Thursday, May 7, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Rasha Alem

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Rasha's painting, "In the Candle Light" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have painted since childhood. It was always my favorite thing to do. When I was fourteen, I started copying most of Van Gogh paintings. I was fascinated by his work and his technique.

In 2008, I felt that I wanted to follow my passion and study academically how to paint.  I studied in different places around the world which exposed me to different schools of art.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

2008 was my real start as I joined an art school in Florence -- that was inspiring! It took me to another stage of thinking about art.

However, life always ups and downs, I had a long pause after becoming a mom. I was busy with work and having a new baby, that stopped me completely and I didn't have time to paint anymore. It was very hard on me but fortunately, that did not last long.

My life changed and I managed to have time for my art. My spirits rose again as I resumed painting and I decided then that I couldn’t live without painting whatever my situation is. I realized that painting is part of me.

Daily painting was one of the motivating experiments as well.  It encouraged me to paint every single day and pay more attention to simple and small things around me. Choosing a new subject everyday from the objects I see is a good practice.

Going to Florence with other artists on a painting trip was an extraordinary change in my painting life.

In the Candle Light
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Rasha's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I currently use pencils, charcoal, acrylic and oil but my best friend is oil.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I have always stuck with the realistic school of painting; actually, contemporary realism is my ultimate goal. Others have fallen away!

Little Blue
(click to see original image)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

In the next stage, I want to play more with contemporary realism, and figurative paintings.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by artists who follow the classical modern school. Also, music. Beautiful music inspires me with new ideas and motivates me to put those feelings and emotions on canvas.

The Falcon
(click to see original image)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I am always trying new techniques, but I revert to the academic one, which helps me create innovative direction.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I research a lot on my subject. I also always try to see what other artists are doing with the subject and how I can achieve that in my own style.

Self Portrait
(click to see original image)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Preparing the surface under paint well is extremely important. Working light with hard brushes and displaying your brush strokes always keeps the paint fresh. Using the beautiful, handmade Williamsburg colors does also.

(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am learning about new techniques and modern, contemporary methods to achieve classic paintings in a different methodology.

What makes you happiest about your art?

I feel happy when I make a brush stroke that is both methodical and spontaneous at the same time. When I see my feelings reflected on the canvas, that makes me satisfied and happy about my art.

Thanks, Rasha!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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