And to create is to love; that is how I see it. (Don’t ask me why) It’s just how a hard-core romantic must think.
I was privileged to know 2 amazingly talented artists lately. Looking at their beautiful paintings, I could not but think (and conclude) that painting with soul is an act of love 🎨.
Who are they? Firstly, painters with a burning passion for people; they specialise in portraits 👤. Secondly, art teachers and healers: Margaret Sloan ofMockingbirds at Midnight, and Natasha Nashadka of The Art Remedy both teach at their home studios, and seek to heal the world by adding meaning to people’s lives through art. Thirdly, they are (just like me) nature, animal lovers and fellow bloggers 😍 !!
” … What fascinates me most, so much more than the rest of my craft, is the portrait, the modern portrait …” – Vincent Van Gogh
Margaret Sloan, inveterate story-teller & watercolour expert
Wild at heart with a compulsive obsession for stories, Margaret paints primarily in watercolour for its lucid translucent quality, to render lifelike portraits of faces. Painting a portrait, is to her, like a conversation she’s having with the person, the paint, and the paper.
” I love painting portraits and people more than anything else, because humans are inherently about story, but I’ll branch out to inanimate objects and landscapes if they have an interesting tale. “
Visit Margaret’s portfolio of watercolour portraits here 🎞 .
She is now working on a series of cloud paintings, because she feels that clouds tell the narrative of our blue planet. A series about humans and their relationships with other animals and the land is also in the works.
Elephants, just like the great wilderness, have always held a special place in Margaret’s heart since young. For the Love of Elephants(her blog post) showcases her soulful rendition of this complex and intelligent mammal. It’s no surprise that Margaret had offered a portion from the sales of her Etsy shop 🛍 elephant prints (very beautiful !) to support the elephants at Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
It’s been 25 years since Margaret began to pursue her art seriously. Working tirelessly at her visual and writing skills every day, she reflects ” I find that my muse will only come knocking when I’m working hard. She only drops inspiration in my lap if I’m sitting at my desk; she only hands me an idea when I’m standing at my easel. “
She is equally enthusiastic about playing Irish tunes, or cooking madly ambitious dinners for friends when not at work 😋 . To get updates on what Margaret Sloan is up to, do visit and follow her Blog, Instagram or Facebook !
” To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist. ”
– Robert Schumann
Natasha Nashadka, guardian of memories & problem solver
Adept at artful solutions for life’s problems, Natasha (whose aptly named business is The Art Remedy) is on an all-out quest to reach out to anyone who needs some help. After all, for one whose personal motto is likely ” Art equals life “, help is just an imaginative spark away 😜 .
A self-appointed keeper of memories, Natasha is more than happy to immortalise your loved ones (whether two-legged or four-legged 🐕) by creating realistic portraits that capture and reveal their essence. Well, portraiture is one of her favourite subjects …
I really adored her portraits of those loyal dogs , the way she captured the texture of wavy fur, the expression of those melt-your-heart doggy eyes; also the wide-eyed guileless innocence of the children portraits, and not forgetting, heroh-so-pretty ballerinas ! And free colouring sheets !
Like many creative types, Natasha’s early creative adventures were sporadic and unfocused. Working infrequently, she tried her hand at many things. Woodworking, gardening, jewelry making, and scrapbooking to name just a few. Painting for her came about when she volunteered to paint a mural for the Salvation Army – of Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand. A huge undertaking but she was hooked !! So how did she finally specialise in portraits? The story according to Natasha is:
” Early on in my painting adventures, I painted whatever caught my eye. Then a man at an art show told me that he only bought landscapes that had people in them. A light switched on for me at that moment: we humans identify with humans (who knew?). Think about when you flip through family photos – the scenery is nice, but we are way more interested in and linger the longest on the ones with the people. Science confirms it. So this is what I paint: people. ”
Next in line, Natasha aspires to become like the daily painters; not just for their dedication that is motivating but the mastery that evolves from so much exercise. Why not visit and follow her efforts on her Blog, Instagram or Facebook ?
Are you inspired to have a portrait for yourself? For the elder or little ones? or how about the furry ones? A song came to mind as I wrote this post. As you might guess, it is Don McLean’s ‘ Starry, Starry Night ‘. Vincent loved his art and subjects so much it tore him apart. (I am thankful, however, my painter friends here are soulful but not angsty.) Here is the (You-tube) video-slide of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings to the lyrics of this melancholic song.