"Post Scriptum" Interview

Why watercolour? Do you paint with any other artistic media?

When I started to use watercolour for the first time in 2014, I saw that this was a revitalizing change amongst the other techniques. When I continued exploring afterwards, I came to realize that it was more then a temporary distraction. After the third painting that I created that week, I completely transitioned to watercolour. Combined with the unpredictable nature of it with the excitement and curiosity following each stroke enchanted me. The effects of dynamism, fluidity and transparency is the same feelings that “water” evokes in me. Working with watercolour is like being part of an elegant dance or a symphony that is flowing and mingling to create harmonious whole. Aside from that, it deems intense concentration and attention to detail, given that the smallest mistake might have a tremendous effect on the final result. I learned that careful planning and preparation is the key to a successful result. I try very hard to pick up the right materials and to map all stages of the painting before I start. Contrasting features of it make the creation process enjoyable, satisfying and rewarding.

Watercolours require lots of patience and accuracy. Are you a patient person?

Yes, I can say that I am patient person. Watercolour requires both patience and concentration due to the colour interaction between layers. It is very important to anticipate the result of each and every stroke accurately. The sophisticated details in my painting might prove that I am very patient. Contrary to common belief, I don’t need to use my patience to try hard and work on my paintings for long periods of time, as I don’t need that kind of effort. I don’t resist to main aspect of the technique, the nature of the water. I resist the least amount for allowing the colours to flow freely. I finish the works that are the biggest in surface and most detailed ones faster than it is expected, about in a week. For me the success of the watercolour painting is not necessarily connected to the time spent on it and patience reveals itself from the necessity of anticipating each movement without leaving no room for a mistake and applying each movement without cutting it back. My speed of finishing my painting is stemming from my desire to realize my vision. Maybe; we can say that I am impatient from this perspective.

What does your average working day look like?

I usually prefer painting between 2 pm and 6 pm. At these times, I minimize any potential distractive interactions where I think about my composition and design, draw and paint it. I generally spend around 10 hours in my studio where I also handle my casual chorus and spending time with family. This time also includes taking phone calls, handling social media, managing email and messages.

How would you describe your ideal workplace?

I start each painting with a sense of readiness equipped with a clean palette, brushes and a fresh paper. I have the flexibility of choosing between working outdoors or in the comfort of an organized studio. However, I find the studio more effective in terms of organisation and hence, I prefer that. The peace in my own place inevitably projects to my work. To sustain the effectiveness, it is important to minimize the distractive factors such as the lighting, music or order in the studio. The studio needs to act as sanctuary when I take my breaks; and serve as an inviting resting space when I recharge.

The relationship with nature is the most important relationship in the life of every being. Most of your paintings result from a deep relationship with nature. What taught you such an understanding of nature?

During my childhood, I was surrounded by a picturesque living space which is now only an idea. It’s essence and timeless shapes continues to inspire me and fills me heart with a nostalgic longing. The dynamism of the changing seasons, and the fertile existence of the air, water and land deeply impacted me. Growing up in the midst of nature and having a family truly appreciates the gifts of the nature significantly contributed to my understanding and appreciation of nature. In my paintings, I try to grasp a vivid, pure and pastoral representation of the nature that will evoke sensory associations beyond seeing. At the times of the struggle with the negative effects of city life, this artistic pursuit imposes itself even more.

Sea or forest?

Trying to decide between the two is a pleasant dilemma for me as I care about the soothing nature of the sea and the exploration and curiosity that forest offers. At the end, my decision will be based on what I look for at that particular moment. When I have fun and relaxation in my mind, I’d prefer sea, while the desire to discover the gems in the details of the nature would guide me to the forest.

In terms of watercolour, I have an inclination to sea. Considering the parallel relationship between the material and the subject, this is an expected choice. It is pleasant metaphor that both the main substance of the sea and watercolour paintings is water, which transforms one another on paper through art.

Does nature calm you down or provoke you?

