Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) will highlight the work of member artist Sahar Fakhoury in its September show, Still Life, Still Alive. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, September 1, from 5–8 p.m. “I like to paint still lifes because it gives me a different challenge, yet similar techniques, to achieve the realistic style that I thrive to get in any painting,” says Fakhoury. “My goal is for viewers to engage with my paintings and make their own narratives; to slow down and experience fine art in our fast-paced, technology-driven lives.”
Fakhoury, who has a BFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, works primarily in oil paints. “It is the most malleable and was the choice of most masters for many centuries,” she says. “For me, mixing the color I need for my subjects is most achievable in oil. Also, oil paints take time to dry which gives me time to blend colors without worrying about it drying too quickly.”
Fakhoury finds herself drawn to a number of subjects for their shape, color and texture. Once she’s chosen an object or objects for her painting, she spends time arranging and rearranging until she feels the composition achieves a narrative. “This process takes time and is the most challenging part of creating a still life scene,” she says. She then finds the perfect lighting and maps out darks, lights and bold colors on a toned canvas. Finally, after that has dried, she adds details in layers.
“As opposed to figurative painting, still lifes allow me freedom to create and change the objects as I go,” she says. “There is less pressure in representing objects accurately. It doesn’t have to be beautiful; in fact, I enjoy working with imperfection.”
Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit AshevilleGallery-of-Art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.