Ciska is an Australian Artist who began re-connecting with painting after being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Her art is a reflection of her unique perspective, and a stunning product of processing that perspective on canvas.
In opening up her digital gallery, the first thing we’re struck by is her sheer diversity of subject matter. Ciska explains that this is a result of picking a subject in order to focus, to make sense of both her own emotional state and the environment she’s depicting.
Her process is unique. Sometimes, Ciska explains, she’ll stand in front of the canvas unsure of what she is painting save the name of the piece. And sometimes the art takes her so far from her original intention that she winds up having to rename the piece after all! She paints whatever calms her senses.
Her skillful application of texture to the work is a way of conveying character, harmony, and contrast. Texture isn’t just a way of adding depth to a work; it’s a way of inflecting her own perspective on an existing subject. She elaborates that, as an essentially self-taught artist, texture always turns out differently than she intends, in lovely ways.
Ciska usually works on two or three pieces at once, shifting between works as she shifts between moods and leaving enough days between sessions to allow for settled perspective to influence her next step. She might paint for hours and forget about time all together. In general, each work can take up to a month from first brushstroke to completion.
Her personal favorite piece, Angel’s Light, was inspired as Ciska was sitting down to have a coffee and was overcome by a connection to her son who had passed away. It was a very spiritual feeling and she couldn’t figure out exactly how to paint it. She knew she wanted a bridge, as a symbol of connection between two identities. The spiritual sensation became so strong that she started painting. The trees represent strength while the angel’s light represents the warmth of a spiritual guide.
Peacock was inspired by a photo taken by Ciska’s daughter’s young friend. She saw a picture of a woman and immediately imagined a peacock around her. Ciska began painting and this portrait was the evocative result.
Ciska states that she likes the female form. She likes the curves, the sensuality. She also uses flowers in quite a few of her paintings for a unique reason – she loves perfumes. Of course her work is meant to be consumed by the eye, but her use of flowers is meant to evoke an olfactory response as well. The particular smell of a flower, like the ones used in Ballerina, comes with a feeling that affects the viewer.
Ciska says that, “If she can put a smile on your face or has taken your soul to a different place she has succeeded in taking you with her on her emotional journey.” Check out her incredible gallery here.