Artist Statement

النسخة العربية

In my younger years , nature impassioned me , I was inspired by the things I saw , and I explored everything by sketching . One of the most rewarding experiences is to sit and gaze at the nature and the environment surrounding me to observe the true colors found in it . I started sketching with pencil and charcoal , which gave me an excellent background on light and shade , this made me discover the difference between the harmony of the colors themselves and the shade of each one.

I don't like to say too much about my art , since I think it should speak for itself , but maybe a few words about my philosophy on painting will help you understand it better.

My criteria for evaluating a painting works on two levels . The first one is at the conceptual level , in which I think a good painting should communicate something to the viewer , whether it be an emotion , a story , or an insight into the beauty of things around us.

The second level is at the abstract level , that is the part of painting entirely independent of subject matter , and that just depends on the arrangements of lines , shapes , colors , and transition on the canvas , a great painting has a very strong underlying abstract .This emphasis on abstract design is what the abstract painters of the 20th century were focusing on . However if you look at the art of the middle east centuries ago , you will find that abstract design ideas were not really new to the 20th century.

A further element I like to focus on in my criteria is the brushwork in a painting . For me this adds yet another depth to a painting to make it far more interesting to look at.

A good painting has harmony between its colors and values . And has various rhythms in the spacing between its shapes . Repetition and variety in shapes and colors is one of the key principles in painting . A painting is an image charged with emotion . It is shapes , lines , colors , and values rhythmically organized . That's why I paint things around me , and that's why I travel to paint where I can experience life and feel its emotions.

I will finish with the names of some of the painters who have influenced me . When I was young I was impressed with the work of French impressionist painters such as Renoir (1841-1919) , Pissarro (1830-1903), Sisley (1839-1899) and more strongly by Monet (1840-1926) his series paintings such as the Rouen Cathedral and Venice paintings I find particularly interesting , and who got me interested in optical color mixing effects . I also liked the marine paintings of the Dutch landscape painters , and the scenes of country life by Gustave Courbet (1819-1887), and the beautiful interiors of Vermeer (1632-1675) that strengthened my interest in composition and the division of space in a painting . Rembrandt (1606-1669) was also a favorite of mine whom I knew from my visits to the National Gallery in London . Following this revelation I became acquainted with the work of the Russian impressionists whose works reached a level that in my opinion surpassed most of the French impressionists . In my early years I was also introduced and very much influenced by the art of Michelangelo (1475-1564) in the Sistine Chapel and his sculpture of David in Florence . It was the emotional impact of seeing his art set my mind to becoming an artist , and probably started my lifetime love of Italy.

My view of painting now is very different from where I started as a painter , and now I see things in painting that I never saw before . The downside of this is that once you have seen that this things are possible you are never satisfied with your own work !…


-- SAHAR AL JAJEH