Artist, Anita Nowinska, shares her story with us at Arts, Artists, Artwork. She lives and works in Totnes, Devon, UK where she has a studio and gallery and welcomes visitors to view and purchase her paintings.
How did you get started with art?
To be honest, the first time I picked up something which could make a mark on a surface as a child. That’s when it started. My poor Mother couldn’t leave me alone in the bath as she would come back to find all the oak carved into figures using a nail file! Art was always been the thing which made me feel calm and happy.
As an eight year old child I was picked up by a famous artist doing a post graduate course for a small group of students and he had me study with him in this group of adults for a few years. Due to a lot of circumstances, I didn’t initially pursue my art as a career and ended up running totally unrelated business. About 15 years ago, due to a colliding circumstances I lost my business, my home, everything in fact, and was left with my health fading and not much else. In that moment I decided never to do something which was not my hearts passion and took up my Art full time.
What artists have influenced your work the most?
I can never answer this question easily because there are so many inspiring artists out there. What inspires me most to is to go to exhibitions, look at art on a range of media. I am constantly inspired by the variety and wonder of amazing artists out there.
What’s your favorite piece of artwork that you created? Tell us more about its’ influence.
I think Vitality is probably my current favourite. It is a large 120cm piece created out of 3 panels. I was tired and low in energy and started on this painting inspired by the rebirth of life in Spring. It is based on parrot tulips in pale yellow, green and pink in three stages of opening, bursting forth with life. The process of creating the painting filled me with energy and revitalised me.
What inspires you? Does it change? What else has inspired you?
I am very inspired by nature. I just love the tiny intricate and amazing details all around me which fills me with awe and inspiration. The landscape, flowers, the way light hits something and creates a sensation of colours and patterns. I do become inspired by different things at different times. Sometimes I will just see something unexpected and it will suddenly fill me with an idea. Walking on a beach, the sun will hit slate rocks and the patterns and colours will make me want to sketch and create something. I just wish I had the physical time to put every inspiration into art!
What do you experience when you’re creating your art?
Ah, now there’s a question! My art is my life. When I’m not creating I feel ill, as if my soul is crumbling away. When I’m painting I come to life, my cheeks get rosy, I’m filled with energy. I feel as if I am complete doing what I am meant to do. My work has an unusual affect on me. I’ve heard a lot of artists paint what they feel. It’s the other way around with me. I paint what I need. If I am stressed, I paint relaxing colours and flowing shapes and I feel relaxed. When tired, I paint the energy and it fills me. Interestingly I have had many clients say that the paintings then radiate those emotions to them too.
How do you know when an artwork is finished?
As I reach the end of a painting I make sure I frequently stand back and take time to look at what is happening on the canvas. I’ll go back and add and stand away. Sometimes I might take a few days and space. I have disciplined myself not to just keep going and instead, take the time to really observe whether a piece needs more or not.
What is the most important artist tool that you use?
My eyes! To me it’s all about seeing. The longer I look at something the more variation of colour and shades I see. Really observing closely and letting myself melt into what I’m looking at to experience it is the greatest tool for me.
What can’t you live without in the studio?
Variety.. The reason I love having my studio is that I’m surrounded by materials and objects. I can dip in and out of things and spontaneously use something new and unexpected because it is close at hand.
Why do you create art?
Because it is part of my being, it’s in my world, my purpose, what I am meant to do. I see the period of my life when I only created occasionally and worked at something else as the darkest time of my life. It literally made me ill not to be creative. When I am working on my Art, I feel alive and vibrant and all is right with my world!
What do you enjoy working with the most?
I love using a range of material, but I guess I always come back to my pastels, which I just adore working with.
How would you describe your art to a newcomer to the art-speak world?
My art reflects my inspiration from nature, observing the minute detail so easily missed and blowing it up into a large scale. Changing the viewers perspective on the world around them and opening their eyes to things they previously passed by.
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Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibits that you’d like to share?
I have just had a large piece exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London at the Pastel Society. I am currently working on a new exhibition and body of work , which I hope to exhibit in the Autumn.
How can people buy your art? Where can they reach you?
You can see a range of my work on my website. I always welcome visitors at my studio and gallery in Totnes, Devon, UK. I am always happy to talk to people and share ideas or answer questions.