Ella Fleš

Home: Montréal, Québec
Title: Modern Mona
Media: Conté Crayon dry pastel, on pastel paper
Dimensions: 76 x 61 cm
Website: ellafles.com

Artist Statement

What is that part of the face, or a wrinkle, or a minute glimmer of light in the eye that tells us of the subject being drawn more than any perfection of reality?

How to draw souls? To find its soul, one has to surrender his own; by reaching out to each personality, I try to establish a special connection with my model. For many years, I have been involved in the project of drawing people who make a town, “Portraits of the city”, as commissioned by different cultural ministries and art galleries.

These marathon portrait sessions have taken me to Vela Luka, Varaždin, Dubrovnik, Korčula (Croatia), Tijuana (Mexico), Vadodara, Jaipur (India), and San Diego (USA). In each city, I create portraits of people from all walks of life, working quickly with my pastel to convey a more authentic and intense atmosphere. At the end of each (residency /project), there is a gallery opening / art sale, and a portion of the proceeds go to local humanitarian organizations.

“Modern Mona: Portrait of Sara” is of a friend’s daughter who studies at Concordia University, Montreal. The portrait contrasts a traditional with modern kinetic style.


Ella Fleš was born in Arandjelovac, Ex-Yugoslavia. She studied painting in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Belgrade and graduated as one of the top students in her class. She received numerous awards from the University of Belgrade for her accomplishments in mosaic, drawing and painting. She left Yugoslavia for Canada in 1980 and has since established herself in Vancouver’s artistic community. Ella exhibits her work frequently throughout Canada, the United States, and internationally.