HOW I STARTED TO PAINT
Earlier in life, I didn’t have the slightest idea about painting, not to speak of interest for it. When I went to a museum, I wanted to go straight out again. Until one day, when I decided to sew a baby blanket for my then 9-months old daughter. In the crafts store I went to, I discovered an impressive array of oil paint tubes, brushes and books on painting. It was love at first sight, a real calling. I had to buy oil paint to take back home! Right then, I knew that I would paint for the rest of my life.
Thrilled and enthusiastic, I bought paint and everything that goes along with it - canvas, brushes, one book on portrait and another one on anatomy. And that’s how I began to paint or draw for one to two hours a day. A few weeks later, as my oil paint stock was dwindling away, I decided to try out acrylic paint. I’ve stayed with acrylic paint since then – I can better explore the wild and passionate sides of my personality using acrylic paint and see how far I can go on my journeys of painting exploration.
I love color and painting on canvas. Yet, oil paint is like a close but somewhat difficult friend to me, it requires patience and discipline while working. Still, I love oil painting. This is also the reason why I’ve decided to start using again both oil and acrylic paints in 2014. I want to face the challenge and not run away!
Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet touch my heart and my soul like no other painters. I consider them, together with Albrecht Dürer, to be the “masters of all masters”, “God’s apprentices”, because I have the feeling that God gave them the wisdom and the skill to represent human beings and nature in all their depths, using brushes and color. I do admire Leonardo da Vinci, Pissarro, Manet, Renoir, Tuner – but none of them touches my soul. Monet and Van Gogh don’t impress me through the brilliancy of their paintings and their academic knowledge of art and painting, no, they impress me through something human, something that belongs to the mental and spiritual realms and far more. I can read their thoughts in their paintings. I would love to paint like Van Gogh and Monet.
My fourth model is the contemporary American painter Bob Ross. He was the first one who touched my heart – I got up every Saturday at 6 a.m. in order to attend his painting classes on television during my stay in the USA with my husband, 2005 through 2009. He had a relaxed and playful way to teach you, the viewer – whom he treated as a good friend, a pal and an artist – how to paint nature with love and lightness.
In 2010, I received private tuition from Ghana artist David King, the main focus being on glaze and glue.
My painting technique lies halfway between two worlds and mirrors the life I lead. It is modern, not quite African but not specifically European either. Africans say that I paint in a European way. Conversely, the Europeans say that I paint in a modern and African way. For Europeans, I am an African, for Africans living in Africa, I am a European – except for the color of my skin. I believe this is the reason for my success.
Presently, I use crayons, charcoal, pastels, acrylic paint, glazes, glues, paper, fabric, plaster, cement and soil.
WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS THROUGH MY ART
Through my art, I would like to encourage people never to give up hope. I have decided to paint mostly for women, for all those who have never had the luck to make decisions regarding their own lives, who have left their home countries, as I have, in order to make a better living in another place. Whatever the reason may be – poverty, war or political persecution – however hard things may be, one should never lose sight of one’s goal. I paint especially for the women on the African continent who must struggle each day for a hard life, so that they never stop believing in themselves – for every human being is endowed with gifts and a will. No one comes into this world without a reason.
Painting means freedom to me. It is a world where I am alone, where I decide what to do, what materials to choose for the painting to evolve, and how to bring my painting to a close. First and foremost, I must like what I paint – on the other hand, I also want to sell my paintings, even though this is a difficult process for me. Once I’ve sold a painting, I pray to God that the buyer may be lucky and that my painting may be displayed in a particularly beautiful place. The reason for this is that I give a piece of myself away with each painting – this is at least the way I feel.
Through my art, I would like to touch the hearts of people around the world. I would like to offer them joy and to start them thinking. I would like to show that where you come from and who you are doesn’t matter any longer today. For me, the crucial question is: What do I want, where am I now, where do I now want to go and how?