Saloomeh Messchian is all passion and enthusiasm. Although she has tried some techniques like oil and acrylic paints, the color and texture of Chalk Pastels have fascinated her and she seeks to make her own contribution to pastel painting. In addition, she acknowledges that few people enter this field and stay in it for a long time. The subjects she works on are quite intuitive and realism is her dominant style in painting.
Why did you choose painting and stay in it?
First of all, I was born in an artistic family, in which art plays a major role. Since childhood I was interested in art. So, I continued my studies in art at school and university and it became a major part of my life. I tried different techniques during years and I kept myself informed on artistic issues. I kept visiting art exhibitions, participating in art conferences and events, and studying art books and journals. I learned new techniques and tried to engage my feelings. This helped my artistic growth at any age. I never gave up on art and was always in pursuit of it, and at some point, this became very important and serious to me. I wanted to be more concentrated on art. So, I kept learning and practicing.
Did you work with Chalk Pastel from the beginning?
From the beginning, I was interested in sketching and colorology and followed other techniques like oil and acrylic paint. Then, I felt like Chalk Pastels provide me with weird feelings and elegant textures. Keeping pastels in hand and drawing on cardboard was fascinating. Meanwhile, I noticed a gap in this field and tried to concentrate on this technique, work on it and present works using it.
What art styles are you influenced by?
I am mostly influenced by realism and impressionism and the themes I choose for my works are quite impressionistic. I can’t work until my feelings and heart are matched with my work. Most of the themes are derived from my photo shoots and I work on figures and portraits of my own.
How do you choose a topic?
I sometimes choose a farm to paint, which is a picture taken in one of my trips to Masuleh or Abyaneh, and sometimes I paint people like nomads or paddy field women. I would like to try different fields, either a landscape or a portrait and figurative works, because expanding and showing the power of the pen in different areas has been important to me. But in future exhibitions, I want to work on a specific theme.
Which one is more important to you in general, form or content?
Both, in harmony with each other. I think theme is important and both the artist and the audience should communicate with it. On the other hand, form reflects the artist's literacy, power and recognition, and it is important that both sides of the scale are heavy.
How do you see the future of your career? Where do you like to be in the future?
Everybody likes to have a good status (laughing). I like my status to be for the excellence of my country and art of this land.
What happens if you have to leave your career in art?
This won’t happen and I’ll do my best to prevent this from happening. I feel like being sick if I don’t spend time with art every day. Whatever I do is associated with my art and everything else is secondary to it. Whether working, photographing or preparing my work, all my efforts are somehow tied to artistic creation. I do my best to prevent it from happening and I’m sure this won’t happen.
What does artistic creation mean to you?
I think God loves artists very much and not everyone can become an artist. Not everyone is interested in art and take a pencil or pastel in their hand because it is an inner, sensory process, a kind of relationship that you create in your own solitude, and in many cases the creation of these works is a copy of God's work because everything from nature to humans is God's creation which is precious in my opinion. When you create a work of art, you first appreciate God, because He is the greatest painter and artist we know. This creates a good feeling in the artist that they could be a creator of work of art too.
Why did you choose pastel as the major tool for painting?
For years, there has been no serious activity or even exhibition in this area, and there is a gap here. Artists are less interested in working with Chalk Pastel, so they turn to oil and acrylic paints. I believe that every art is laborious and precious, but I chose Chalk Pastel.
Given that you are a realist artist, what’s your opinion about abstract style?
The governing style in artistic approaches today is abstract art and modern works. That’s why I wanted to make a difference and chose this style which is not a fully realistic work of art. You can create few abstract works with pastel and I think a proficient artist is first of all a sketcher and doing realistic works reflect the professionalism of an artist. There is less mastery on form and perspective in modern and abstract works. Everything might get out of normal status but feelings are transferred. I've always wanted to showcase the power of my sketching and realistic works, and maybe that's why I made the choice.
What do you wish for the Iranian art community?
Every artist wants to be understood and supported by their community and audience. I hope that art is appreciated in my country and we can present our works globally alongside the artists of other countries. We have such great artists that other countries regret it. I hope someday the artists find their true place and speak their words globally.