Calm elements like still water, soft sands or moss gives me feelings of peace and comfort whereas rugged rocks, steep slopes and the dynamism of thermal movements, evokes the feelings of excitement, energy, ecstasy and curiosity in me. Juxtaposed with the robotic, monotonous, artificial and tiring aspects of the city life, I see the stimulating quality of nature as revitalizing and beneficial force. My paintings are inspired by both calming and provoking aspects of the nature.

Your works are full of the power of instincts, elements, do you draw from nature, or from photographs?

I try to create compositions that match my visions in my mind but photographic references are never sufficient. For that reason, I take them as landmarks and I create new composition by releasing my imagination.

I find inspiration in my surroundings, the things that I care about, my beloved ones and what I would like to see. I take pictures of the views that leave an impact on me during my travels and during the flow of my casual life. These constitute sources for my future works. Sometimes I visit nature and take picture about a subject that I design to paint. I prepare myself by observing the light, shadows, and the texture with all the details. Sometimes I nourish my soul by revisiting some spaces that left traces in me. All subjects and landscapes that are imprinted on me serve as a catalyzer for my works and they shape my visions and feelings by expressing them.

Do you escape into a different, better world when you paint?

I love painting and as long as my condition allows, I intend to keep this passion indispensable from my casual life. However, I balance it out with handling daily chorus and spending quality time with my family.

I enjoy painting the sea and I value equally the time I spend in the sea and immerse myself with the landscape. To connect with the nature and its wonders is something that I truly care about and something that I don’t want to miss. As a personal preference, I prioritize direct, unfiltered and first hand experience. This provides a deeper sense reality.

Your favourite colour?

My favourite is blue. Second is shades of brown, which holds all main colours in it.

When did you first feel that painting would play a major role in your life?

My love for painting started at the age of 6-7 and it remained as an unwavering passion in my life. However, I came to realize the profound impact it had during the course of my life after I finalize my teaching career and got retired.

How would define your artistic style?

My technique is classical transparent watercolour technique. My style can be perceived as realist or hyperrealist but it is actually not only painting what is seen. It is important for me connect with my subjects emotionally and effectively transfer my emotions. During the process, my paintings gain new meanings driven by the spontaneous changes and additions guided by my genuine connection with the subject. It is crucial for me to this emotional connection to resonate with the audience and to express the true love for the nature that is transparent, accessible, sharable and understandable without a need for manual. Details are important; all elements serve for the addition of the language of the art to be without the need to explain for communication, to be unprescribed and unimported while reproduced from the source of painting.

If you weren't an artist, you would be…

If I wasn’t involved with the art of painting, I would be pulled to another field of art to find a space to express my emotions. I might have be satisfied by being a poet, author or fashion designer.

What don’t you like in art?

Art needs to be free in its essence and it should be characterized by its authenticity. In today’s world where there is a lot of confusion about the quality of art pieces, I oppose the idea of art being guided by prescriptive discourses. The beauty of art relies on the authentic manifestations. I consider every action that hinders this authenticity as a condensing approach to the art.

Criticism deriving from entirely personal assumptions gets in the way of honestly appreciating the vision and creativity of the artists. In addition to that, I believe that it is essential to be sincere in accepting the good and the bad. It becomes obligatory to provide honest criticism in an environment where the bad is generally praised as good. I am against manipulative language engineering in all fields, not only in the field of art.

What’s the main feature of your artistic personality?

The main component of my artistic personality is the inner intuition of nature, as it is reflected in my paintings. The synergy between my artistic understanding and my innate love for painting allow me to effectively use and transfer the spontaneity; it contributes to my paintings as original expressions solidifying this potential.

Who is your master?

By receiving art education at the university, I gained both theoretical knowledge on all techniques and gained practical experience. But; I didn’t have any master that I was drawn into or that I got training of watercolour from.

What are your plans for the future?

In all my efforts, my goal has always been to raise the bar. This focus continuously forces me to a success cycle of creating paintings that exceeds the image in my head in practice. Essentially, this desire sums up my “vision for future”.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from Rukiye Garip
All posts