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In Bosnia people are raised and educated to be asholes (or to be politicly correct – A-holes). We are trained to have a very keen sense of leverage over somebody else in every aspect of our trivial lives. That leverage automatically gives us a position of winner over loser, feeling of one’s greatness. I mean, it only takes “death of the neighbour’s cow˝so we could celebrate our own success. At some point of my asholness I made a promise that I will give my painting to someone when certain conditions were fulfilled by that person. Nothing important, just me being an ashole. Thing is, I don´t wanna be an ashole, bastard YES, asshole NO. Now you wonder why I would like to be bastard and not an ashole. Well, if I remember correctly, holy men in buddhism need to have one weakness so they can be still attached to Earth, to this Creation. I picked mine, a bastard allergic to BS (not Bosnians but bullshit). So my inner bastard recognised bullshitness of my inner ashole and said, that´s bullshit, fix that or I´ll split your personality in two and than you will see living hell, he said that in sweet voice of Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood. And then he pulled the pistols.

This year I planned to do one more painting featuring Corto Maltese (btw my 2015 started on 15 March 2015 and it´s not finished yet). Not in this composition nor for this person, and I guess that painting will happen sometimes and somewhere else, not here. I am now sure that Corto will be recurring character in my paintings. So I painted this one also to satisfy my soul. Inspirational song for this “cherry blossom” painting is Oceans from Pearl Jam.


Lyrics have this deep note of longing and at the same time promise of hope of meeting again. To me it corresponds with Corto Maltese´s her, a woman that he never captures, although many could have taken her place, he remained alone. That´s why I made him sleep/daydream of her. And ocean in the background is his unsettled thoughts and emotions. As perfectly described in the lyrics of the song.

As for technique, this time I experimented with wet on wet painting. Wet on wet is perfect for aquarelle, ink and oil technique, and basically not for hard acrylic surfaces. I had one small bottle of basic acrylic emulsion and acrylic gloss finish that I spilled over gold surface for the parts that should be the ocean. I didn’t have any acryl ink, so I watered down acrylic paint with emulsion. Pulled few lines of ultramarine, prussian blue and cyan with aquarelle brush. And then left it to develop itself, and to dry. The result was more than great. I´ve got this fantastic randomness in waves, an organic and living force of ocean.

As for Corto, I didn´t try to base it on Hugo Pratt drawings. Made a simple sketch on canvas with pencil, adjust it with few strokes of brush, got the character and that was it. As simple as possible, although he is there, he is not stealing the picture with his presence, he is more there to frame it, by breaking the first plane. I think I made Pratt and Hiroshige proud 🙂

More photos of Oceans available on my fb page.