The makings of an artist are countless; from education, practice, to an innate talent, Muneera Al-Rumaihi presents us with the simple process of exploration. A desire to explore, well nurtured with ambition, education, and support, yields unlimited results.
Originally an English literature major, Al Rumaihi developed her intrinsic talent to “mess around” as she nonchalantly deems, to lead her to her first solo exhibition, “Exhibition” at Bayt Lothan, last spring. Debuting with twenty pieces, one is instantly drawn to her interesting technique, combining various mediums like collage, calligraphy, and acrylic, and moreover, the instant emotional response her personal pieces incite.
Her passion for art goes beyond the canvas, as she also conveys her love for all things art via her online space, www.ladaisha.com. She adds, “I started the blog in order to spread the knowledge and beauty of art and to introduce some wonderful talents to my readers. I feel that we are living in a society that’s so used to underestimating that power when it is in fact a very important aspect in our lives.”
Although Al-Rumaihi hadn’t planned on showcasing her work at the time of her solo exhibition, she recounts the rushed experience with pride, “It was pretty amazing, and beyond my expectations!” In a way, her method of ‘messing around’ went into overdrive, compelled to always seek originality and freedom in whatever inspires the soul. She might not be a trained calligrapher, yet her normal handwriting conveys a personal, relatable element. “No matter what I do, if I’m playing with paints, collage, or whatever comes to mind, I like to use my normal handwriting in adding some of my favorite poems onto the canvas, it’s like adding the icing to the cake”
Whether she’s in her ‘overdrive’ mode, or not, Al-Rumaihi’s journeys with art serve as a reminder of the beauty of humanity that we can no longer feel or see because of our busy lifestyles. She states, “Thousands of people are getting killed everyday, we watch them in the news every morning and we no longer care because we are too busy or too conditioned. That thought alone will drive me mad, so I run to my studio and find myself painting a colorful figure and use a specific poem to address a hidden meaning because we can no longer sense or empathize with the emotions of others. No matter how hard life might be, or how busy one might get. Never forget your need, our need, for peace and love. I try as much as I could to use my paintings as a reminder of that.”
Mind you, Al-Rumaihi doesn’t only ‘mess around’, she cultivated her talent by training with established artists like Abdullah Al Jeran, and earlier participated in group exhibitions like FA Gallery’s Without Boundaries exhibition in 2011. However, every artist has their individual style, as she adds, “I don’t sketch! I imagine it in my head and just start outlining the canvas. Most of my artwork is inspired from my surrounding and the society: The social obligations, the political issues, and sometimes I get inspired by my random thoughts.”
Despite her artistic desire to constantly remind us to ‘empathize’, Al-Rumaihi first and foremost perceives herself as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. Then, oddly enough, the artist follows suit. “I can’t call myself a full time artist just yet. I wish I could, so maybe someday. Even so, family always comes first and they are very supportive. My mom is very talented too and has very beautiful taste in art and textiles, while my father is so into literature and poetry that he sometimes speaks fusha’a, traditional Arabic, and that fascinates me. If anything, I draw all artistic desire, and motivation from them. And when it comes to my husband, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be working. He knows very well how to snap me out of my comfort zone and work overnight to finish a painting.” Were she to ultimately choose to follow her artistic path on a full time basis, Al-Rumaihi has an army of family and friends, including us, to keep her paintings coming.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A cup of coffee, along with my favorite playlist while the windows are wide open in my studio surrounded by my canvases and paint and knowing that everyone I care about is all right.
What is your greatest fear?
The sound and sight of wind/sandstorm, and flying…not that I hate traveling but “Take-off & Landing” terrifies me!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I’m a bit too gullible and sensitive. For me, it’s not “we always want what we don’t have”, but “we always want what we had”.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Arrogance and talking behind peoples’ backs.
Which living person do you most admire?
I’m blessed for having my parents, husband, five siblings and one sister in law. I cherish and admire each one of them, but in the art world it’s Mr. Safwan Dahoul as he is such a great artist.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Traveling, luxury hotels and bags.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Yallah! Really? Beautiful!
When were you happiest?
In 2006, when I first met my hubby during my last year of college; a lot was happening at that time, the excitement was at its max.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Producing music, and playing the harmonica.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
My first solo show.
Where would you most like to live?
One of those coastal towns in Italy, but not for so long, just for a few years as I belong here.
For more on Muneera Al-Rumaihi, visit her online portfolio at ilmanana.com.