Through it all, I did not separate from pens, brushes, paper, or canvas. In 1974, I chose the technique of painting on glass (reverse glass painting) as my main medium, which I still use after 40 years.


In thirty-eight years of holding a presence in the world of painting as a member of various Associations and Societies in Croatia and world


ithin developed composition, with a strong sense of articulation of space, there are firgures of solid character features. Step forward is the painter's desire to penetrate the psyche of its protagonist, and often between facial expressions and moods in the landscape, she establishes subtile balance.


Liba Peršinović

Liba Peršinović

About me, Liba, the painter of the Croatian naive art, exclusively in oil-on-the-glass technique

I was born as the only child in a peasant family on July,13 1948 in the centuries old village of Prodawich-Bel Tur-Virju, in the heart of Podravina (area around river Drava in Croatia), also known as the cradle of Naive Folk Art.
From my first steps till the age of 15, I was living with nature, running all peasants’ chores with my parents on the family farm. I used to spend summers on the river Drava and its tributaries’ banks, with a pen and paper handy at all times. I was taking records, drawing all that surrounded me, following my strong imagination which would take me from beautiful landscapes I was finding myself in to even more strikingly beautiful virtual ones.
In 1963, upon completion of primary school and the 1st place award winning in the regional competition “Painting on the Asphalt“ in Djurdjevac, Croatia , much to my regret, my desire to continue education in Arts was not granted. Instead, I got enrolled at and graduated from the Nursing School in Bjelovar, Croatia.

After having started a family, I arrived in Zagreb as the mother of two and got enrolled at the Art Department of the Pedagogical Academy. The written word, poetry and prose, along with painting got intertwined in my life on daily basis, having had for the outcome the publication of two collections of poetry : “The Body of My Bod I“in 1971 by Student Poetry Theater and “The Body of My Body II“ in 1976 by Bibliotheque Poetry. In 1971, I got enlisted in the Collection of The Most Recent Croatian Poetry.

During all that time , I did not part from pens, brushes, paper, or canvas. From 1974 onwards, I’ve opted for good for the painting on glass technique as my main medium, which I’m still sticking to, forty years later.
At that time, as a member of the Croatian Association of Naive Artists and Fine Art Workers Community in Zagreb, I participated in a group exhibition., while in Foiano-Arezzo, Italy,in 1977, I had my first independent artwork exhibition presenting oil -on –the- glass technique, in an already reknown Podravina region’s naïve art manner, bringing in, as contribution, my own visions, my own underwater world, the Podravina’s fields in bloom, flooded by the river Drava .
Helped by the brush and the paint I went on telling the tale about the Panonian Sea, crying goldfish, Panonian Venus, the old man (always the same character, to the image of my grandfather, who gets rejuvenated in the company of Panonian mermaid), about a young girl who, entangled in the blue forget-me-nots, gets carried by the fish towards the Heavens.”
I covered with the relief painting technique the entire thirty –square- meter -glass -surfaces of the Restaurant “Barba Niko” in Velika Gorica, close to the airport Pleso, by Zagreb, Croatia, in 1982, still to be seen today.
In the same year, as a member of the Croatian Naive Artists Association, my oil on glass entitled “Tired but happy family“, 40x30 cm large, was included in the great, representative exhibition “Yugoslav Naive Art“ held in Livno, Croatia.

The Art History Professor in Rijeka, Croatia, the late Ms. Biserka Smoljan-Cerina , among other things, wrote the following in the Collection Zbornik “100 Painters and Sculptors“, Zagreb, 1985,: “By using the gentle and lyrical connective tissues, Liba Persinovic, brings together the parts of the real and the phantasmagoric that moves towards the surreal.“
In the foreword to the catalog of my independent exhibition “Imaginary Landscapes or the Colors of One Morning“ at the Museum Turopolje in Velika Gorica, Croatia, in March 1986, Professor Radovan Vukovic wrote the following: “Paintings are void of redundant narration as well as of excessive hedonism of colors. They seem like a dense poetic vision of awaken dawns in which the playful imagination of the restless poet’s nature gets projected. An entire mesmerizing phantasmagoric world that balances on the edge between a dream and reality, love and suffering, touching the sensitive spots of reality and fiction, in which the physical and the methapyisical blend in airy fluids of the spectrum of color harmonies.“
My personal life upheavals led me out of Croatia in the Fall of 1986, but I still kept on painting. To the naïve paiting I added the technique of oil on canvas and ink wash to “Naive Art“. I staged three Murals in the Italian city of Varese.

My country and my roots’ call was too strong and after all the „excursions“ to various techniques, I returned to main medium of oil on glass, to my village, the villagers and peasants, customs, field works, mysterious river Drava, its backwaters, fishermen in their schooners in the bright late afternoons, as motives....I came back to my beloved Podravina flatlands.
The art history professor , late Mr. Juraj Baldani was standing by my side in my work from the very beginning. Known for not having preference for the Naive Art, he would scold, support ed), direct and, then again, criticize me in his many writings and reflections expecting every day more and more of me, asking me to move away from the Naïve art. Although he is not with us anymore, his words continue to be A “vocal signpost“ that will never abate.

He said, “Within elaborated composition, with a strong sense for space articulation , the figures with firm character features do appear. A step forward by the painter is her desire to penetrate the psyche of her protagonists, so oftentimes she establishes a subtle balance between facial expressions and the atmosphere reigning over the landscape. Her composition is still constructed on a number of layouts, with full respect for the perspective,without any detail skipping her attention. The drawing is exact and sophisticated while coloration is distinctive, clean and vibrant“ (a quote from reviews published in Collection „100 Painters and Sculptors“, Zagreb, 1985).

In thirty-eight years of presence in the world of painting as a member of various Associations and Societies in Croatia and abroad, I have received significant recognitions, awards, and prizes such as the Silver (Medail) Medal of Belgrade, the Zagreb Silver Medal, the Gold Medal named Workers Creativity awarded by Josip Broz Tito, the UNICEF Award 1982 in Zagreb, Special Recognition Extempore Rancio Valcuvia – Italy in 1992, and others. I participated in a number of art colonies, including “Lovorka Kukanic“ in Rijeka, “Vinodolski Skup“ in Novi Vinodolski, and other colonies including Belisce, Ernestovo, Rogoznica, Denja, and Velika Gorica. I am also the founder of the First Art Workshop in Virje 1985. By now, I have participated in over three hundred group exhibitions. I had thirteen independent exhibitions – among them, eight in Croatia and others in in Foiano-Arezzo, Italy, in1977, inVarese, Italy, in 1990, at the “Alibaba“ Gallery in Milan in 1991, in Besozzo, Italy in 1992, and at the Zurich City Hall, Switzerland in 1995.
I live in Zagreb nowadays, enjoying the pace of a retiree, surrounded by love of my offspring and doing only what I've always wanted to do – paint, paint and paint! Using oil colors on the glass, I've been reviving my past - my roots, my parents’ rustic peasant life and customs, the beloved little clusters of my grandparents’ and other relatives’ houses, away from our village, at the edge of the forest, which us, the children, used to call Konaci and considered a true dreamland, the white and cold winters of Podravina and the devastating floods of the river Drava. I've been reviving and recording in my paintings my childhood that today seems to me to have been the one from a very rare fairytale.

Liba Peršinović L.


Zagreb, 29. Travnja 2015 / April 2015