“I am looking forward to the future…”
Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Aranka Székely
Paul Zimmerman: How did you get interested in art?
Aranka Székely: I have been interested in arts since I was a child. My first memory of art is that I was so amused by the colorful pictures of paintings and architecture in our encyclopedia. Later as an adult I visited many galleries and art museums anywhere I travelled. I was fascinated by the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France and Contemporary Art Museum in Nice at the beginning of the 90’s. As a child I won drawing competitions and I tried my hand in different artcraft techniques. Then I came across an on-line painting tutorial a couple of years ago and that was the point when I started to paint for joy. My children have grown up and left my “nest”, so I realized that I have more freetime than ever for creating. Since then painting is my life, my main activity for relax and creativity gives me a lot of satisfaction reducing everyday-stress.
PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
AS: I am a self-taught artist, I learnt drawing only in my school, more than 40 years ago. Nowadays I participate in many national and international exhibitions, competitions among artists by profession so it is very challenging to create artworks by he similar standards as the professionals. Being a very busy physician I have rather little free-time for creating. I have possibility for painting on weekends or sometimes in the evenings by artificial light which makes it more difficult to paint the changing shades and shadows properly.
PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?
AS: First I painted many paintings for my beloved ones as a present. I’ve chosen their theme to suit their taste and personality. Then I also started to make artworks for customers according to their wishes. My insipration usually comes from nature, flowers, feminine identity and emotions. The actual technique and style I use is affected by my mood and the size of the canvas. I love variety in my art activities, so I prefer using different techniques paint by paint.
PZ: Do you have any particular goal in mind when your start a new piece?
AS: Usually I imagine a goal when I start a new piece but sometimes during the process I change my mind and the result may be totally different. Opinion of my family and friends means a lot to me, because I want to make them happy by my works. Besides my aim is to create beautiful and valuable artworks that are suitable for exhibitions or competitions of course.
PZ: How do you know when the painting is finished?
AS: I try to look at it as an outsider, as a critic and find out if something is missing. If I’m unsure I ask my muses to help me with their opinion. Sometimes I need to do a second or third version until I feel satisfied.
PZ: Has your practice changed over time?
AS: Absolutely. At the beginning I painted just for fun as a hobby and tried my hand in different techniques. Since I became more experienced my goal has changed. Being awarded many times I feel obligated to create more delicate artworks. At the beginning I used a lot of pastels, nowadays my main techniques are acrylic and watercolours.
PZ: Which artists are you most influenced by?
AS: As a self-taught artist I have improved my skills based on online tutorials. I have some favourite contemporary artists who had influenced me the most such like Anna Razumovskaya, Leonid Afremov, Harumichi Shibasaki, Gary Jenkins. Nevertheless I also admire the Impressionists from the 19-20th century.
As another self-taught woman artist I am amused by Frida Kahlo, she is one of my idols. Her perseverance despite of her illness is exemplary for me. My favourite art era is the Impressionist’s. I dream to have a painting born in that period on my wall, mostly Edgar Degas’s Ballet Dancers. It is made in pastels, my very first technique.
PZ: How would you define yourself as an artist?
AS: I define myself as an ambitious self-taught artist who is definitely aware of her weaknesses and is always ready to improve her skills. My work of my life hasn’t been born yet. I have got a lot of future projects and I still have some new techniques to try. For now I enjoy creating, and this new way of self-expression has just opened to me.
PZ: What are you working on now?
AS: Lately I’ve painted a series on the subject of feminity in watercolour and acrylic. My next theme is going to be motherhood.
PZ: How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?
AS: Happily some of the museums and galleries remained open during the pandemia and fortunately I had the opportunity to take part in many international shows in Milano, Venice, Florence, Rome, Budapest, Genova, Basel, Lisboa, Zürich and Palermo. I was present at huge art-fairs in New-York and Zürich both physically and digitally. In addition I was featured in many publications, art-books and art catalogs in Europe and the USA, and currently I also run a few of on-line galleries.
During quarantine time I have had more free time for painting, as a result I own more artworks than ever at the moment. Due to public-health restrictions art-shows have became often virtually or on-lines and in addition have appeared digitally galleries where I have been present for a while.
As a new hobby, I have started to learn Italian in order to be able to communicate more appropriate with gallery-owners from Italy.
Summary, I have nothing to complain about. I am healthy and vaccinated against the Corona virus and I am grateful for my present situation. I am looking forward to the future hopefully.