The smell of painting for Nefeli Soulakelli
Nefeli Soulakelli was born in Athens. She has attended the School of Fine Arts with professors Chronis Botsoglou and George Lazoga (2005-2010) and the Superior School of Fine Arts of Paris with professor Christian Boltanski (2008). But her grandfather was the person that gave her the routine of painting, since he too being a painter as his hobby, introduced her to the art of the brush and color.
In her paintings gives the special feature of round dappled strokes, either to give as light elements or to follow repetitive patterns.
- Nefeli, besides art, what else do you do?
If I don’t work or paint, then I spend time with my boyfriend Nikos or my friends
- Which are the materials that you use?
Mainly, I paint with oil. More rarely I use water colors.
- At what age have you realized that you wanted to become an artist and in what occasion?
The occasion was a conversation we had in the summer after the frst class of high school, with one good friend of mine, Antony. We were talking about the schools that interest us. He suggested me to pass the entrance exams at the School of Fine Arts. From that moment I just realized that was what I wanted to do in my life. And untill now this hasn’t changed. Let him be well!
- What is painting for you?
My grandfather Michael was painting and still paints daily. The smell of colors (oils) is one of the first and most cherished memories. He always had a place in his house where he spends a few hours every day painting. I don’t know whether I would love so much painting if I hadn’t have this experience. Painting to me is something that taught me to live more beautifully.
- What are the favorite topics in your art?
I really like to paint people. Nudes and portraits. Usually I start to paint from life and then I edit each pose. More rarely I paint from memory or completely out of my mind. And then again Ι portray a person I know or imagine
- Who is your favorite artist?
I really don’t think I can conclude, not in one, nor in ten of my favorite artists. There are so many and they are not necessarily painters. One of the most beautiful things I have experienced is a concert of the Simon Bolivar orchestra under the direction of the exceptional Gustavo Dudamel. Recently I heard Leonidas Kavakos and I could not believe that a man can have such musical possibilities. Or that Beethoven could have written something as beautiful as the concert for violin. I think the artists I admire the most are the composers. Fortunately I don’t stop being surprised of how many wonderful artists have been there. I also heard that Tsiolis prepares a new movie and I’m looking forward to it.
- What kind of work would you like to have created?
I think this list is endless! I would like to have done the Jeremiah of Rembrandt, the Bather of Bonnard, the sleeping female figure of Halepa, one of the nudes of Modigliani, one of the watercolors of Rodin! And countless other…
- What is your favorite piece of your work?
This nude. No title. I have connected it with a very favorite time of my life and I love it a lot.
- What makes you feel proud of your work?
I feel proud when I feel that I was able to “unlock” something more than the mystery of painting. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it happens it’s a very beautiful feeling.
- A word about your next projects
I wish making them to feel proud. That means to have some progress. I would love to paint couples sometime. To try to ascribe the feeling that has the union of two loved ones.
Thank you Nefeli!
You can see more of her paintings on Behance.
Editing: Eleftheria Vonaparti – Translated by: Gretel Athanasiou
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