Marija (Mara) Stefanovic is a visual artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Mara’s artistic practice is an inner journey, exploration, and visual interpretation of her deep, raw emotions and reflections on life. She is inspired by the fragility, and impermanence of nature, the beauty of imperfection, and the cycle of life. Her work is often symbolic and metaphoric. Certain plants, animals, and insects are often the subject of her figurative paintings, and they always carry a strong symbolism. She also likes to explore ideas and esthetic principles of Eastern philosophy, such as Wabi-Sabi and Kintsugi. Kintsugi – the ancient Japanese tradition of mending broken pottery with gold, which makes the object more precious and stronger than before, is a wonderful metaphor Mara loves to use as a parallel to emotionally and spiritually broken humans, acknowledging the importance of the self-healing process. Her paintings are mostly figurative, influenced by traditional Japanese art, contemporary imaginative realism, surrealism, and old Dutch masters. She prefers simple, almost minimalistic composition and a limited palette. Her favorite mediums are oil paint and watercolor, and she uses environmentally friendly materials, such as water mixable oil paint, handmade natural watercolors, and inks, recycled and handmade paper. Born (1981) in Serbia. Since 2016 based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Holds BA in Italian language and literature. Mother of two.