Beauty and proportion, a sense of stillness and lasting presence can be found in the most ordinary things. Whether painting vegetables, florals, or seashells, I look for the innate character of nature's roots, structures, and relics. I breathe intimacy with the past without being overtly symbolic. My paintings are studies of balance, rhythm, and light. They are honest and quiet; a far cry from the passions and uncertainties of daily life. Still they are a part of life, or they point to how life could be: simple and undistracted.

I look to the masters of today and yesterday for inspiration and counsel while recognizing the importance of direct observation. Relying only on natural light, the dramatic uncertainty of the changing daylight gives flux and movement to every scene. The tabletop is indefinite and the horizon line arbitrary. I angle the objects frontally, pressed against the viewer’s gaze. The objects feel monumental because they are viewed at eye level, or from just above, commanding perspective. 

Painting is a manual labour. I work with my fingers, rubbing sticks of pigment into paper or panel. In pastel, the beauty of the pigments is revealed in its purest state, and there is no distorting effect of aging. Original brilliance with undiminished intensity. This is the magic of pastel.

Anja Karisik was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina, in 1987 and moved with her parents to Canada in 1996. She graduated from the University of Toronto, Hons. Fine Art History, cultivating her artistic spirit alongside her artist father, Ciba Karisik.