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, where she continues to live with her family.
Pasagic was inspired to become an artist at an early age, always painting and drawing. Early works include paintings on silk and an intense series of abstracted fruits and figures. Her present artistic focus is still life paintings, particularly of fruit and flowers executed in a richly textured encaustic medium.
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 painting, 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 flower 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 Pasagic. Her paintings are an outlet, a way of showing pain and love in a medium that doesn’t invoke either. 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 likens her work to that of a composer, translating her visions onto the canvas as a sort of 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.