I was approached by a Great Britain college student who explored my art for a research paper. It is great that young generation is interested in realistic watercolor paintings. This particular person was interested in my Seashells and Seascapes paintings.
I answered a few questions for this little interview; and, I am happy to share them here.
1. How did you start to make these paintings? What got you into it?
Seashells and beach treasures always fascinated my artist’s soul. Since the childhood I would be sketching my findings at the beach. My dad told me that each seashell holds a sound of the sea; and, as a kid I would be placing the large seashells, listening for a long time, imagining where it came from. At home, we had a large collection of seashells, which friends of the family brought from all over the world. Needless to say, my favorite book those days was Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid fairy-tale. My favorite jewelry was a little string of pearls that my grandma gave me.
2. What do these pieces say/express about you?
Later on in life, I was fascinated with Old Masters Dutch Still Life paintings and Renaissance realism. I’ve research the symbolism of seashells, pearls and water in paintings. I found out that the seashells represented the world of exploration, power and wealth, scientific discovery, and brief passing of time on the planet Earth. Opened seashell suggested vanitas overtones of the brevity of life, or could be interpreted as having erotic implications. And a different shell might represent each continent as visual tribute to the exploratory travel and scientific discoveries of the day. I also learned that Pearls symbolize prosperity and vanity, wisdom and Imperial authority. Both pearls and water have long been symbols of purity and femininity. I started painting seashells, pearls and seascape artworks challenging myself to realism in watercolor when learning from oil masterpieces. I think, all this fascination and thorough research express my love to the history of art, painting techniques, and endless desire to succeed.
3. What motivated you to create your pieces?
My motivation in creating seashells and other beach treasures paintings was to present not only beauty of Nature but the realistic approach in watercolor that can brings together history and contemporary times, classic oils versus fluid properties of only century and half old medium.
4. Describe your creative process?
When painting still life with shells and pearls, I carefully research the subject. I usually have my models right in front of me. I make a sketch. I take a few photographs. Then I draw detailed drawing but very lightly that the pencil does not overwhelm future watercolor transparency. I never use white (opaque) paint; I leave the white of paper shine through. Sometimes, for the background I use sea salt to make the water and color “curl” and “spread” in unpredictable ways.
When I create semi-realistic decorative paintings with seashells and water, I marry realistic approach with abstraction. The watercolor is an amazing medium, it can do it all.
When painting seascapes I follow two types of techniques. One is spontaneous Impressionistic style painting En-Plein-Air, e.g. painting in Nature at the spot. Or, I paint from memory and multiple photographs that I take on my travels. The studio paintings turn out usually more detailed as I invest more time not being tied up by weather condition and sun moving fast.
5. What are the messages/feelings are you trying to get across or expect people to have when interacting with your artwork?
I convey my love to the Nature, timeless beauty of the seashells, pearls, and water into my artworks with a strong desire for my Art Collectors feel my fascination of what the World can offer. A small finding from the beach, a seascape painting inspired by a walk along the shore with my husband, documenting the beauty in my art are priceless. I feel that no treasure of the World can be compared with these simple things.
Live To Create!!!