The Painting Process

I work in oils and top-quality acrylic, and I often prepare my own pigments. My aim is to produce a very pure and translucent painting. The texture comes from using a high-quality medium so that it flows and doesn’t crack.

Basma Painting

I am a colourist, and my painterly inspiration comes from the abstract expressionist and impressionist painters combined with my vivid memory of images from my past.

I incorporate cultural symbols, depictions of nature and architectural forms. It is, however, the act of painting itself rather than the representation of images that is the focus of the work. My painting process involves layering and finding paths inside shapes. As the layers are applied, the paintings evolve to reveal a vibrant blend of colours forming free-flowing, amorphous and organic shapes. The artwork emerges from the interaction of the marks that I make on the surface with the colours, lines and textures.

The brushstrokes themselves and the textures map my path through life, and the paint describes being physically in one place and in one culture with the memory of another. My creativity is a journey. No painting is ever repeated – each one is unique and represents its own particular passage of discovery and emotions.

Each painting begins with a mark on the canvas, inspired by the fleeting glimpse of a distant memory. From there the painting evolves and takes control. I follow the path that the paint is revealing until the painting is completed. There may be thirty to forty layers of paint as the picture takes its form. When people see the paintings, they find their own meaning and readings and will be drawn to them for their own personal reasons. I feel that a painting is finished when other people can relate to it completely.

My paintings range in size from small (about 20 × 20cm) to large (about 100 × 100cm upwards). These larger works are frequently commissioned by architects and designers, and a number of them have been used in luxury hotels and other public spaces, but they are also bought by private individuals for their homes. I use small canvases and boards as my sketchbooks, and sometimes these become my small paintings, which I describe as ‘magic moments’ – derivations from the larger works.

The Textile Process

produce textile artworks as a contrast to the intense work involved in my paintings. The textiles are, however, an extension of my paintings, because the same colour and decorative themes are present but in a form that can be worn or used to decorate the home.

Basma Textile Art

I use only natural fibres, especially silk and fine merino wool, to make my textiles, using various felting processes, such as wet felting, nuno felting and pine-needle felting. 

I dye the fibres by hand to achieve the brilliant, pure colours that reflect the elaborate and highly decorative clothing of the womefrom my childhood home in KurdistanI even add metallic threads to evoke the memory of their extravagant gold and silver jewellery

The items I make – wall hangings, shawls, scarves, distinctive mittens and other creations – have a vibrancy and subtlety of colours that can only be found in natural materials, and the layering methods I use in my paintings is reflected in my textile artworks.



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