In 2006 as a single 70 years old, living in a tiny place, I felt for the first time to be “Master of my Life.” I decided to make the most of my little time left. What shell I do? I needed to choose from activities which attracted me like magnets: reading, painting or writing. They all could keep me busy and operate as best medicine, supporting my morale, keeping me whole, alert, and satisfied. The answer was clear: Art. I decided to embark on an experimental painting journey, never thought to be available to me. Will painting please me? Will it give me enough satisfaction to continue? Will it take over my life? I did not know the answers but was sure that it will enrich me with a new experience.
In preparation of this journey, I thought a lot, wanting to make the best of this unexpected chance. I decided to treat it as a regular school project, that needs a careful planning. How to prepare for it? The answer directed me to Seattle Public Library. For weeks, I went daily to the Library, browsing, and reading books, picked directly from open shelves, taking notes, and taking home in my backpack the books I wanted to study in more depth.
After a long, enriching, and enjoyable documentation, I went to an art store, decided to buy pastels, thinking them, at that time, to be my preferred painting medium. A salesgirl invited me to attend a demo, “Hands on – painting watercolor on Yupo”, which was about to start. Everything was provided: watercolors, brushes, Yupo and instructions.
Some minutes later, manipulating watercolor on Yupo, I was completely mesmerized, my heart was pounding out of pleasure seeing vivid watercolors mingling on Yupo, (Aquatic) and suddenly my mind setup changed, forgetting about pastels which I just bought, being strongly convinced, that watercolor on Yupo is what I want to investigate and dedicate my time. I was surprised, my suppressed passion for vivid colors burst into light and made itself known.
With emotion and big expectations, I started a painting journey, revealing my feelings, and love for colorful images, communicating through them my believes and sensitivity. I well remember the start, but did not know where such an undertake will lead me. The awakened passion, surprised me, while I still doubted if I have enough skill and creativity to continue my journey and be happy by it.
In 2006, I started my painting journey and decided to begin it with flowers. Why? Because I love them, I studied them in China as part of Chinese traditional painting curriculum and they seemed to be easy to me. In that summer of 2006, a Florist Shop, changing weekly a display of flowers, offered me the needed flowers to dedicate each watercolor painting to an imaginary arrangement. Holding just one flower in my hand, rotating, observing it and instantly deciding the composition, made me satisfied and happy. I painted many imaginary arrangements of beautiful flowers, known and unknown to me.
Can I Paint Landscape?
Yes! In 2007 I approached landscape theme. I always was attracted to mountains, woods, rocks and bodies of moving water.
To paint landscapes I found to be harder than flowers, but the result can be majestic and impressive.
I discovered that for painting successfully landscapes, I needed, firsthand impressions and emotions, capable to engrave in my visual memory what I was seeing, and in addition, some photos.
Painting always can be done later, inside, in solitude. Painting landscapes on yupo seemed to me very attractive.
As I became more confident in expressing traditional, realistic landscapes, using watercolors, I started to drift away from those representations, tending to replace them with imaginary ones.
At the same time, I made some change in my medium, substituting my watercolors with fluid acrylics. My attraction to represent, evoke in my painting strange, imaginary places and things remains persistent to these days.
When I decided to try Improvisation (Vasily Kandinski coiled the term for short time spontaneous compositions) expressed freely, without advanced planning or much thinking. I considered it a task to verify myself if I can express myself in a spontaneous way. While trying improvising in 2007, I was surprised to discover that there was fluency, pleasure, much delight and surprise in this approach.
The idea that you are free, without constraints in expression, gives courage and joy to create. Each stroke determines the following one, while the mind instantly evaluates the result. At some point, my down to earth mind and feelings could move into another level, sensing enlightenment and pleasure, from unexpected fluid expression which envelopes me. I repeated this process of spontaneous expression, for the pure enjoyment of those moments, which occasionally, I tried to extend in time.
Artists know this treasured moments of abandon. Some people call it inspiration, some others see it as a contact with the Muse who inspires creativity or a contact with the Divine or God.