In this piece, Bahrain’s Zainab Abbas shares her life’s journey as an artist and what inspires her to do and keep doing what she does.
My journey in art started at a very young age. My mom was a textile designer and an arts teacher and my dad, who loved carving, was always working on something new and exciting. Seeing them enjoy their work, I found myself at the confluence of art and craft which helped channel my inner artist. Since the day I put a paintbrush to paper, it has been something I love doing. My first ever painting was a fruit bowl in the 2nd grade and I have never stopped since.
Painting is my medium of expression. I like it because it helps channel my emotions in times of both happiness and sorrow. It is therapeutic in a sense too, as it acts like a vent for my negative thoughts. Filling a canvas with curves and colours leaves a beautiful feeling lingering in the mind. It leaves me with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which nurses my negative mind and makes me feel more optimistic.
I love painting horses, it seems like I have a deep connection with them. I have not only done different textural paintings but also experimented with different styles and methods realising that there is much more to explore. I also like the beauty that flowers radiate, especially roses, and that is why I like painting them more than any other flowers. Although every individual can interpret art in their own unique way, I for one like to see the beauty in the smallest of things.
I have tried my hand on different surfaces like wood, fabric, leather and concrete walls. However, nothing beats the beauty of a canvas. My first ever exhibition was in 2013 and since then, I have displayed my work at the University of Bahrain, The Sheraton Hotel and BAPCO.
The joy one gets when their work is appreciated or bought for beautification is beyond words. My aim is to take part in local exhibitions in Bahrain and then to exhibit internationally. Selling my work, be it locally or internationally, is something I want to experience again and again. Painting is my source of inspiration and sharing my work with the world keeps me inspired and motivated to keep experimenting and growing.
Watch Zainab’s interview on Bahrain International TV below