Local artists discover and rekindle passion well into adulthood

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Artist and student Dana Judeh is pictured in this undated photo.
AMMAN — Two artists that picked up art as a hobby into adult life were able to show off their talent at an art exhibition held earlier in the month, called “Never too late to art.”اضافة اعلان

The exhibition, held on September 25 to October 2 at The Art Studio in Jabal Luweibdeh, gave 45-year-old Zina Aloul and 44-year-old Dana Judeh, as well as other artists a chance to display their work done in the studio during the time of their learning courses, and with it the knowledge that it is never too late to learn a new skill if you are willing to put in the work. 

Zina began learning to draw and paint over a year ago, although she told Jordan News that it was always something she wanted to do. 

Her sister, Juman Aloul was also present at the exhibition, and she described her younger sister’s journey as a very difficult one. Zina was born with cerebral palsy, and always wanted an outlet to express herself, finally finding that outlet in painting; which proved to be therapeutic for her, Juman said. 

“Zina only tried painting for fun before coming to The Art Studio, she actually never had professional tutoring before and I didn’t know what to expect during our first class. At first, she had trouble drawing steady lines and curves, but overtime she proved that nothing could stop her and showed huge improvement, look at her work now, you won’t believe it!” said Samah Samaha, founder of the studio.

“We used to try between five to over twenty times to be able to do one shape, which she always does perfectly at the end. Despite some physical limitations, Zina was able to achieve great results with practice and determination, she just surprised me, I wasn’t expecting that much.” 

Zina went through a specifically-tailored learning program that allowed her to learn draw from simple lines to shapes and landscapes. Samaha described her student’s current colored pencils works as “precise and harmonic”. 

“When I introduced her to watercolors, she just fell in love with it, and I think it became therapeutic for her. She is such a sweetheart and has a strong bond with Basbous (the studio’s cat); they adore each other, and I just Love Zina! ” Samaha said.

Zina Aloul, who took part in an exhibition earlier this month at The Art Studio, is pictured in this undated photo. (Photos: Fares Sakkijha)

Zina said she likes to draw anything her instructor (Samaha) suggests, but her preference remains in drawing nature. “Today, I was very existed to present my work and definitely very happy. People’s reactions were nice; they liked my work. I don’t know what’s next, I am currently doing different kinds of drawings and with painting colors, pastels, or pencils. I like playing with colors and shadows,” Zina said.

Another artist, Dana Judeh, graduated with a degree in journalism and media, but unlike some of her fellow artists at the exhibition, Dana started drawing at a young age without any guidance, but she always wanted to develop it into something more professional. 

However, due to other life occupations, Dana only returned to drawing five years ago at the studio of the late artist Aziz Ammoura, before attending classes with Samah at The Art Studio over 3 years ago. “I always had an interest towards this art form, and it kept developing slowly as a hobby till I decided to take drawing classes — academic ones. … Now, I am doing more than one medium, and I try to diversify my portfolio with different types of drawing styles, from the classic or realistic, to fine art,” Dana said.

Samaha described Dana as “persistent” and “patient”, as she stuck to the whole academic process of learning how to draw to finally finding her passion in drawing figures. 

Students at Samaha’s studio come to class on a weekly basis and practice at home, devoting their time to finding themselves in their work. 

Samaha said that students must “climb the ladder of learning. You have to start with pencils and basic rules of drawing, people that are not in the field don’t actually know what it’s like or how it should be done.” 

“I know that some people take art for fun or would only doodle as a therapeutic ritual, but my aim here is to give academic and professional tutoring for those who are looking for it.”

To become a true artist, Samaha said that it’s not about painting things or people but also about having a clear idea, a theme or a vision. She further explained that becoming an artist requires experimenting and working with different mediums until you find the one that works most with one’s style and creative side and fulfills their vision.

“Dana, saw some interesting works with charcoal and she decided to do them and fell in love with the medium; she did a lot of copies, and she is now doing photo sessions with models for figurative paintings or drawings, the pictures serve the artist’s idea before starting to sketch,” Samaha said.

“Some people think it’s all about a person’s style and what they want to do, it’s not like that. What needs to be done needs to be done.”

“At some point, I was determined to get better, develop my talent in an academic way that will enable me later to take part in exhibitions and art events,” Dana said. “I still consider it as a hobby, although I do have a lot of commitment towards drawing and I am serious about it; this makes it more of a profession than just a hobby.”

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