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Work from Renowned Impressionist and Tin Panel Painter Mladen Novak

Croatian-American impressionist painter Mladen Novak is known throughout Europe and the US for his bold technique and fondness for painting on tin panels as well as traditional canvas. Novak’s works are especially well-loved in the US, France, Germany, and Croatia. The artist’s abstract-impressionist technique and use of subject may be inspired by the vibrancy of life experience along with the inspiration of subject, object, and textured canvas.

Mladen Novak painting tin panel creation.

Novak studied at Maksimir Artist School in Zagreb, Croatia under professor Oton Gliha, who was himself considered to be the master abstractionist who revived landscape painting during the 20th century.

He left Croatia in 1966 for Islip, NY, where he studied technique fundamentals, followed by continued art education in Ethiopia. Novak settled in the US in 1988.

The artist established a reputation across Europe for his aquarelles — watercolors characterized by a thin, almost transparent technique — yet his style has been called both abstract and impressionistic, featuring bold strokes of color.

The technique of painting on tin panels was patented by Novak, and his works have been featured in solo exhibitions and galleries worldwide. In recent decades, the painter worked on commissioned pieces in Washington, DC, and he is known as a DC-and-Croatian-based painter.

Novak’s work has been homed at Galley 11 in Zagreb, Fuchs Gallery in Valbonne, France, the Cochrane Museum in Washington, DC, and it appeared in the movie “Little Manhattan” (2005).

Inspired by the symmetry and texture of the tin panel architectural relic collection at Olde Good Things, Novak began sketching and affecting preliminary designs on the antique tin panels. Since then, the artist has completed a dashing series of artworks done in his signature style on tin panels from OGT since 2008.

The OGT collection of Novak’s work includes bright impressions of everyday scenes, florals, landscapes, and objects. The Olde Good Things reclaimed tin panels become both canvas and a piece of historic, artistic, and contemporary significance. Each panel has its own unique story that it carries with it.

In the OGT Novak tin panel paintings, you can see the artist’s free-flowing, celebratory technique in bold color — works that incorporate the texture and beauty of reclaimed antique tin.

For more authentic Mladen Novak tin panel works, recommendations on melding this unique style into your space, or for more stunning historic and aesthetic pieces from our collection of architectural relics, contact Olde Good Things.


Shop all handpainted Novak tin panels currently available online

Portrait of the Artist

If you’ve ever been to a flea market in the Northern Virginia or Washington, DC, area, you’ve probably seen this man, selling his oil paintings on canvas.

Mladen ‘Gino’ Novak was born in 1948 in Zagreb, Croatia. He was schooled at the Maksimir Artist School in Zagreb. ‘Gliha’ was his teacher and mentor who has works hanging in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Leaving Croatia in 1966, he studied technique in Islip, New York, for two years, then attended college in Ethiopia to continue his studies.

He eventually came to America in September 1988 to escape from Communism.

Novak is well known known in Europe for his watercolors. He has an excellent use of strong, bold colors with an emphasis on perspectives. His style is impressionist.

Presently he works on commissioned pieces.

Here’s some impressive credentials:

  • Has works hanging in Galley 11 in Zagreb, Croatia, alongside Picasso and other famous painters.
  • Presently has an exhibition in Fuchs Gallery in Valbonne, France.
  • Has work hanging in the Cochrane Museum in Washington, DC, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Is in a “Who’s Who” book of famous modern American painters.
  • Is a member of Washington Project for the Arts/Cochrane.
  • His work was featured in the major motion picture “Little Manhattan” (2005) starring Cynthia Nixon.

Some years ago he saw our panels at a Northern Virginia flea market, and stopping dead in his tracks said, “Your panels… such symmetry, such texture… I must paint them. They inspire me.”

He now happily sketches and does preliminary design work on our antique tin panels before his commissioned pieces.

Here you can see some of his works on antique tin.

Olde Good Things