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Zelie Alice Paris, France

Artist Zelie Alice paints expressionist landscapes of the European countryside. In 2019, the President and First Lady of the Maldives inaugurated Zelie's solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery, making headline news in over a dozen newspapers and covered by national television. Zelie was born in the Maldives, where she spent her childhood painting and drawing. However, in her twenties she worked at a bank and barely made time to create art. Everything changed when she quit her job to pursue a business degree. While studying, she started painting again. "I spent all my free time practicing art, painting day and night," says Zelie. "I realized I had a vital need to free my imagination and start creating. I realized I want to build a career as an artist." She quickly started exhibiting her work in Asia and Europe. Her first break came during the Art Expo held in the Maldives, where all of her 33 paintings on display sold within five days. Today, she works from a small, tidy space in Paris, where she keeps her easel near the window to capture the natural light. On the weekends, she plans forest walks and countryside strolls to keep her mind fresh and look for inspiration. Her work has been exhibited at the Florence Biennale, the Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh, and is held in the permanent collection of the Chinese Ministry of Art and Culture in Beijing.

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    About The Artist

    Artist Zelie Alice paints expressionist landscapes of the European countryside. In 2019, the President and First Lady of the Maldives inaugurated Zelie's solo exhibition at the National Art Gallery, making headline news in over a dozen newspapers and covered by national television. Zelie was born in the Maldives, where she spent her childhood painting and drawing. However, in her twenties she worked at a bank and barely made time to create art. Everything changed when she quit her job to pursue a business degree. While studying, she started painting again. "I spent all my free time practicing art, painting day and night," says Zelie. "I realized I had a vital need to free my imagination and start creating. I realized I want to build a career as an artist." She quickly started exhibiting her work in Asia and Europe. Her first break came during the Art Expo held in the Maldives, where all of her 33 paintings on display sold within five days. Today, she works from a small, tidy space in Paris, where she keeps her easel near the window to capture the natural light. On the weekends, she plans forest walks and countryside strolls to keep her mind fresh and look for inspiration. Her work has been exhibited at the Florence Biennale, the Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh, and is held in the permanent collection of the Chinese Ministry of Art and Culture in Beijing.

    Artist Statement

    I view my artwork as a form of visual poetry. I possess a particular attachment to nature, a profound bond that provides me immeasurable pleasure and insight.

    I depict light, shadow, and perspective through my use of color. Over the years, I have developed my distinct style of painting by constantly pushing myself to experiment with new techniques and different styles. I describe my style of painting as "Random Realism." Acrylic and oil color are my mediums of choice. I am inspired by diverse landscapes, so travel stimulates my creative practice. My practice has evolved as I have moved around the world. My painting process is a fully immersive experience. I use colors liberally and I prioritize an emotional response to subjects and scenes, as opposed to a faithfully representational reproduction.

    Trees and verdure provide me peace of mind and create the perfect environment for contemplation. Forest walks and countryside strolls are therefore typical sites of revelation for my art. I thus view nature as an ideal embodiment of the themes most pertinent in my work: permanence and ephemerality, introspection, and the sublime of everyday life.

    I often employ visible brushstrokes, bringing attention to the gestural aspects of my process. I paint primary-colored trees and grasses through corporeal motions that mimic organic forms in the wind. Through my physical approach, pastures become undulating fields and skylines transform into billowing galaxies. My dynamic color application creates a sense of movement and contrasting energy that can range from vibrant vista sceneries to somber natural landscapes.

    Hints of human life are sometimes found within my works, often through the depiction of homes. Providing a sense of place as well as a perspective on the grandeur of nature, these symbols of domesticity also comment on our interactions and responsibilities to the natural world.

    Once I finish a painting, I encounter a strong urge to create another one that is even more alluring and spirited than my previous one. I always look for ways to ameliorate my practice, and I work resiliently to master my skills.

    My purpose is to make my artwork highly personalized but also to evoke an expression of a special place, person or moment in time that makes for a lasting and wonderful memento to be cherished for years to come.

    Artist Background

    Newcastle University
    Bachelor of Science, 2016

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