Watching Omani artist Aflah al Rashdi work with a brush on canvas reminds one of a graceful dancer. The canvas as his stage, he navigates around it so easy one would think he was more playing than actually painting.
His concentration and focus are also immense and because he mostly works alone in his studio, he conjures mesmerising art pieces from his very fertile imagination.
Producing dozens of art pieces in a month is not however what’s truly commendable about Aflah but rather his ability to produce beautiful scenes on rough surface of rocks or trunk of a date palm.
Social savvy and have full understanding of the power of digital media, Aflah has shared clips of the before and after of his art process demonstrating that to a talented artist, a canvas can actually be anything.
In barely one-minute hyperlapsed clip, Aflah transformed a portion of a date palm trunk into a tropical forest where a stone stairway led to a cave hidden among the underbrush.
He also successfully managed to transform a rough surface of a rock into an Oman-countryside filled with traditional clay houses and a flowing waterfall.
Building on the original colour tone of both date palm trunk and stone, he masterfully blended colours to bring out other elements of his imagination and the result was beautiful pieces that people on social media cannot help but appreciate and share.
To date, Aflah has amassed almost 25k followers on Instagram, an amazing feat for a self-taught artist who dreams to have his very own exhibit someday.
“I discovered my love for painting when I was 14. I practised drawing a lot when I was young and at a young age, it was drawing with pencils and crayons where I had my start,” he shared.
As his mastery for blending colours grew, he also moved to more challenging media — from acrylic and then eventually painting with oil colours.
“I love playing with colours that are inspired by nature. Since I’d always been leaning towards earthy tones, I gained mastery of painting scenes about nature, animals and landscapes of Oman,” he shared.
Aflah is most proud of his work that demonstrates the beauty of Oman. In his collection right now include paintings of several castles, dhows and wadis which he shared he did his best to be filled with all the details one would need to appreciate them as if one is standing right in front of the real thing.
While Aflah, just like any other artist, also studied painting portraits and still-life, the majority of his work is dreamy locations — some of which conjure nostalgia and causes travel itch.
“My goal is to create beautiful scenes and aspire to perfect creating pieces that people would admire and give them an idea of who I am and my character,” he said.
“When I work on these pieces, I like to play with dimensions. I push myself into learning something new. My goal is to expand my experience and eventually, document beautiful scenes of Oman and locked them in my paintings,” he said.
Aflah said that people on social media are very supportive of what he does and that it is their positive feedbacks that make him want to work harder.
“I really hope that in the near future, I’d be able to open my own art gallery or exhibit where I can display my paintings. That’s one of the big dreams,” he shared.
To see more of his art pieces, follow @aflah_alrashdi on Instagram.
Laila Al Maamaria & YERU EBUEN