Light, movement and atmosphere. These are some of the underlying themes behind my work. Colour speaks, and I use it to express myself, at times maybe throw in some texture to make a point. The ‘push-pull’ effect doesn’t just have to be about colour. I like the contrast of smooth washes against organic textures.

My love of wild countryside and my love for painting are linked in that they both allow for exploration. A world away from the world. And I feel, as Robert Henri said, it is ‘to live living’. Both have power to touch the senses, each a complement to the other. When I cannot be out there, maybe I can bring some of that outdoors indoors. Another reason to paint.

It is in the portrayal of strength and movement that I enjoy painting wildlife. Wild animals are free-spirited noble beings, and to capture even an essence of that is a challenge. I was born in Kenya and lived there for almost 24 years. It must be the reason why I am so attracted to painting East African wildlife. It was in Kenya that I initially began painting, using oils as my medium, mostly with a palette knife. The style suited the ruggedness of the animals and the East African landscape.

When I got married and moved to the UK, my children took precedence over my art. But it only remained dormant. The seed had already been planted. Nothing can stop creativity from flourishing when there is room for it to grow. Opportunities came for me in their own time; I only had to recognize them. In 2006 I began to paint again. Today, due to its versatility, I paint mostly in acrylics, as it gives me the scope to combine both watercolour and oil techniques. And even more. It is the perfect medium for the explorer.

The nature of painting is such that one becomes a part of it. Techniques and mediums, these are the tools which my hand, my heart and my mind must co-ordinate as one, and use to speak to the viewer.

Copyright © 2014 Jabeen Ghauri. All rights reserved.