~ The Secret Gardens ~


  




Leaving 2018.
Oil on canvas
 50x40 cm
Model: Melissa Termo
» Detail





Bride 2017.
Oil on canvas
 36x42 cm
Model: Janna Prosvirina
» Work in progress









Catch the Sun 2016.
Oil on canvas
 51x30 cm
» Work in progress




Flower 2015.
Oil on canvas
 41x40 cm
Model: Kory Sanders
» Work in progress

  











Lost Kingdom 2015.
Oil on canvas
 60x41 cm
Model: Marjolein Gulinski














Angel 2014.
Oil on canvas
 50x59 cm
» Work in progress









Memories 2013.
Oil on canvas
 60x40 cm
» Detail
















Promise 2011.
Oil on canvas
 42x40 cm
» Work in progress








Challenge 2010.
Oil on canvas
 50x40 cm








Prayer 2009.
Oil on canvas
 33x25 cm
Model: Thomas Willeford
» Detail

  












Presentiment 2008.
Oil on canvas
 30x26 cm
Model: Marjolein Gulinski
» Detail

 
 ۞

The magnificent nature has revealed many things, but also much more it has left for us to discover and explore. Its opaque gardens called us to discover its secret messages. There is a secret, whose doors we are only slightly opened, and this is the secret of human nature. The gallery of miraculous human souls, mysterious eyes and smiles, who rule the hidden empire of strange plants and herbs, awakens the imagination of the viewer. In the abundance of light and colors, gorgeous wreaths around their heads and decorative wrapped clothes, are dancing in the rhythm of their mood. The ornamental rhythm is expressed in clear lines, shaped like knots and tied, twisted decorative ribbons. Colorful flowers symbolically announce the arrival of the spring. Vivid and flicker portraits are freely expressed in space, and nature in their background seems to be involved in events and emotions. Naturalistic expressed in idyllic landscapes and biblical scenes, they provide different testimonies of past times. The human being and his surroundings are the subject of many works of art. Magnificent Titian’s painting “The Pastoral Concert” attracts views with its naturalistic vision, in which people and herds are breathed together, mingling with the sound of music, rustling the treetops of trees, grass and unusual peace that dominating the space, in which the figures are arranged metaphorical and allegorical. Scattered light contributes to the mystique of the atmosphere that is transferred from the garden to the Renaissance sky. One of the most famous works of Sandro Botticelli “Primavera” is a painting of unusual beauty. With tempera on board this brilliant artist has shown us the atmosphere of spring and all its colors and sounds. Venus and intertwined ethereal figures of Graces which dance are surrounded by flowers and ripe fruits, while Mercury scattered the clouds with his scepter so that they would not disturb the tranquility of the garden. On his famous canvas “The Luncheon on the Grass”, a very complicated scene and landscape, enriched with interesting portraits and figures, Édouard Manet creates a technique that breaks the shapes and underlines shadows. Hidden from the public view and relieved of all the external influences, surrounded by lush vegetation in its secret garden, beautifully painted faces, turned to the observers, speak of inner freedom and some miraculous peace that prevails in them and in their surrounding. The painting “Music in the Tuileries Gardens” shows the famous place where the bohemians of Paris met and gathered. Thanks to this painting, Manet was called “the painter of modern life”. He followed the lives of the noble people and represented them on canvas with scenes from large spaces as they chatter and evaluate each other. For an enthusiastic artist who burns out of desire to become part of this, not very accessible, world, the mere fact that he lives in the middle of a crowd that is constantly changing, the wave, infinitely merges and separates is the source of enormous inspiration. The theme Manet chose for “Music in the Tuileries Gardens” was unexpected for the time in which he lived because the scenes of nature were accepted as painting intended only for the illustration of the magazines and the reportage. Manet made many sketches and watercolors in the garden of Tuileries, but he painted the canvas mainly in the studio, often using photographs for making some portraits from the painting, which can easily be recognized by the positions of some faces. Each of these faces hides a secret. The artist tried to present them just as he saw them, honestly, without embellishment and allegory. Despite his great efforts, this painting has triggered negative comments by art critics. Some have said that this canvas butting the eyes such as kermis music ripping the ears. The theme of the painting in many has caused disapproval, and some even tried to damage it. Working on this painting, Manet completely rejected the academic technique of “careful refinement” of details, so that the faces viewed from proximity became almost abstract forms and stains. However, if we look at this work from a decent distance, we can almost hear the speech of the opaque crowd and music that coming from the depths of the garden. On this canvas, Manet managed to stop a moment of Parisian life and record many faces, among which we can recognize his own, and Baudelaire’s, as well as the portrait of the famous composer Jacques Offenbach. The work of Giorgione, a great Italian artist, is aimed at exploring man and nature. Meditative mood and depth of feelings radiate from his portraits, supported by nature. In this way, nature is recognized as value for itself, and not only as a decor. It is also not a part of the soul or an expression of the inner life of the faces represented. Moreover, people and the landscape form unity. They are connected by light, with which together they become an expression of mysterious mood and harmonic accompaniment that emanates from luxurious