She comes in COLORS

She comes in COLORS

by marlies|dekkers

Frida Kahlo used to say: “The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to.” I asked Emma Gale (44), a delightful Australian painter with a passion for color and a fascination with Frida Kahlo to give me some tips and tricks: how to get those creative juices flowing?

Marlies: When did you realize you were an artist?

Emma: When I was a child all I wanted to do was draw and I was obsessed with colored pencils! I was always creating with my hands. My hands are always busy!

Marlies: What is the most important theme in your work?

Emma: Definitely color and texture. I adore color. Color is what excites and ignites art. Its what makes you feel something, and it makes you relate to the artwork. Colors can play in a most delightful way together to bring such delicious harmony! Color to me is like food, it looks delicious! Texture also brings a history to the artwork; a building of layers is a timeline of the creative process. It makes you feel depth.

Marlies: Frida is a recurring theme in your work; why is she such an inspiration to you?

‘’Everyone has a creative side they may just not know it yet!’’

-Emma Gale

Emma: I first learned about Frida in art class in school. She mesmerized me; her striking beauty, her colorful bohemian life in Mexico surrounded by beautiful things, her artistic practice. Her story evoked such pain and anguish but at the same time, her inner strength shone through. I think overall, I just found her intriguing and I think her portraits leave an impression of something far more than just the art. You can feel her pain and her hardship, and this connects the viewer. Her art simply draws you in.

Marlies: What is your favorite painting by Frida, and why?

Emma: I love ‘self-portrait with necklace’ 1933. In it, Frida is strong and appears confident. The portrait is simple and the focus is on her expression. She wears a stunning piece of pre-Columbian jewelry. Her gaze is straight at the viewer and her eyes follow you with a haunting effect.

Marlies: With this issue of my magazine, I want to stimulate women to express themselves. The message: create! Could you give us some tips and tricks? How can we get those creative juices flowing?

Emma: Everyone has a creative side; they may just not know it yet! It may be drawing, painting, ceramics, paper making, screen printing, textiles, sewing etc., anything at all. Think of what you might be interested in and go from there. Take a pad of paper and pencil, go out for the day. Explore, watch, listen, see the world around you. Draw what you see. Go to a café and draw your lunch; draw the café or the street. Just doodle. Maybe the doodle turns into a masterpiece in clay? Maybe it’s something in nature that you find on a walk? Flower arranging even? Start a collection.

Objects can get your creative juices flowing. I love masks and collect them. I have masks from Africa, Mexico, Lithuania and Papua New Guinea. Go to your local library, there are lots of books on the creative arts.

Marlies: You once said that you would love to meet Frida if you could. What would you want to ask her? What would you talk about?

Emma: I have dreamt about being in her Casa Azul in Coyoacan Mexico surrounded by her exotic garden and her pets. I would ask about what gives her strength, what she loves and hates, her favorite things, what inspires her. But also, what are her inner demons?

Marlies: Yes, those are just as important! Thank you so much, Emma!

 

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