MEET THE ARTIST
“I met a real artist yesterday. On Eel Pie Island” That’s the first thing Zuzana Edwards says when we start talking about her art. She’s not the only one with imposter syndrome. But everyone has to start somewhere, and really, there are no rules about when you can start calling yourself an Artist, are there? Here’s what else she said about her journey so far …
I’ve painted here and there – mainly here – since I moved to London in 2004. Courtesy of lockdown, this dormant interest of mine became a full-blown passion, which I suppose is the case for many new artists. I’ve painted every day without fail and that’s a lot of output – some successful, some not so much. The latter category is the better teacher.
To me, watercolour is the loveliest and the scariest medium to work with. Imagine surprising yourself every day. The unpredictability of water makes that possible and lends itself to the impressionist, semi-abstract painting style that I love. I start with considering and observing the subject and decide composition. Beyond that, the less I get involved with the water and the pigment, the better. The most exciting stuff happens when I relinquish control, come-what-may-style.
I’ve loved diving into the artistic community, including joining an online art school, which is fantastic. The biggest inspiration has been discovering and connecting with one particular artist whose work just speaks to me because of its looseness yet perfection in a few small details.
What captures my eye
Asian-style paintings and themes, Japanese in particular, appeal to me greatly. I can relate to the wabi-sabi philosophy of embracing imperfection and impermanence. I love the simplicity of ikebanas and the beauty and storytelling inherent in Japanese typography. Most of my work has plenty of intentional white space, also typical of Japanese ink paintings. To me it’s the oxygen that lets the subject breathe and take prime position.
In terms of subject matter, the triggers vary. For Still Life I tend to look around my home and choose very simple subjects: inanimate objects, food, flowers – in the hope that I can catch some quality in an interesting way. Nature and landscapes are often inspired by places seen and places yet to be seen. Even if just in my imagination. It’s therapy, really.
In the years when I wasn’t painting like my life depended on it, I was busy with free-range living in Slovakia, always moving, always outside or in the water, learning languages, studying for a Masters in Economics, moving abroad, working in marketing, travelling here and there, and raising a family of my own. In that order.
The paintings will say more about me than any number of words. But I’m thrilled you’ve made it all the way here. Warmest welcome.
MY ADVICE FOR BUDDING ARTISTS
My advice to new artists? When I first started out, I used cheap materials, which makes complete sense for a beginner, but the results are never going to be as exciting and lovely as they could be, and it also degrades with time. The switch to good quality paper and paints was very stimulating for me. As every half-decent art addict would know, there’s a special kind of high to diving into a new supply.