Thursday, April 9, 2015

Celebrate the color of life ( or why I became an artist)

miriam schulman's artist statement: celebrate the color of life ( or why I became an artist)

There is only one fact you need to know about me in order to explain why I became an artist. My father passed away when I was five years old.

female figure art
Embrace by Miriam Schulman, fine art print

nurture vs. nature: my creative DNA

I tell you this not so you will feel sorry for me, for I have rarely felt sorry for myself. This fact has become so deeply ingrained in my nature that I can no longer separate the aftermath of growing up fatherless from other facts about me such as my birth order or my gender.

I say this without cynicism nor with the religious attitude that "everything happens for a reason" for I do not believe in that either.

Events can make their own reasons. Perhaps, I would have still become an artist even if I did not know death. However, one thing I do know-- is that I would have become a different kind of artist had I become an artist at all.


Celebrate the color of life

I am an artist that paints and celebrates the color of life. I do not seek to recreate death in my paintings-- I know that too well. At five, I stared into a black room filled with sad people I knew. Everyone in my life was there... except for my father. His absence was answered by an explanation I was not yet ready to understand.

I have been running from black ever since.
male figure art
"Hope in Sadness" by Miriam Schulman

Hope in sadness

My paintings are filled with the colors of joy and harmony. I create art to lift me up and share my lust for life with others in a way that heals the soul. Although color is my subject, I choose to paint landscapes, figures and animals and each serves its purpose. Whether I paint people or peacocks, its personality that moves my paintbrush. Sometimes, their sadness does make its way into my art but I aim to show you that there is something beautiful and hopeful in that sadness as well

Personality of a place

When I travel, I will sketch with my camera capturing ideas and then create a landscape that will show others what I want them to see. Rarely do I choose the typical tourist postcard scenes. Rather, I focus on the ordinary experience of being on the street with the people and colors. I bring life to the personality of a place. The painting creates a two dimensional escape window to a calmer time and space.

Do I know you?

raccoon by miriam schulman
All living things have souls. 
Raccoon Art by Miriam Schulman. "Do I know you", 7x10" original watercolor

Figures and animals- anything with "eyes" -has always been natural for me. I was always the kind of student who might be caught drawing my teachers instead of taking notes. I may have sketched my female teachers, but it is the drawings of my male teachers that I remember the most. I studied their faces so carefully, perhaps looking for the father I never knew. Perhaps his is the soul I seek when I paint animals.
watercolor landscape by Miriam Schulman
Dark Horse by Miriam Schulman

Non-toxic materials only

You can even link my choice of materials to my father's death. I paint with water based medium such as watercolors or acrylics because I have found them to be the least toxic of all the artist mediums. My mind at ease that I am working with non-toxic materials, I can focus on my art instead of my safety.

The artist statement

So when I was asked to write this artist statement to answer not the what but the why. I find it impossible to separate my reasons from my biography. When I paint, I feel alive as I watch the colors mix and flow on the paper or canvas to recreate a more beautiful world filled with color, love and tranquility.

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