Colombo, Sri Lanka
I am Neleisha (Nelly), a self taught artist from Sri Lanka.
I have had a bit of formal training, but mostly I have learnt through trial and error. I am a full time online lecturer as well.
Swirling Tree - Acrylic on Canvas ©Neleisha Weerasinghe
Please tell us all about your process
My favorite mediums are Acrylic and Collage.
I create imaginative, swirling line art paintings with acrylic often with a bit of texture. Collage is another favorite form of expression for me where I try to develop projects with discarded paper. The end result resembles a collage mosaic. I find the painstaking process to using tiny pieces of paper always energizing and fulfilling.
I also recycle throw away items in to usable works of art.
When it comes to collage, it is usually pre planned so that I know what type of paper to use on what area of the board. So it does have a lot of preplanning that goes in to it.
When it comes to my line art paintings, I try to make it less pre planned and more spontaneous as possible. The only pre planning goes in to the background colour or texture I plan to use. After the background is done I let the lines just flow naturally. The whole process then become more enjoyable as the painting takes a life of its own.
I often work with multiple projects at a time, so I have quite a versatile collection of art work.
What kind of music do you listen to while making art?
I like to listen to slow rock, alternative rock and punk music. But It often changes depending on the mood I am in so I have no objection to listen to the classics or even country music .
Frangapini - Acrylic on Canvas - 50cm x 71cm ©Neleisha Weerasinghe
How do you get inspired again when feeling uninspired?
I am an avid doodler, that’s what I do mainly for inspiration. I also read a lot and try to imagine all the things the book talks about, and sometimes I just take a walk in the garden or mediate on scripture. I find that creating become more fun when I am relaxed so these help. I also look at a lot of photographs for inspiration.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I read and play the guitar and I also experiment with cooking. I also do a bit of gardening, mostly cactuses. Love to have a cactus or a herb garden one day.
Pond - Acrylic on Canvas - 120cm x 60cm ©Neleisha Weerasinghe
What paintings are you working on currently?
I am currently working on a set of line art paintings that focuses on different perspectives of a growing tree that I like to associate with myself as a person.
What do you think is the best artwork you ever created?
The best art work I have so far created is a customized piece I was asked to create. It was an abstract line art creation of a lily pond. I love the mix of colours I used and the swirling lines that depict flowing water.
Have you sold much of your art?
I have only very recently become actively involved in promoting my art. I have sold about four paintings through my Website after its launch in 2011. And I have sold a couple more through a local art fair.
Fishermen - Collage on board with glass and frame ©Neleisha Weerasinghe
How do you like to promote art online?
I like to promote art mostly though my website and my Facebook page.
Please tell us an interesting event from your life.
I am a volunteer with a non for profit organisation that helps develop life skills at a shelter for abused girls. Last year myself and another artist conducted two art workshops for these girls. At the beginning it was a daunting task, as we didn’t know how they would react and we too didn’t have any experience conducting such workshops. But it turned out to be a quite interesting and fulfilling experience.
On the first day we kept it simple, and let the girls enjoy working and having fun with colours. We split them in to groups and they had to create joint a work of art. The girls really enjoyed the time they had to work in groups and play and experiment with colours. The end results can still be seen hanging on the non for profit organisation's office in Colombo. The non for profit is Emerge Global (http://emergeglobal.org) .
You and Me - Acrylic on Canvas - 32cm x 41cm ©Neleisha Weerasinghe
On the second day we collectively created Christmas cards, some were painted and others were collage. And they were used as greeting cards the girls normally send to their patrons, teachers and guardians and also to donors of the charity.
It really made be happy to see their smiling faces after the projects were done. The girls really enjoyed it and we hope to continue doing some more in the future.
Where would you like to see yourself as an artist in 10 years?
Currently I only work part-time due to many other obligations. So I want to be a fulltime artist, hopefully having perfected my own technique and form of expression as an artist. I am also hope to own my own Public Art studio and gallery. Volunteering with art projects to help those in need is also something I want to be more involved in by then.
Any parting advice for struggling artists?
Don't let anyone tell you that what you create is not art. Some may like your work, others may not. Don’t worry too much, just keep at it.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Facebook page: NellyArtz
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