There are very extroverted, loud and dominant artists, both behaviorally and artistically. They come as a hurricane, sweep away everything that comes in their way, so you don’t realize and you are unsure of what has happened. There are those who go along carefully analyzing and following actual trends, so they create what is surely accepted without regard to quality and depth. However, there are those subtle, delicate souls who live fairly out of sight, who create their own world based on values of the beauty of nature, beauty of spirit and beauty of art, notwithstanding trends and daily hype. In this text we present you one such artistic soul.
During its stay in Croatia, Sketchbook has gotten into hands of an exceptional artist of a younger generation – Nikolina Knežević who is dedicated to an almost forgotten technique of creating miniatures. Depicting inspirational motives in exceedingly small dimensions, Nikolina creates her own special miniature world.
Nikolina Knežević was born in 1986 in Zagreb. After finishing School of Applied Arts and Design, where she graduated in 2005 in textile department, she enrolled to Teacher’s department at Zagreb’s Academy of Fine Arts where she graduated in 2012 in graphic class of doc. Ines Krasić. Until now, she has worked as an Art Education teacher in primary and secondary schools. In 2012 she founded her own brand for women’s handbags, and she currently works as a freelance costume designer for film and ad industry. She draws and paints and has participated in several collective exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. Her first solo exhibition is now in preparation phase and is to be held in Karlovac (Croatia).
Aquarelle, as one of the oldest painting techniques, acknowledged even in ancient Egypt, is often said to be the most noble painting technique. Aquarelle demands a special sensibility, patience and concentration, and it doesn’t tolerate a shaky hand. Mistakes are almost impossible to correct; every excessive stroke lessens the intensity of expression. It is in this very technique that Nikolina Knežević has found a perfect medium for transforming inspirational motives from nature that not only merely interpret a specific topic, but also reflect the very author in aquarelle form on paper.
In the beginning of 2014, Nikolina starts exploring aquarelle technique by painting inspirational motives from her surroundings in an exceptionally small format. Setting very demanding criteria of her creative process that includes aquarelle technique and miniature format, Nikolina raises her scale of expectance of herself and her work higher and higher with every new cycle.
During exploring aquarelle technique, she was especially intrigued by a famous English writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter, namely her holistic and complete process that follows her work from idea and story, to character elaboration, to final illustration.
Nikolina finds motivation during her work in challenging herself to, for example, start and finish a certain cycle, prepare a next exhibition, and especially to continuously work on enhancing her drawing and painting skills in order to portray more and more details on a smaller and smaller surface without using a magnifier. In her work, she most often uses aquarelle and colored pencils, and paints after observation to depict a motive as precisely as possible. A crucial segment of every artwork isn’t hyperrealism of the interpreted motive, but vitality she impregnates into every work, imbuing thereby a small part of her character, emotions and reflections, making an artwork highly individualized.
Nikolina Knežević’s artwork for Sketchbook Station is a depiction of a personal motive author symbolically connects to her stay in England. In a distinctive aquarelle and colored pencils technique, Nikolina has painted her favorite sneakers. To find out what connects these sneakers with England, you will have to wait for exhibition opening when you’ll be able to go into details of the story behind this fashion-stylistic motive.
Instead of a traditional question, we end this text with an inspirational quote by Nikolina Knežević, summing up a very important life thought in a short form: “Be truthful in your life choices…always brave and a little crazy…”.
If you want to go deeper into the wonderful world of miniatures of Nikolina Knežević visit:
In the final phase of presenting Sketchbook Station project participants, we remind you of our previously presented artists:
Greta Mockutė | Anastassia Korstinskaja | Flávia Rodrigues Piątkiewicz | Timothy Hofmann | Nikol Greplová | Marie Sandahl | Dóra Pernyész | Marija Lovrić | Silvia Golja | Maruša Štibelj | Mia Maraković
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