By Mudassir Raja
Abdulrahman Abdullah Aldorani, 54, is a Qatari artist and painter. Painting is his hobby and his canvas has broad sweep on life in general and the landscape of his country, in particular.
Community sat with him to discern more about his work and life. Aldorani has an aesthetically decorated studio at home where he paints and relaxes during leisure. The studio also has a small gallery where he has displayed some his works.
Excerpts from the interview:
Please tell us briefly about yourself and your work.
I began with the small stuff in elementary school. Everyone around me appreciated my interest in drawing and painting.
It was in the early 70s that I started drawing and painting. At the time, there was this cartoon magazine from Lebanon and I liked the way they drew different characters. I used to copy these characters. Further, there was a very good art teacher at school, who inspired me. I liked his works and he also encouraged me to paint. Till today, I get unreserved support from my family and friends — they keep pushing me to do more.
I also enjoy swimming. It is another hobby that keeps my body and mind fit and healthy.
How would you describe art?
It is about emotions, feelings. It is about experiencing a moment. Sometimes, you have a certain moment and you want to get to the canvas immediately. When I have a strong emotion that I want to paint, I will put it out on canvas. Later, I will work to improve it. I think art is a moment and a feeling.
Sometimes, there is an emotion or feeling that I want to paint, but am away from my studio. What I will do, then, is to pick up a pencil and a piece of paper and draw. I want to record that moment — which will not come again. Afterwards, I will transfer the drawing on canvas.
A certain kind of feeling also brings different colours with it. If you are feeling sad, you will use darker colours — may be black. When you are happy, your colours will be light and lively.
What do you mostly paint and what techniques do you use?
I usually work with oil paints. I have also done some works using water colours. In fact, I have used most of the mediums, but my favourite are oil colours.
I love to paint about the environment and nature; especially, I love to paint about life and Qatar’s landscape. I believe an artist should paint and highlight his or her native country.
I’m attracted to realism even if some people think that realism is old-fashioned and much of work in realism has already been done. They say that one should go for modern art like abstract. For me, art is art — whatever you may want to call it.
What is that you like the most about your work?
I have enjoyed painting different things. I love many of them. There is one painting that I made about the works of a poet — it is what I covet the most.
Many of my paintings have won appreciation at different exhibitions. I have taken part in a lot of exhibitions both in Qatar and abroad. I have displayed work at art exhibitions in India, Jordan, Italy and other GCC countries.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration as an artist?
There is no certain artist. I will appreciate any artist with good work. However, the old masters and old art works have always inspired me.
What are your future plans as an artist?
Strictly speaking, I am not a professional artist. This is my hobby. Right now, I have no plans or desire to become an artist of international fame. I just like and enjoy doing paintings. I paint whatever I feel. I have been working on two different paintings, highlighting the ongoing siege of Qatar by its neighbours. As an artist, I feel strongly about the blockade. This situation has been painful for families and affected people on a human level.
How do you relate to works of your fellow artists?
I see that there is a lot of improvement particularly, in the work of women artists. They are doing very well actually. However, there is always room for improvement. Every artist wants his or her work to be appreciated. And artists have been getting decent appreciation in Qatar.
Are you satisfied with the promotion of art in Qatar?
The environment is very good. The facilities are great. The government has been doing great work. Every artist gets his or her share of opportunities. I also see many expatriate artists doing very well here. Katara Cultural Village has brought international fame to Qatar. It has been offering opportunities to all artists and promoting art through exhibitions and cultural programmes.
There are very good opportunities for our artists. They are deriving maximum advantage from it and I expect to see some fine artists here in the future. But then, I also believe a good artist will always get his or her opportunity anywhere. A good artist can create an opportunity.
You have given quite a bit to art. What has it given back to you?
It gives me satisfaction.
It is something I love doing. Some people like to cook or take photographs. I like to paint.
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