|FLOWER POWER: Phạm Thị Giáng Sinh is pictured with some of her artworks. The pictures help her satisfy her passions for art and flowers. Photo courtesy of Phạm Thị Giáng Sinh|
By Lương Thu Hương
When Phạm Thị Giáng Sinh fuses oil painting with model clay flowers, a new art form blossoms, giving her a deep sense of satisfaction. Somehow the oil paintings become more lively and vibrant when she attaches the colourful clay bouquets.
Creating such artwork from clay and canvas helps her satisfy her passions, both for art and flowers.
Before working in clay, the 40-year-old woman from Thủ Đức District in HCM City used to make paper flowers and arrange fresh ones for a living. However, she soon realised both had their limits.
"I love flowers, but fresh flowers cannot last long and will wilt within several days. Meanwhile, paper flowers do not have the colours to my preferences, and tiny ones are hard to make," she said.
In 2016, recommended by a friend, she took a clay flower-making class to get more inspiration and experience in creating works from different materials.
"At that time, I learned to make them for a month but put it aside. It was not until September 2020, when I attended an introductory painting course, that I came up with the idea of attaching clay flowers to them. Seeing the new work was distinctive and beautiful, I decided to quit making paper flowers and switch to clay."
Putting aside her other jobs, Sinh devoted all of her time to the clay paintings.
She said it was a job that requires meticulousness and a highly aesthetic sense whereby the artists must put all their thoughts and emotions into it without being concerned about other things.
|VIVID: Each painting is based on her own idea or imitates the vases of fresh flowers that she adores. Photo courtesy of Phạm Thị Giáng Sinh|
Each painting is based on her own idea or imitates the vases of fresh flowers that she adores.
Having never attended art school, Sinh is creative in her artwork, eschewing conventional boundaries. She learned about oil painting from YouTube to create a diverse background surface for her clay flowers.
After finishing the background, Sinh begins to shape the blooms. Her favourites are roses and daisies. A finished painting will take about 7-10 days, depending on the size.
"It normally takes me from one to two days to paint the background and then another five to seven days to wait for the paintings to dry," she said.
"I will make the clay flowers for two paintings and wait one to two days for them to dry. The flowers are then attached to the oil paintings with glue. So I can complete two works in about 10 days."
The original clay is white. To harmonise the colours with the background surface of the painting, she mixes oil paints into clay. Once the flowers are created, they are trimmed manually with scissors. Moulds are only used to shape their veins and buds. After that, she applies further layers of colours to make the flowers look fresh and vivid.
"The clay is imported from Japan or Thailand, as they are soft enough to form the natural shapes of the petals," Sinh said. "Each of my works is distinctive and does not look like another."
|SERENE: The oil paintings become more lively and vibrant when colourful clay flowers are attached to them. Photo courtesy of Phạm Thị Giáng Sinh|
Clay paintings are durable, but they must also be appropriately preserved. The finished artwork must be put into a glass frame to protect them from dust and insects. They must also be kept from sunlight and water, so Sinh puts a moisture-proof sachet inside each painting to prevent it from getting mouldy.
Sinh's works have received much praise on social media, though she has never created a painting on commission. To her, an image is only beautiful when the artist pours all her soul and emotion into it, and it isn't easy to create art following the feelings and interests of others.
"I paint pictures and plants with affection and personal feelings. Whenever I create a work, I put all my thoughts and feelings into it. Only natural feelings and emotions can produce a soulful and lively work. I hope my results can win the hearts of flower lovers," she said. VNS