Local artist fuses nature, anatomy to bring emotion to life

birds art
(Photos: Handouts from Yasmine Khaldoun)
AMMAN — Ever since she was a young girl, 20-year-old journalism student, Yasmine Khaldoun, loved drawing, painting and playing with colors. For the student, art resembled a “breather.”اضافة اعلان

“I taught myself how to draw watching TV and video tutorials, then trying to recreate the drawing. I never took art classes; they usually require painting supplies that can be expensive,” said Khaldoun in an interview with Jordan News.

After her father was diagnosed with cancer back in 2012, the young artisan resorted to painting as a way to cope with her anxieties and fears. “My paintings were really ugly back then,” she said. “I used the color black a lot. The paintings usually depicted someone who was mad, upset, or hurt.”

She stopped painting completely for a while after her father’s passing in 2015. “I was at my lowest point, I felt numb,” she said.

  “I tried to keep myself busy with school. I always had people with me. I do not like sitting alone with my thoughts — my mind tends to go to dark places.”

Lockdowns brought about by the pandemic last year were salt to the artist’s wounds.

 “That is why quarantine did not help last year. I thought: ‘What do I do now?’ I was really depressed for a month, I did not leave my bed and I started gaining weight.”

“Then, one day I bought a canvas and I painted the sea. I loved the result, so I took a photo of it and posted it on Instagram. People loved it and everyone was very supportive, so I bought another canvas and I started painting again.”

This stroke of inspiration, at one of Khaldoun’s darkest times, was the push she needed to start her Instagram page: “Yasmine’s Gallery.” The social media page, which initially started as creative outlet has turned into a source of income for the young artist. Today, she receives orders and requests from followers and strangers who stumble upon her page.

“If you take a look at my paintings, you will notice that I mostly combine nature and elements such as fire and water with human beings,” Khaldoun said. “My favorite painting is a portrait of a girl with fire going out of her head, like a volcanic eruption.”

Her feelings and the events she goes through inspire most of her art. Commenting on her favorite painting, she said that it reminded her of herself and what she was going through at the time. “I was lashing out, I lost friends and it felt like a volcano had erupted.”

“When everything calmed down eventually, I followed up on that painting with another one but instead of fire coming out of her head, it was water, maybe to resemble peace and quiet,” she explained.

Through her Instagram page, she got to know the group “Nane Green,” an organization that introduced her to other painters and artists.

“When they saw my paintings, they liked them to the point that they asked me to come and teach other young beginners how to paint through online courses,” said Khaldoun.

More exciting opportunities found Yasmine through the “Nane Green” group; she recently worked with them to paint a mural about Jordan in Al-Salt.

“One of them reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be a part of the project. I said yes and to be honest I was not interested in the painting itself as much as I was interested in living the experience,” commented the artist.

However, as an up-and-coming artist, not all of her experiences with customers have been positive.

“I received an offer to do a mural in a café that was opening soon,” Khaldoun explained. “The manager who talked to me found me through my Instagram page. He said either I get paid for the mural and leave without my signature on it, or I do not get paid and they will leave my signature.”

She added that she declined the offer, finding it to be “very rude.”

“I love painting as a hobby, something to do to kill time, but in the future if I can make it my source of income then why not? I hope one day my paintings will be known enough. I would love for people to know me as Yasmine the artist,” she said.

Read more culture & arts