My goals in any portrait are to present my subjects as truthfully and as lifelike as possible, to express the personality of the model, and to produce a painting that can be appreciated in any surrounding.
Marija Petricevic-Bosnjak is an Associate Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (AFCA), past Signature and founding member of the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists (CIPA), past Signature member of the Pastel Society of Canada (PSC), and past member of the Pastel Artist Canada (PAC).
Marija began drawing and painting in her early years in Croatia. She emigrated to Calgary in 1968. and in 1973 she enrolled in an Advertising and Illustrating course at the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis, USA. Her ongoing professional art training includes art history, drawing and painting courses at the Alberta College of Art, University of Calgary, and additional classes and workshops with renowned artists.
Marija has taught drawing and painting, conducted workshops, and exhibited in galleries and many juried group shows. She has received many awards, including: The Nicholas de Grandmaison Award for Excellence in Pastel; Jurors Choice Best of Show Flat Art, and the Collector’s Choice Flat Art at the Western Art Auction at the Calgary Stampede; First and Third prize at the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis; numerous Federation of Canadian Artists awards, and the “Omer de Serres Inc. Award with the Pastel Society of Canada. Marija was also a finalist for the Canada’s Immigrants of Distinction Award in 2000 for her contribution to Art and Culture.
Her work has been featured in the Pastel Artist International magazine, the International Artist magazine, The gallerieswest magazine, The Calgary magazine, The Illustrator magazine, “The Alberta Flood Rose Project” book; “The Best of Worldwide Charcoal, Pastel & Pencil Artists Vol. II Book” “The Best of Canadian Pastels” book, illustrations for “The Other side of Bridge” (Druga strana mosta) book of poems; in several newspapers, and the Calgary Stampede Western Art Auction catalogues.
Marija’s paintings are realistic. She has learned to work from photographs she takes herself, but refuses to let her paintings look just like the pictures. She is happy to go beyond simple resemblance, and tries to capture and uncover subject’s character and emotions. Whenever possible Marija likes to finish the portrait with the subject present, in order to get the colours and details more accurately.
Although she enjoys painting a variety of subjects, figure drawing and portrait painting are her favourite activities, because each personality is unique. Each painting is a new challenge.
Marija’s paintings are found in private and public collections throughout Canada and internationally.