fruit (my people) choose me, either they want to be painted or they don’t”. Emilija likens her work to that of a composer, translating her visions onto the canvas as sort of a symphony for the soul. In her mind, painting can be based on a single brush stroke as long as that stroke contains emotion. She shares the beauty and passion that she sees in the world around her, through the interactions of her tulips and the melodic infusion of her colors. “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 find myself somewhere unique and different from what I intended. In this sense I have discovered a new part of myself, a new direction I can build a series of pieces from, a foundation for the soul.”



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