Confronting an empty canvas is a decisive moment in the process of making a painting. Adrenaline starts to flow and a myriad of possibilities are taken into consideration before the actual build-up gains momentum.
Two months to go for the launching of my exhibition titled Red is the Colour. The new collection of works is now taking shape. Layers upon layers of paint are built with red being the dominant colour as it breathes thoroughly on the surface of each canvas.
If interested to attend the opening of my exhibition kindly subscribe to the newsletter below.
The idea of living and practising on the sister Island of Gozo may at first thought not be the best option for a Maltese artist who wants to make a decent living out of art. My artistic formation actually took place abroad and I still consider Italy, the country which adopted me for four years my second home. Having said this, my homeland has lured me to go back to my origins. Its scenery, the beauty of its renowned places which feature regularly in my landscape and seascape paintings were hard to resist. They were and will always remain my inspiration for my drawings and paintings on canvas.
A photo of a place or a drawing in-situ are just starting points that prompt a mental configuration of a painting. Having said this, a painting is never conceived mentally as a finished product. To be frank I start a painting with no clues about how it might eventually evolve. The process itself, which depends on a loose and spontaneous application of paint, is never straightforward. Each brushwork dictates the way to move forward. Preparatory drawings are kept schematic and details are synthesised. At some point I abandon any visual references and tend to rely more on my personal take on the subject in terms of composition, combinations of colours and layering of paint.
As it often happens I am presently committed to a number of commissioned works and art projects. Concurrently I am busy working on what should be my next exhibition which is scheduled for the month of December. I am enjoying this new collection as I am feeling free and confident to experiment with new modalities of work and a few stylistic modifications. Recently I came across a video featuring a past exhibition the link to which I am providing below. Looking back at past efforts is necessary to understand better the path we have taken and the work that defines us today.
The short video, which may be also viewed on my facebook page Maltese Landscape Paintings, is part of a feature taken from the popular TV programme Ghawdex Illum. All credit goes to programme producer Alvin Scicluna and art critic Joe Camilleri:
Xaghra, 2001 (Private collection).
Welcome to my second post. I will try to keep it short as possible. Today I am writing about how it feels like to be an artist. Well, personally I consider art as a vocation rather than as an occupation. One starts at a relatively young age showing interest in exploring different ways of expressing feelings and emotions. One might decide to further his/her art education, but not necessarily. Some talented people out there are self-taught.
A key word for success is persistence. Eventual success is about belief in one's own capabilities. Love for art has to be intrinsic and it is about being positive about the progress being made day by day. Having one's creative output loved by others can boost one's own self-esteem but this is not imperative, especially at an early stage of development. It's true, there are some constraints. For instance, during the formative stage it becomes necessary to attract an audience and possibly access the collectors' market. This will happen slowly and one should not be discouraged by the highly competitive scenario out there. Belief in one's own potential together with consistency in one's own practice are synonymous with success, even if the latter might take time to achieve.
Another necessary requisite is regular practice, and as the saying goes: practice makes perfect. One should ideally visit the art studio everyday even when motivation is at it's low. On unproductive days one might decide to prepare a canvas or do some sketches for future works. Regular practice distinguishes artists from those who are referred to as Sunday painters.
This leads me to the third and final requisite to be an effective artist. Just be yourself is the operative motto. Joan Miro used to say that kids create the most beautiful work simply because their creations are spontaneous, full of vitality and devoid of expectations. Unfortunately we adults tend to judge our work and that of other people. Kids don't do that; they are absorbed by their own world and don't compare their drawings or paintings with those of others. That's what being an artist is all about: trying to be passionate and daring and avoid caring about being judged by others.
One should be proud of what s/he does and of his/her past commitments. The image above illustrates a painting I did years ago and which was indicative towards a new stylistic direction. Some of the traits are still recognisable in the work I do nowadays. Our past efforts define us today. It's important to honor our past as looking back on the past allows us to recognise the relevance of what we are and do today.
Hope you enjoyed reading my post. If you have something to say or add to it you are most welcome to leave a comment below.