The wife of a well-known landscaper has made it her mission to return the works of her late husband
For decades, artist Vojislav Morosan has captured a precise moment in the cities he painted in Canada and abroad.
Preferring to work on location using oil or watercolors and using a vibrant color palette, Vojislav, who emigrated from Serbia in 1967, painted thousands of pieces focused on historic buildings and lush landscapes, capturing ultimately the essence of the community in which he found himself.
For over 40 years, with his wife Norma Morosan by their side, the couple have traveled across the country and parts of the United States with the goal of painting these dormitory communities with pinpoint accuracy and a lot of life.
When Vojislav passed away in 2008, he left Norma behind with countless happy memories – and over 1,000 completed paintings.
“He left me a bit of a mess, to be completely honest with you,” Norma jokes. “Artists never want to catalog – they just want to paint.”
Over the past decade, Norma has taken over the preservation of her husband’s legacy by returning the paintings to the specific communities that inspired his works in the first place.
Most recently, she made sure that 26 paintings Vojislav painted from the Ambleside and Dundarave areas between 2000 and 2006 find their rightful place in West Vancouver.
“I have to relate these paintings to the places to which they belong, either by donation or by selling them,” explains Norma. “He loved his job and he was so amazed that people appreciated his work. “
Paint the scene
Bauer’s Framing & Art in West Vancouver now owns and sells Vojislav’s works on Norma’s behalf.
Amidst gorgeous painted scenes of Dundarave Beach and the Centennial Seawalk, with the Pink Palace in the foreground, owner Ron Bauer says he was stunned when Norma brought the pieces recently.
“They really touched me because I grew up here,” says Bauer, adding that he was particularly moved by Vojislav’s portrayal of Tiddlycove, a stone’s throw from where Bauer was raised. “They are really well done.”
During this six-year period, like many communities that Norma and Vojislav frequented over the years, the painter was a mainstay of West Vancouver as he created his works. He was often encountered somewhere along the town’s broad waterfront, interacting with people in the community as he painted.
Bauer says that since he started exhibiting Vojislav’s long lost paintings, a customer walked into his store and said she bought one of his pieces a long time ago. She started crying when he told her how this latest batch of work ended up in her store and that Vojislav had passed away more than ten years ago, according to Bauer.
“She said he was such a nice man,” says Bauer. “[They’re] almost like a photograph, in an artistic way. You can tell exactly where they are.
Brush with grandeur
Wherever this place is, Norma took a long time to get there. When her husband first moved to Canada in the 1960s, he took a job as a graphic designer in Toronto. But when he discovered he didn’t like tight deadlines, he gradually switched to full-time painting, she says.
“One day he just pulled out his easel and started painting someone’s house,” says Norma, who at the time decided to research some of Ontario’s most historic or scenic places for Vojislav at to paint.
Earlier this fall, Norma was able to bring together 35 paintings in the community of Ancaster, Ontario. that Vojislav painted in the 90s.
In the same decade, Norma and Vojislav moved to White Rock, British Columbia, where the couple had been very active for years and had no difficulty selling or donating her deceased’s coins. husband.
“I am surrounded by these beautiful paintings. I had 500 from White Rock and I’m down to 23 now, ”she says.
The dozens of works in West Vancouver had been in storage for ages when, apparently on a whim, Norma recently visited the town with a friend and began making inquiries, hoping to coerce an official or gallery owner with the the majesty her husband saw in the community’s stunning seascapes, or the elegance he shone in the sign welcoming people to Dundarave and surrounding areas.
“He said he had never seen anything more beautiful. I remember him saying that Dundarave and Ambleside reminded him of the way it used to be – life doesn’t change, ”says Norma.
While the brave folks of Dundarave and Ambleside can say that a lot has changed in the 15-20 years since Vojislav captured their quarters with careful brushstrokes, at least one thing has remained constant for Norma.
“He was inspired for six years to try to create these works of art. For me this has been a huge undertaking, but I have to make sure to finish this job.