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Montenegro part 3.. A Way of Life

As well as being a stunning country of natural beauty, there seems to be a very beautiful aspect to their creativity and outlook on life in general. A lot of people live close to nature and live comfortably, but not in a quest to gain more and more wealth...






Montenegro boasts the highest number of artists per capita in the world.. and they are also some of the tallest people in the world!


They work hard and produce lovely work, are generous with their talent and time, and enjoy relating to the tourists. A few times I asked if the artists/ artisans had a website, so I could promote them, but they often said they didn't want to go that big and were happy with their way of life. (on a side note Instagram have blocked Montenegro from trading - but that is almost an aside, as the locals seem to be quite content with the scope of their business!)

This artist makes lovely clay gifts and lives near the Lake Skodar. She explained that many of the locals will have an extra room that they will rent out to tourists in the tourist season, will offer home cooked food, and enjoy life. She said "Other countries say Montenegrins are lazy", but she explained, "No they are smart! - if they can find a quicker, easier way to get a job done, then they will! and then enjoy the bounty of their hard work by doing something enjoyable with their earnings!" They are very people orientated, they love to visit and spend time with friends and family. We learned that the country is made up of about 4 - 5 clans of whom many people will be descendants from. There is a strong sense that family take care of family - and we saw very little begging, which was very notable - which seems to cross over into the animal world. Even though it seems there are many well taken of "strays" it seems from what friends there can tell me, all animals have a MAIN home and then they roam the streets and others also take care of them. Its a very warm relationship between Human and Animals!


An artisan in Kotor who made jewellery using Italian glass - said they were quite happy with their business as it was, and didn't want the hassle of becoming bigger. It was really refreshing to hear that.


The Old capital is home to the Arts faculty. We found some interesting books in the local reference library of Montenegrin based artists. I found a huge illustrated book of the work of Slobadan Puro Duric.





We were also able to track down a book by an artist we had hoped to meet in person Mihailo Jovicevic (aka Moyo), but we learned that he had passed away just a few years ago. There was a book in the library and we asked to see it and if there was a way to buy a copy. With the help of google translate the librarian said she would find out. A few phone calls a later we find she has located a copy and his wife was bringing it over in 10 minutes!. The people are so friendly and helpful. Moyo was a professor of Art, Professor of Fine Arts and taught Conservation and Restoration in several of the Arts Faculties in Montenegro.

In the local Art Museum there is some of Moyo's work. He spent a lot of his time during the Communist era painting abstract work inspired by the Bible. It appears he was happy with being little known in the rest of the world. Although he was very well known in Montenegro, we get the impression he was just happy to be an Artist in his own country. People have said that he often would sell his work for reasonable prices for a few hundred Euros, so that everyday people could own and enjoy his work. He created over 15,000 paintings in his life time! His recent book contains over 600 paintings not seen before in public. He also led the valuable restoration on some of the country's Roman mosaics.




The work in the museum is a significant piece: a towering cross, the main body depicting in relief lots of little figures, representing humanity.. as your eye wanders over the cross there is a little prism that you can look into, as you gaze you see a clock and a picture of Jesus, then just below it you see a tiny mirror.. in which you also see yourself ... it is packed with meaning.. very bold but also very quiet in its message. We have met people who were his students and he is remembered very fondly as a very warm, person who was generous with his talent. We were privileged to meet his lovely wife who has offered us to come and see his studio when we are next there. The generosity of the people here is very heartwarming.



The stunning nature, animals and humans here seem to have special relationship...

A diary entry of a friend who is living there at the moment said : "And then I started my walk, I felt so alive and so rich as always and I had again a dog following me. It is not the first time, there is a dog following me to the lake, starting from my home and now a dog followed me from the lake back to my house!"


She had seen a beautiful restaurant had been built into the mountainside by two brothers...."which is embedded so harmoniously in the landscape, so that the nature and the building give the impression that they love each other"


When she asked them "How can 2 people who have not studied for that do all this building? In other countries you have a full team of experts and workers etc....."

At that moment one looked towards the sky and told her that the "inspiration came from beyond....from over there...." .she looked at his eyes and felt a magic energy.


Montenegro... a beautiful country...



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