Macedonian artist Blagojce Stonjanovski said an artist has to learn art history to move forward.
Stonjanovski moved to Bellevue early this summer—a bold move for a Macedonian living in California—and set up a studio and gallery in what is becoming Bellevue's art block. He has been creating posters for the Sawtooth Society and paintings for the fundraisers of nonprofit organizations, including the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.
"It's good so far," he said.
Stonjanovski is doing a series on horses, "Artists and Horses: Represented by the Old and New Masters," trying to represent the horse through the centuries.
"My work explores how an artist has used the horse to represent himself," he said.
His current exhibition examines the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Franz Marc, Eugene Delacroix, Leonardo da Vinci and other artists whom Stonjanovski believes have led the way.
"When I was young I learned to draw, which is the basis of art," Stonjanovski said. "Back in Macedonia I studied literature, including Hemingway, and I have always put myself into my paintings. I love my trade."
Stonjanovski said he would like to create a Hemingway mural similar to one he created in California dedicated to John Steinbeck.
Spending up to 16 hours a day working, which is a combination of business and painting, Stonjanovski also feels strongly about doing work for nonprofit organizations.
"I donate to nonprofits because it gives me joy," he said. "But with all this work I can never go home to Macedonia—maybe next year."
Sabina Dana Plasse: firstname.lastname@example.org