My name is Anna Galea and I’m from Malta (follow me on Facebook and visit my website!). I’ve been painting for over thirty years, using charcoal, pastels, oils and acrylics – but my preferred medium is watercolour.
I have always been fascinated with watercolour. It has certain magical qualities no other painting medium can offer – nothing beats its translucency and immediacy. It offers an exciting, precarious balance between accidental and carefully-planned art. The trick is to learn to ‘listen’ to the painting and react. I find that when I accentuate and exaggerate what strikes me in what I’m painting – that’s when the magic takes over.
As a student, I was advised not to take up art as a main subject because in those days it was hardly possible to work as a full-time artist – something I’ve always regretted. And I ended up working in an office.
Even so, I was always drawing and painting at every opportunity and eventually, I am glad I made the life-changing decision to take up painting seriously. I was fortunate enough to have the full backing of my husband and children.
I attended Art School as well as various painting workshops and the more I painted, the more I realized how important it was to keep on polishing my painting skills to be able to let go and ‘create’ my own art. I supplemented this with a Bachelors Degree in History of Art and Archaeology and a Masters Degree in Creativity and Innovation.
Breathing Spirit into my art
I find that another key factor in creating good art, is knowing the subject you are painting well, through and through: If you are painting a figure/portrait – get to know the person; if you are painting a flower – get to feel it, smell it, know more about it; if you are painting a landscape – walk around a bit and get the feel of the place… and so on.
After many years perfecting watercolour skills, I have now developed a special relationship with the watercolour medium. I have learned to react to what it tells me and subconsciously exploit its translucency to create a type of art that no other medium can produce. I am now producing strong watercolour art as large as 150cm x 130cm (59in x 51in), figurative as well as abstracted. I feel this need to immerse myself into larger artwork – which is very unusual in watercolour – so the viewer is even more drawn into my world.
I strongly believe in establishing a philosophical dialogue between my paintings and the viewer. I am an optimist. My art is a form of escape – from the violence and sadness constantly reported in the news, into the harmonious realm of vibrant transparent paintings of colour and light.
I feel that an artist cannot remain static – we have to experiment, create and push boundaries. My art now harnesses the exciting powers of the watercolour medium to create translucent large abstractions. These compositions are derived from nature, challenged by my painting experiences in mountains, forests, deserts, gardens and the sea.
Exhibiting, Workshops and Events
I’ve had several solo exhibitions in my home country Malta, and I’ve also exhibited my works in Paris, Rome, Fabriano, Brussels, Tunis, Adelaide, Melbourne, and more recently in Dubai where I have been residing for the last three years or so.
In Malta, I have a large studio/gallery and in Dubai, I am also conducting art workshops in Alserkal Avenue – the art hub in Dubai.
My next major event is heading a painting holiday with ARTISTours in Croatia.
So, all in all, my art is not just an intimate means for personal expression – my art also creates opportunities for me to visit other countries, meet artist colleagues, make new friends, and absorb new experiences!