gardens. Sometimes this harmony turns into presentiment and restlessness, when thick clouds over the idyllic landscape and mysterious smiles come up, which announce the storm. At those moments, it seems that a man closes himself in his own non-existent world, not knowing that any alienation from nature leads him to the dungeon. The enchanting light that is played on Claude Monet’s paintings only hints at the secrets that he successfully hide from the public for years, despite many emotional and life rises and falls. He had some of his spiritual peace in front of the easel, hidden in the deep shadows of the forests, or floating on a boat on the Seine. These were moments in which he had forgotten about everyday adversity, leave-takings, moving and financial scarcity. Monet loved nature and flowers. Around the houses in Argenteuil, Vétheuil and Giverny, in which he lived, he created lush gardens whose beauty he often portrayed on his canvases. He was embellished the courtyard with rosewoods shaped in the form of arches, and numerous chrysanthemums, peonies, orrises and dahlias planted in spacious multicolored lines along the trails. His painting “The Lunch” depicts the garden of his house in Argenteuil in detail. Moving to the Giverny has completely changed his life. Propertied and affirmed, Monet has arranged the house and garden for his own taste. He was expanded the estate by the purchase of a nearby marshy parcel from which he created a water garden. The lakelet and tracks he decorated with his famous white water lilies. He planted the sad willow. He hired five gardeners and composed the garden as a painting, so inspiring that he worked part of it every day. After the death of his wife and son, he was barely leaving the garden, as if he did not want to leave his secrets and memories that were waiting for him at every step. He picked up the light on the canvas and with each of his brush strokes adjusted to the nature and unique moments of breaking colors in water. His spirit of the gardener-painter can no longer be seen better than in the series of paintings “Water Lilies”, so that in the history of art, because of his beautiful paintings of the resorts, the ports, the Thames and the sea areas of Normandy, and because of his miraculous water lilies, he could have called the painter of water. He, completely devoted to his creation, tirelessly watched the constant change of the surface of the water - the pink light of the outgoing sun, the green of the spring, the reflection of trees, clouds and the Japanese footbridge. His water lilies in the Giverny are the collection of all the impressions and shifts of the seasons, peace and unrest, silence and winds. Since 1892, the water garden has become Monet’s obsession, but in 1911, sorely grieved over the death of his wife Alice, he left brushes. On the persistent incentives of his friend Georges Clemenceau, he again began to paint in 1914, returning to the landscapes of water and reflections. He had long pondered how to present his water lilies so that they create the “illusion of infinity”, and his dream come true thanks to Clemenceau who persuaded him to do a great series of paintings that he would bequeath to the nation. Monet devoted himself completely to work, not leaving his secret garden for the rest of his life. In Poussin’s paintings, the landscape in which mythological or arcade scenes are placed is transformed into poetry. Meadow flowers, sprinkled with mountain streams, celebrate nature and write beautiful verses about life and many happy and unhappy loves. Through his secret gardens, many musicians, poets, angels and captivating women with flower wreaths over their heads passed. Romantic landscapes are a reflection of the inner feelings. Through the thick branches of the trees, vivid eyes and cheeks of beautiful faces flicker. In these lively views, one sees the resolve of a man to explain to himself the outside world, impose his laws, and meet his own inner world to experience himself more fully. Powered by the strength of his own spirit, he wants to rule the external reality, and not be overwhelmed by it. Often unprepared to deal with this cruel reality, he goes to hidden places, away from curious views, where only their strange tenants and the twitter of the heavenly birds interrupt their silence. In these secret places, besides stone fountains and in the shade of gorgeous trees, where many varied emotions and feelings swing, many artists find inspiration for their work. Painting people is their biggest challenge, because there is no harder work than visual means to present the human soul. Portray a man means to uncover the truth about him, catching his thought, to communicate with him. To send a message and figure out the enigma hidden in the human soul by the visual language and symbols is a challenge. Portraits are requires special study, shedding light and analysis. There are many interesting faces in the gardens of humanity. Some of them inspire awe and attract attention because it drains us away from the usual perception of the world, some stand out with their dignity and spontaneity, and some triumph with their melodic beauty in magical light and atmosphere. In the endless gallery of characters and figures, located in the picturesque flower gardens, the artist tries to discover what is hidden in them, is there a secret message. Each portrait is a palette of different emotions and expressions that are the result of deep inner states: surprise, of calm, anticipation, defiance, disbelief, sadness, fear. The face is the landscape of man. In each of these landscapes we recognize the historical traces of his walk and walk his ancestors, remain different stories told in his eyes. Portrait sometimes presents many personalities in one, exposing human psychology, naivety, existence and suffering.
(Suzana Stojanović)