One-on-One with Malta’s Artists: Anna Galea
Anna Galea is one of Malta’s finest artists and is particularly well-known for her sumptuous depiction of flowers.
Tutored by the likes of Sarah Warren, Harry Alden and Anton Calleja, Mrs Galea holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History of Art and Archaeology and has also attended the Malta School of Arts. She has three solo exhibitions under her belt, and has been exhibited in France, Australia, at the European Parliament in Brussels, at Palace Kheridiene in Tunis, and at the Salone Borromini in Rome. Her watercolours hang in some of the most prominent art collections both in Malta and abroad, as well as in palaces, museums and banks.
Here, we sit down with Mrs Galea to discuss her inspirations, her style and her life.
What inspires you as an artist?
I draw inspiration from the beauty of nature, but anything could trigger my inspiration. It could be a tiny patch on a roundabout, or a brush stroke in another painting; it could be a good exhibition – or a bad exhibition, really – but being inspired is not enough. You have to work at it constantly.
Why did you start painting flowers?
The media is incessantly reporting and transmitting images of tragedies, fighting, racism, hatred, abuse – some artists are affected by this and their paintings reflect their world’s view. I, on the other hand, am an optimist. I see beauty in everything and I love foliage and flowers with their different shapes, colours and textures. I want to be surrounded by beauty, and I want to reflect that beauty. I feel it’s a pity that people waste their energy on bad and negative happenings. You might call me a naïve escapist, but this is the way I see it.
What’s your favourite art gallery or exhibition space in the world?
I’ve visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam three times and I was really impressed by its architectural design, display layout and lighting; and the vibrant paintings of Vincent Van Gogh also did it for me. Now, I am really looking forward to visiting the Abu Dhabi Louvre designed by Jean Nouvel which should be completed in the near future.
What is a typical day for you?
These past couple of years have been very tumultuous. There have been many events that have affected my life, like the death of my mother, my eldest children leaving home and living abroad, splitting my time between Malta and where my husband is stationed, and finishing off a Master’s degree in Creativity and Innovation at the University of Malta. I am just now readjusting to a typical day.
This would be going to my studio to paint first thing in the morning – I perform best early in the day – sometimes as early as 5am when everyone else is still asleep. I treasure and cherish these moments with my art and the more I paint, the more energy I have for getting on with the rest of what has to be done. Around 11 in the morning I stop to get household chores done; my family is very important to me, as well.
Sometimes I go back to painting late in the afternoon if I am doing something which particularly excites me. Once a week a group of artist colleagues come over to my studio, we hire a model and have life painting sessions. I really enjoy this because we have all become good friends, mentoring each other and discussing our passions and our paintings. I also try to paint en plein air every now and then as I feel this is how the vibrations of nature are best captured on paper and canvas.
There are many other things associated with my art which have to be done, like frequent visits to the frame maker, transporting paintings to exhibitions, helping organise exhibitions, updating my website, replenishing art equipment and supplies, and keeping up-to-date with what is going on within the art world, amongst other things.
Anna Galea’s paintings can be seen and bought at her studio which is located at 24, Triq in-Nadur, Marsaskala. She is currently living in Dubai so it’s best to e-mail her at email@example.com. For more information, please visit her website: http://www.annagalea.com/.