I’m NatashaMaria, an abstract painter from Namibia. Born in 1975, I started my art journey in 1997. I’m married and love a bit of gardening, sight-seeing and taking photos. Currently, I’m in my 3rd year of a distance degree majoring in English & Psychology. I’ve worked in customer services most of my life but did have brief periods where I painted full-time. I currently live in the UK.
ABOUT MY ART JOURNEY
I’m self-taught as I’ve not had formal art training. I am really just one of those people who carried on drawing (in my case, abstracted pencil sketches) throughout high-school and thereafter. Growing up, I was surrounded by a great deal of creative energy in many different forms. This I can see influenced and inspired my need to express myself visually. One thing that stands out for me is that I always had a poster book with all my favourite celebrities. This love for recording, selecting, cutting, re-arranging and glueing images stayed with me and eventually manifested in a love of collage. By the time I was in my early twenties it merged with my love for photography, fashion and music; think early 90ties Vogue, MTV music videos etc.
During this time I was also lucky to spend a year and a half in Sydney, Australia. I met two artists there with whom I spend the most wonderful creative time. On my return home to Namibia, I continued to create collages with abstract painting and drawing thrown in the mix. I started going to art exhibitions and ended up meeting more artists and creators. It was such a fun time and became an extremely creative period of my life. This exposure to the visual art world contributed a great deal to my realization that this may be the career path for me. Encouraged by my family, I decided to test the market and were lucky to sell my first piece. This was mid-1997. I, therefore, mark this as the ‘start of my art journey’ even though I guess the journey really starts for us all the moment we pick up a crayon as a toddler.
As for my process, I find painting a way for me to self-heal. I guess I too strive to find that feeling of ‘wholeness’; to reconnect with all aspects of self. For me, getting ‘lost’ in a piece is a great stress reliever. It also helps me concentrate and places me in a positive mindset. I usually start off with just the feeling that I want to paint. There is usually a bit of adrenaline pumping through me. This excitement is nice but it also means I usually start very haphazardly. My work table was typically a chaotic mess after a few hours, yay! I did not plan much and choose everything in-the-moment, especially the colours. Much of my process essentially involves creating abstract forms by rearranging colours, lines and shapes intuitively. I try my best to go with the flow by, for example, using my left hand. This helps to let go of control and to overall attempt to express something I feel. This ‘feeling’ I can only describe as some sort of amalgamation of my senses and experiences.
In 2018 I found myself in another period where I was able to return to painting full-time. I decided to go through the many pencil sketches I’ve done over the years and to look for recurring elements. I found some and then combined these elements by following my imagination and employing many different abstract painting techniques such as action painting, layering, dabbing, stippling, splattering, masking etc. I also started to follow a few other rules such as sticking to the same colour palette, media and surfaces. The elements I found were abstracted whimsical flowers, leaves, pebbles, the horizon, tree-like structures and a bit of natural geometry. Sticking to the same colour palette for example is still an ongoing struggle for me because I get distracted so easily! This has given me results I mostly liked but some I found, so-so. By the end of 2019, I thought my process overall became slightly more structured.
I am now focused on specific themes and working-in-a-series. I will share my results in posts here on the first Sunday of each month. Do check back in if you’d like to see how my journey continues and perhaps to share yours? If you’ve read this far, cheers! I appreciate you stopping by.🌿
Mark making describes the different lines, dots, marks, patterns, and textures we create in an artwork.
Herbal Tea –
Hover on the video to see the unmute button + Click on the little white circle to be directed to my YouTube channel. The video is listed in my playlist, 2019. You can also click on the YouTube icon in the header of my site to be directed there.🌼
NAMIBIA, THE PLACE THAT MADE ME
Full moon in the Namib-Naukluft Park, 2016