My name is Ramona and I’m from Malta (Feel free to follow my art: Metaphorical Art, Facebook and Twitter.) A recollection of staring, mesmerised, at a box of watercolours displayed in a shop window, might have instilled the first affinity towards this beautiful medium. I was seven years old. A few weeks later, my parents bought me the watercolours and I spent the next three years happily painting flowers whenever I had time.
Apart from infrequent sketches in later years, I had abandoned art for other creative endeavours such as music and writing. In 2014, 23 years after I was gifted my first watercolour set, an impulsive endeavour to paint a sliver of countryside and cliffs led to a gradual expression in the medium. I discovered a process in which colours seemed to weave an alternative perception, creating a contrast between observation and painting.
Winsor & Newton’s Prussian Blue, Indigo, Sepia, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Purple Lake, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Mauve and Payne’s Gray are my favourite colours to work with. Green is the least used colour in my palette – not out of abhorrence but awe. When I do use shades of green, I avoid contrasts with other colours so it can emulate its prevalence in nature.
Usually, I paint on Daler Rowney cold pressed watercolour paper. Sketching is kept to a minimum as I do not like to feel restricted when painting, preferring a flow of inspiration that is mainly guided by colour and thought. My preference is working on large watercolour paintings.
On occasions when I veer away from atmospheric subjects, I use Faber Castell soft pastels.
Favourite artists include Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Frida Kahlo. As for inspiration, it is varied. I am enamoured of detail in tree bark and rocks. Italian songs, Neapolitan dialect and the Atacama Desert. Sunsets, reflections in still waters, lightning, rain, waterfalls, cliffs, skies, beautiful voices, metaphors, autumn, memory, pebbles, mountains, petals, paths and volcanoes.
Watercolour painting captures a sliver of immediate impressions that linger. I do not seek to create a replica of what is visible, but rather the feeling, or impression, associated with a particular inspiration or remembrance, which might explain my preference for abstract and semi-abstract paintings. Watercolour seems to impart something special, within grasp and yet elusive – a combination of both intention and surprise.