Featured Artist Moshe Mikanovsky

Artist Moshe Mikanovsky from Toronto, Canada,  creates Judaica as well as portraits and other works in watercolor, printmaking, acrylics and stained glass.  He discusses his inspiration and presents his portfolio. You can visit Moshe’s website and his blog for more information.
What are your goals?
My goals are to make a living from the art.  I have dreamt about it for too long, and now its time for fulfilling this dream.  I don’t want to wait until my retirement, like many people tried to advise.  I think there are ways to be successful, and I am actively working towards them.  Part of it is licensing my art, something I have started few years ago with KetubahKetubah, an online Ketbuah mega-store which is selling customized Giclee prints of my art.  I have also licensed some of my designs to the UJA of Toronto for their holidays tribute cards (Passover tribute cards are coming now).
What are you working on now?
In order to build my art business, I am working on many different things:
– Building a more cohesive body of work, mainly in watercolors.
– Building my network through online social networking and my blog.
– Planning to visit the SURTEX licensing show in May and meet people in the business face to face.
– Submitting to appear in several art shows.
– Actively participating in local art groups.
– Writing my blog as well as a series of articles about local artists for one of the local newspapers (Shalom Toronto). See the articles here and also here.
– Also, utilizing my professional day job in Software Development to help other artists build their online presence. I have built several sites for artists, and now planning to create seminars and courses with technology topics to artists.
What inspires you?
  • My Jewish identity and its symbolism are woven throughout my artwork. Brought up in Israel in a religious community, I was immersed from childhood in Jewish symbols through the holy books and their studies, every day Judaica objects and daily customs, and of course, the written word in Hebrew. I remember as a kid I loved browsing through my Grandmother’s bible which had Gustave Doré bible scene reproductions, copying them and first learning about figure drawing, expression, cloths, light and shade.
    Well, it’s easy to see in The Bride painting the Jewish bride, dancing Chasidim, and wording in Hebrew (our songs!), all tied together to this happy moment.

  • Architecture – I love buildings and architectural details. My favorite vacation is strolling around in any beautiful city, be it NYC, Rome, or my favorite, Jerusalem, and just wash my eyes with the small details that give each building its unique character. When I started using the squares in my paintings, at first it was just background filler. But then I realized it was really working for me! It reminded me of walls covered with stone or mosaics, in which some windows were opened to view inside. The Bride is actually the first painting I made with the squares. You can see the wall-with-a-window effect it makes and some arabesque details on it.

  • Colors, design and order, material – different concepts in art, but they are all important parts for me for the completed work of art. I love bold colors, and use as many of them as I can, but still try to create a balanced design, with inner order.  Experiencing and learning to use new materials always trigger these questions: “How can I use this new exciting method to create an appealing and balanced artwork?” and “Can I combine it with other methods to work together even more interestingly?”
    In The Bride, I tried to play between the cold blue and greens to the warm reds and yellows. That was even before I learned about color theories but intuitively organizing these colors side by side, trying to use many different variations of each.

  • Art– Did I mention Gustave Doré already? So he wasn’t the only one. I love and admire Marc Chagall who I can’t describe enough how genius his work is. It’s worth taking few of his paintings and copy them to appreciate his imaginative expressive way to develop an image. I can’t list all of the other artists I admire, as the list is way too long! I will try blogging about them once in a while, as they are part of what drive me to make my art.
    The focal point in The Bride is actually after a Marc Chagall’s “Bride with Fan”. I couldn’t think about a better way to show my love to my bride-to-be than by painting her something I love.


  1. Beautiful work!

  2. Great Jewish stuff at the Judaica store: Mezuzahs, Menorahs, Jewish gifts and more.

  3. Great article I really enjoy your blog.


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