The beauty of Mother Earth

Art exhibit celebrates connection with nature

Posted 6/5/19

For painter Hiba Jameel of Seattle, the act of painting is thrilling.

“For me it is a rush,” she said. “Painting is a physical act so I get on with it and go, go, go until I am done.”

Jameel is a mixed-media painter who incorporates acrylic and oil paint and gold leaf into her images, generally of human figures.

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The beauty of Mother Earth

Art exhibit celebrates connection with nature

Posted

For painter Hiba Jameel of Seattle, the act of painting is thrilling.

“For me it is a rush,” she said. “Painting is a physical act so I get on with it and go, go, go until I am done.”

Jameel is a mixed-media painter who incorporates acrylic and oil paint and gold leaf into her images, generally of human figures.

“I start the background with acrylic. I finish up with oil. The gold leaf goes at the very end.”

It takes Jameel between two days to a week to finish each painting, depending on the size and subject matter.

“I just have a certain way of doing things,” she said. “It is a process for me. Some people like to work on something, leave it, and then come back to it a few years later. I just don’t happen to work that way.”

A collection of Jameel’s work, and additional paintings by oil painter Hart James of Olympia, will be on display through Aug. 4 at the Old Alcohol Plant, 310 Hadlock Bay Road in Port Hadlock.

Both women honor motherhood and Mother Earth through their art.

James creates thick abstract landscape celebrations of Mother Earth while Jameel composes voluptuous paintings that evoke the motherly figure.

Growing up on a farm, James absorbed the natural world, she said. Toting a backpack filled with empty jars, and Golden Guidebooks on insects, plants and birds, she said she spent her days studying the beauty, the transience, the process and cycles, the details of construction in nature.

“My work speaks of the energy of nature,” James said. “The current of the water, the flow of the air over us, the rock formations that form the foundation under our feet and the movement of those foundations.”

The natural world should not be taken for granted, James said. “It is as much a part of us as our circulatory system. Nature is on the inside.”

For her painting, James generally takes photos of scenes that capture her attention.

“It can take anywhere from a day to three years to finish a painting,” she said. “It is never quite right, so you just keep working on it.”

Most of the time, though, James tries to paint quickly.

“I am trying to capture the energy and spirit of the place and of nature. If you do that quickly, then you are more apt to catch that. Sometimes you finish before you should so you sit on it and realize you need to do some more work.”

Born in Baghdad, Iraq during the first Gulf War, Jameel said her art serves as a way for her to process her world, whether it is to fulfill her civic duty by criticizing the political climate in the U.S. and Iraq or to express the sensitive, sensual facts of life through painting beautiful nude figures.

Jameel also paints to heal from childhood wounds and engage others in art-making by conducting interactive art events.

“The goal is to teach people two things,” she said. “First I can bring about awareness of the physical manifestations mental health can have on a human being and the second point is to teach people how to use art as a form of healing.”

Jameel uses the traditional teacup she grew up drinking from as a symbol of her heritage and as a part of her identity.

The human figure to her is a body of language that she can use to interpret experiences and convey messages. In one of her pieces, the “Amorousness of the Motherly Figure,” she deals with the complexities and the emotional depth found in the motherly figure, embracing all the evidence of childbirth to make the audience question the beauty standards of the modern world.

The Gallery is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 360-390-4017 or visit

oldalcoholplant.com.

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Marilyn Berry

Looking forward to viewing her work in one of the town's galleries when I move up there.

Sunday, June 9, 2019