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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. My cousin, Daniel Enkaoua, is well known internationally for his impressionist paintings of still life, portraits and architectures. 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. After college, I 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 2 media.
Because I grew up Deaf since I was 6, this experience is a big part of my life. I find it very therapeutic to draw my feelings and thoughts from my experience as a Deaf individual. 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. The images in De'VIA (Deaf View Image Art) Gallery is the result of all this work.
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 Scriptures by using Hebrew alphabets letters or symbols, filling the blank space with smaller repetitive motifs and text. This opens the way for spiritual communion. While writing is like sharing messages, art is more like sharing a vision. I believe that a picture can “paint a thousand words.” I also use acrylic painting to paint more complex vision. This I call spiritual art.
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.) 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.