“Art is my inner voice…”

Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Roula Chreim


Paul Zimmerman: There is phantasy and story telling in your paintings. How do you select your subjects?

Roula Chreim: I am a dreamer, and I have always expressed my thoughts in colors. When I select a subject it would be like a time capsule related to my current mood and life events that I am experiencing. I am mostly influenced by love, music, theater, poetry, books, weather changes and last but not least emotions…. So each piece of my work carries a part of me inside it, capturing that moment, that emotion, that feeling and that dream.

PZ: Do you have any particular goal in mind when your start a new piece?

RC: When I start a new painting, I would want to express something that words cannot. For my thoughts remain haunting my consciousness until I pour them on my canvas. As I progress in work my thoughts become clearer to the viewer.

PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

RC: This period of time online platforms and exposures are crucial in any line of work. Promoting my artworks, and keeping my website and online galleries up to date are my biggest challenges. Knowing that the online world opens new horizons of viewers thus making it hard to keep up with the challenge to satisfy a large variety of tastes. While the online platforms keep changing progressively and so quickly that sometimes I feel so outdated.

PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?

RC: I work in different mediums of oil and acrylic paint, mostly using soft paintbrushes creating fluid scenes of figures and landscapes, with blended colors that flow smoothly in a degradation of shades. I also use palette knives with thick paint in my abstract pieces. It is generated purely from my sub-conscience, which is supposed to achieve an actual sensation of contradiction between savageness and romance colliding together in one piece, I call this series “My World Of Abstraction”

PZ: How do you know when the painting is finished?

RC: When I finish a painting I take some distance from it, in both time and space. I come back to it again and try looking at it from a different point of view. Sometimes I see a problem that has been lingering there for a while and fix it, and other times I realize that it is done, which gives me a great freedom and satisfaction. While there are some pieces that I keep working on for a long time and I never feel they are finished, so I leave them for a very long time, and then come back again and repaint them.

PZ: Have your practice changed over time?

RC: I have been painting ever since I was a little child and I have experimented in many mediums and genres until I found my path and developed my own style. But I never confine myself in one place, I always evolve my style and technics which gives me the freedom in what I do, and makes me evolve in my experiences over time.

PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?

RC: I am passionate about my art, as an artist I articulate my genuine inner voice through colors and scenes. I tell my stories and express my dreams and desires for long hours each day immersed in my palette and brushes. My strokes describe my mood and the outcome presents my original story about my personal experiences, memories, ideas and beliefs. I am curious about my surroundings and I believe that an artist never stops evolving and learning.

PZ: Which artists influenced you?

RC: I have been influenced by many artists, especially by Frida Kahlo. Her strength and resilience, the way she used her pain to create art that would last forever. Her strong character that has influenced everyone around her, the way she outspoke her mind fearlessly. Her use of colors, painting her own reality in each oeuvre.
Edgar Degas’ theatrical paintings, especially his ballet scenes and beautiful ballerinas, have influenced my artwork enormously, if you take a look at my ‘ Theatrical Enigma’ series you can see how his creativity has impacted my work.
Pino Daeni’s romantic scenes, his fluid brush strokes and melange of colors.

PZ: What is art for you?

RC:  Art is my inner voice, it is the genuine vision of the world that surrounds me. It is a universal language understood by anyone and appreciated by many for its beauty and emotional power that is being provoked by its creator. Art stimulates the senses of both the artist and viewer. It adds meaning and beauty to life in all its forms, especially in those tired times . It is a sea of diversity and ideas impacting the world as a whole.

PZ: How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?

RC:  “There’s always a bright side to every major event”  No doubt that 2020 has impacted my life the way it has impacted everyone else, but I always try to focus on the brighter side of things. This pandemic has taught us to connect more with nature, to become more appreciative of the indoors and the sunlight, especially after having to confine at home for many weeks in a row. It has enhanced our family lives and made us more communicative.
It has taught us to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures that we used to take for granted. Of course there’s an uncertainty in what next, but being an artist and a dreamer makes me always hopeful that great things will come out, all we need to do is enjoy life and make best of what we have.

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