My name is Magda Betkowska. I was born in Poland and I studied artistic education in Fine Arts, Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Institute of Art Education at the Silesian University in Poland. After my graduation I worked in non-governmental organizations in the field of art and international education in Poland and in Germany. Since 2011 I have been living in Switzerland and for more than ten years, I have been working in the financial sector. In 2018 I completed further education in Art Therapy in Konstanz, Germany. These studies helped me return to painting after a long break. I “rediscovered” myself as an artist.
The corona pandemic gave me the courage to participate in various art competitions and projects. It made me realize that it is never too late to make a dream come true. The most important thing is to just believe in yourself and in what you are doing and keep doing it. If this brings you joy then also the world around you is happy: this is an indicator of a good and fulfilled life. Therefore every painting conveys the additional message that each person is special/unique and has a talent. It also encourages us to discover our hidden talents regardless of age.
The love of art has always been present in me and it has become an integral part of my life. Painting fills my soul with pure joy and peace; it is a kind of meditation that allows me to slow down and enjoy the day. When I paint I immerse myself completely into this process and I let my emotions run free. I am having a dialog with myself which allows me to look at daily life from a new, different perspective and appreciate the “here and now”.
The greatest thing in the process of creating is a feeling of unlimited freedom. I don`t have to follow anyone`s rules because the picture is in me and all I have to do is listen to my inner voice and follow it. What is created comes from a dialog between the idea in my head and accompanying emotions in my heart.
Using different mediums such as acrylic, colored pens, and crayons allow me to choose a painting tool which mirrors the stories I want to tell in the best possible way.
As a child I learned that I decide for myself how to perceive the world and in which colors I see the reality around me. Red, orange and yellow accompany me every day and have a strong influence on my daily life. These lively colors represent energy, courage, power, and love; therefore, they are also dominant colors on my palette.
In 2018 I started to paint my "woman’s world” as a therapy to overcome my own complexes and begin a path towards self-acceptance. I’m fascinated by the female body because she is for me a kind of temple of wonder. Already in ancient myths and religions, woman were revered as goddesses and givers of life and were considered a symbol of sensuality, sexuality and a new life. Every woman is born with many wonderful feminine qualities and creativity which she can/should use as a potential in the course of her life in order to achieve her dreams. Unfortunately, this potential often can’t be fully exploited because many women feel unattractive and try to conform media images. Today`s expectations of every woman to be a perfect wife and mother and also successful in her job lead women to lose access to their inner-self.
My paintings show the beauty of every woman with all her imperfections and suggests to the viewer that each one of them can be who she wants to be whether it be weak, vulnerable, tender but also strong, funny, powerful or soulful. The key to her happiness is self-acceptance. Society`s expectations shouldn`t determine her value and identity. We shouldn`t be afraid or ashamed of living in our own way. The one perfect pattern guaranteeing happiness doesn`t exist. Every one of us has a right to choose and create her own reality.
In my painting I reflect the expression and emotion of the woman/people I see around me. Almost all my women are faceless because my creative process starts with an impulse which comes from observation. Sometimes it could be the detail of clothing or interesting pose or hair style. I don’t tell a story of one particular person, rather I tell the story about my feeling and emotions associated with this. I create my woman's image often with elements of nature and with relevant female notions of self-acceptance, love, and confidence. In my painting you can see the influence from art deco or from the burlesque world. I also use eye-catching colours as red, orange, pink, yellow to pack as much expression as possible into an image. It is my way of expressing the power and diversity of beauty in each woman.
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