I am originally a native of France, from a family with four generations of artists. I became Deaf at the age of 6, moved to the United States at the age of 10 where I have been living for more than 40 years. I have many art disciplines, such as drawing, painting with oil and acrylic, ceramics, carpentry, weaving, sewing. I am also a self taught in other art skills, such as pyrography. Many in my family from my mother's side are artists. I developed artistic talent at a very early age, by watching my grandfather paint on canvas. His art is the one I closely resemble with the use of intense colors. My mother is a landscape impressionist who sells her art locally. I love all art styles and I don't really have any preference for a particular art master who has influenced my style in painting. My own styles range from abstract to realism, sometimes pop art or folk art, sometimes surrealism or expressionism.
In college, I took art classes in figure drawing, ceramics and weaving. I originally painted with oil but after moving to Florida, I changed to acrylic for health reasons. Because acrylic paint dries fast and blending the colors is harder, it has challenged me to improve my art skills considerably. I am self-taught in pyrography, which is the art or “writing with fire,” by burning a design on natural unfinished surface such as wood with the use of a heated metal pen. At first, I used them on unfinished furnitures and decided I loved this medium very much and drew different subjects with it. I later incorporated it with my paintings on wood panels, which is what art masters used before cotton canvas became popular. The Mixed Media Gallery you see on this site is the result of a combination of these two skills.
I grew up Deaf since I was 6 and this experience is a big part of my life. I find it very therapeutic to draw about my experience as a Deaf individual. At first, I draw with black ink and colored pencils, I use small repetitive motifs within the hand shapes of the American Sign Language or other related subjects, sometimes adding the eyes or the mouth, but never the ears. I use a similar but more simple method using only pyrography with my wood work. (Original woodworks are sold on my other website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/vecheney) I also use acrylic painting for simple hand shapes of ASL with an abstract background, which are available in the Deaf Art Gallery. My work as a Deaf artist has been shown on the TV program, 'Switched at Birth,' on the ABC Family network during the second season.
My spiritual experience is also a big part of my life and I use the same media in ink and colored pencil for my Judaica drawings. I enjoy drawing as a way of meditating on the written word of God by using Hebrew alphabets letters or symbols, filling the blank space with smaller repetitive motifs. This opens the way for spiritual communion. While writing is like sharing messages, art can be like sharing a vision. I believe that a picture can “paint a thousand words.” I also use acrylic on canvas or masonite panel to paint more complex vision.
When the message is not spiritual, I like to use the Creator's beautiful and abundant variety in nature as subjects for painting. (I use my own photos or from memories.) I believe the universe is the best art masterpiece created by God, who is the Almighty Creator and the Ultimate Artist. He is the source of all creativity.