I dream, and then I paint
We need room to let our imaginations soar.
I was once told that a good painting will evoke an emotion or tell a story. I try to do both in my work. There is deep symbolism hidden within, as I build layers of meaning into each picture I paint. That is because every time I sit down to paint, I am putting a part of me onto the canvas. I’ve been painting since I was a little girl, filling the hallways of my childhood home with my early attempts at art.
As a child of Holocaust survivors, I grew up without grandparents or relatives, and I spent a great deal of time thinking about what my parents lost. I believe my imagination took root in my very early years, as I imagined life a bit more carefree – and definitely more colorful than the Bronx apartment building I lived in. Art, painting, was the great escape. We couldn’t afford a luxury like art lessons, so I’m basically self-taught.
Once I got married and began raising a family, my love of painting lay dormant. I invested all of my time and energy into my beautiful family, and I nearly forgot the joy of holding a paintbrush in my hand and bringing a scene to life. About four years ago, the fire reignited inside me and I yearned to find my beloved means of
self-expression again. Ever since then, it feels like I have barely put down my paintbrush. I paint well into the night as the rest of the world sleeps, finding my inspiration in the world around me and the world inside me.
I love many art styles and my own unique style is a combination of contemporary, abstract expressionism and folk art. I also use a great deal of texture and various mediums which gives my paintings a “3D” effect.
Many of my paintings depict Jewish life. Why? I could paint flowers all day long, and they would be beautiful flowers, but they wouldn’t be expressing what is at my core as a person. I want to express my spirituality, to share the beauty of Judaism with the world and people of all walks of life have been touched by them.
By now, I have painted something about every holiday, and have done several paintings depicting Jewish life and weddings. Additionally, I love to paint pictures of Jerusalem and have several of the Kosel/Western Wall and life in Israel.
I take particular pleasure in watching people study my paintings and find aspects to it that I myself didn’t see. When they find their own meaning hidden in my painting, I know I have reached my goal as an artist: to touch lives in a real and heartfelt way through art. I am a firm believer that art should not be so obvious a subject - we need room to let our imaginations soar.
I dream, and then I paint.
- Rivka Lemberg, Artist