“To me art is all about feelings and the mental space I am in at the moment of creating a painting”, says Eef Armstrong, a self-taught local artist.
Eef Armstrong was born in Germany to an Antiguan father and Dutch mother and moved to Antigua 25 years ago. She hasn’t had any training as an artist but did watch her mom for hours making oil paintings when she was a child. Even though she recalls liking the smell of the oil paint she doesn’t prefer that medium. Acrylics are her favorite as they dry fast and she can continue to work on one piece and not several at the same time. Oil paint requires drying before one can continue.
She explains that she doesn’t have one style of painting, so that when her emotions change so do her creations. She further explains that “When I started to paint a few years ago my work was all about meditation. I made compositions with very small details in black and white that would take weeks or months to get on canvas. My mind would go blank during the time that I would meticulously work on this. I did quite a few of those before I moved on to a new concept. This time around I was intrigued by ancient symbols and cave drawings of Indians and Africans. So I came up with my own interpretation of this and created from there. Then a few months ago I became enthralled by auras of animals so I started to paint those. It was at the same time I started to put more time into being a Reiki healer and I believe it inspired the aura paintings as Reiki is all about life force energies.”
Her styles might keep changing but one thing that stays the same is the bright colors she uses. To Eef it’s a way to express joy. Her latest work shows how she keeps evolving as an artist. She describes the process this way: “All of a sudden I started to paint a total different way. Instead of working on a white canvas I painted them black. To me it feels like creating Light out of the darkness. The eyes are a focal point in these paintings. As if they are the window to the soul. The eyes are intense, penetrating and mesmerize you.”
Clearly the creativity didn’t fall far from the tree as her teenage daughter Vega is an artist as well. They even collaborate together on a paintings. She describes their work together as “an amazing way of bonding! We spend many hours painting in the same room working on our separate things and feed of each other’s energy but this co-creation added an extra dimension to our relationship.”
You can go and view their work at Ana’s art gallery at Dickenson Bay as they have a mother/daughter exhibition on June 17th. Cocktails will be served from 5-7 pm.
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