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Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Oil Paintings: A Multi-Cultural Narrative
In addition to specialising in food and travel illustration, Yaansoon is also a fine artist whose primary medium is oil paint on canvas. Currently, her oil paintings share a common theme, which is food culture in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These paintings and works of art are all inspired by her childhood memories, where she spent countless hours in the multi-cultural kitchen of her late Grandmother, a true gastronome and a well-versed home cook.
Yaansoon’s oil painting journey started many years ago as she sporadically dabbled with oil paints to produce experimental art pieces that, at the time, did not have a specific story behind them.
However, in early 2017, her artwork started to reflect her artistic vision and passion for culture, food, and a strong desire to tell her own personal story as a decedent of a long line of women with exceptional cooking abilities, adventures in spiritual poetry writing, and legendry tales about their leadership presence, coupled with infinite compassion and kindness.
From vintage kitchen tools, to traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking utensils, ingredients, and dishes, Yaansoon’s oil paintings tell the story of a region blessed with an exquisite culinary history, immersed in multi-culturalism along with an assortment of influences. But her artwork is also personal on so many levels, and acts as a visual conduit to personal stories that revolve around food, identity, spirituality, womanhood, and nostalgia.
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Oil Painting Technique: Yaansoon usually starts her artwork with a single-colour underpainting, followed by quick sketches using a vintage Czech clutch pencil that was gifted to her by a famous East Mediterranean artist she met as a teenager. Afterwards, she works in mostly thinned layers of paint, using various alkyd and fast-drying natural oil mediums, including linseed oil. In some instances, she might add hints of impasto to certain portions of her paintings to add a bit of texture and depth when needed.
Art Style: Yaansoon’s oil painting style is heavily influenced by her pen-and-ink and digital illustration style, and vice versa. As someone who does not believe in labels and prefers to think that art can transcend classification, she feels Fauvism as well as contemporary illustration are the closets two labels to describe her art. Her art portfolio also showcases a couple of art pieces that are influenced by children’s book illustration as well as her memories of spending most of her weekends at her late Grandmother’s kitchen, watching her cook and listening to her culturally-rich and spiritually-deep stories.