Diana Marchis is a contemporary Romanian artist who lives in India for more than 8 years, who embraced the culture and got inspired by the colourful life that she lives there.
“I paint since I know myself. I always loved to play with colours” says Diana Marchis, a contemporary Romanian Artist.
Born in the land of Constantin Brancusi, Diana’s parents were compelled to join her in Stefan Luchaian’s Art School to enrich her skills and learn different techniques in paintings, seeing her intense passion for art and painting, at the age of 13.
Living nearly for a decade in India, a land known for diverse by its colourful, lively and social milieu, she has experimented a lot on her creativity. Her art has transitioned to a different notch, going from tempera to inks to oil and now to acrylics, further from the landscape, semi-abstract to abstract and mixed media paintings. Diana believes that Art is all about expressing one’s freedom, display of expression and creativity every time by creating a unique piece, rather than sticking adopting to one style.
“Think flexible, express freely, because, this is the first time in the history that an Artist is aloud and has all the tools to dd whatever his imagination is up to!!! Diana conveys with a contented smile.
In Renaissance Gallery 2013, Bangalore, Diana showcased her Artwork and since 2015, she is part of the Freelance Artist Club and she also participates in Stonehill Charity Gala for two years.
What inspired you to move to India?
Diana: My journey in India began when my husband got a job opportunity that required us to move here in 2011. We were young so we took the chance, thinking we would try it for a year and then move back to Romania if we didn’t enjoy it – we had nothing to lose! It was a year of learning and adapting to the new environment because it was a new culture and a different life than the one we had back in Romania, but we made it! We have now been here for almost 10 years!!
India gave me the opportunity to invest in my talent. I had the time and freedom to rediscover myself as an artist. The art in India has different meanings and I immersed myself in all of it. It is more cultural and spiritual oriented, and I learnt so many new things. Art here shows the meaning of love and life, mindfulness and peace, meditation and concentration, history and present. The art is beautiful and so is this country. I am very happy to have had this chance and be a part of all India has to offer.
You say you’ve discovered your passion for art around the age of 13. Tell us more about that.
Diana: I have been painting all my life and by the age of 8, I was holding exhibitions in my school. I was happy to just throw colour on almost everything. My parents have always encouraged me and never held me back. I even emotionally blackmailed them to let me go to an art school or I was not going to any school at all! I was very determined to pursue my dreams. At 13, I decided to go to a Fine Arts school around 100km from my parents’ home in a city called Botosani. I was admitted into the school after passing an exam and studied there for 5 years. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t able to financially support me and after completing high school, I had to switch to a completely different field. I moved to another city, Cluj, and studied Political Science – I must admit that I was not very happy with what I chose to do at that age, but life sometimes takes you to a different place than the one your heart wants. Life can be unpredictable like that!
What does your studio look like, and how important is the studio for making the artwork?
Diana: My studio is the most important! It is the one place where I feel time stops. I let all my feelings out and that is when the creation happens!
It is on the second floor of our house. I am blessed to have a space that I call mine – it is like my little universe. I have great light during the day and an amazing sunset which goes down behind a beautiful village scenery right in front of my eyes.
What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?
Diana: It differs based on the mood I am in. If it is a non-figurative painting, I let intuition guide me and just enjoy the artistic process. I usually start by putting paint or a texture on the canvas and see where it takes me. However, if I want to paint something more specific, I will search for inspiration. Of course, I will have an idea of what I want and where I want to go, what technique and colours I want to use. I will visualise it completely and then start working on it.
Is there a message you are trying to give with your art, or is it something else?
Diana: My art speaks a lot about my journey to India and what I have learnt and discovered here. It is about the environment, colours, emotion and culture. Every painting has a powerful message with a story or a situation. This is why I am in a constant search for inspiration and new ways to express myself. I get excited when I discover something new and I love to challenge myself every day using new techniques. I am in a perpetual process of learning and development.
Do you have a real-life situation that inspired your artwork, if yes, what was it?
Diana: Yes! I will always remember the first time I saw and touched an elephant. It was at a place close to Bangalore when we went to see the surroundings. I was amazed by their beauty and their greatness; they are such wonderful animals! In their eyes you can see so much wisdom and courage, acceptance and revolt, agony and peace; we have so many things to learn from this unbelievable creation of God! Since that moment I haven’t been able to stop painting them, one of my favourite subjects brings me so much satisfaction when I can spread these powerful emotions on my canvas !!!
What artists influenced you the most and why?
Diana: I have two favourites that come to mind. More recently, I discovered Ginger Thomas – she works with different textures and her colours and rich and vibrant! The other painter I find really impressive is Oleg Yurov. He works with alcohol inks and after seeing his art on Instagram, I have started using them as well. It is a very relaxing and enjoyable break from acrylics and allows you to create something unique in a very short time – I love it!
What was the last piece you’ve enjoyed working on and why?
Diana: I just finished a landscape. A friend who lives in California commissioned me to paint a beautiful vineyard from her region. I had painted landscapes many years ago and it was nice to go back to that form of art and to capture the peace and harmony of the place. I really enjoyed it!!
What are you currently working on?
Diana: Currently, I am working on an abstract elephant – acrylic on canvas. It is a commission from a French lady who has been living in India for the last 5 years. She fell in love with these animals just like I did! I am using colours like orange, umber, ochre and yellow to create a warm atmosphere. In this, my subject will stand out and tell his story – hopefully I will get there soon.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Diana: The best way for me to reach people has been through art fairs where people can see my art and directly interact with me. Now I have moved to Facebook and Instagram and it is a good way to get my art out – I am still new to these platforms so I am still learning the ropes.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Diana: I had my first solo exhibition in India in 2013 – titled ‘Feelings’. It was my first attempt as an artist and to display my art to the public. It was a great experience and I am planning to do it again soon, this time with more confidence. I have sold most of my paintings over the last decade so my confidence has grown. Being encouraged by my clients is always a boost!
The second thing I am working towards is building my website where I will have a global reach!
The third is to have as many workshops as possible. I think art should be shared with everyone and if I have the chance to make people happy, I should absolutely do it!
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Diana: The purpose of my art is to make people reflect on all the amazing things around us, to create a “ playground “ for colours and subjects that I’m putting on my canvas. I consider myself a joyful abstract painter and always loved to use bright colours. I paint for everyone and most of my paintings are inspired by the beauty of life, rainbows and butterflies, water, earth, animals and all the amazing things this planet has to offer, but also about emotional connection, freedom of expression, and introspection. In every painting is a piece of an artist soul that should be listed and for sure mine is totally there! The journey through life is too short to be wasted with sadness; we don’t have so much time left so let’s try to be happy and embrace everything that we have at this moment.
If even a few people resonate with me and my work, then I have achieved everything I strived to. I am blessed that I can share my thoughts and feelings on canvas.