Expressive paintings that make you pause

Artwork of varied genres mesmerised the visitors at the Sultan Qaboos Youth Complex for Culture and Entertainment where Mayada Reehan had put up her paintings for a solo exhibition. Dr Rasheed bin al Safi al Huraibi, Chairman of the Tender Board, opened the exhibition and was all praise for her paintings.

An Omani artist, Mayada has genuine love for Omani life and style, its culture and heritage, but she is equally versatile with her brush and colours. Her abstract artworks force everyone to pause and understand her mood until she comes and explains what she meant through that particular piece.
“I had to pause at every piece of art. Mayada had done them so excellently and delicately that I ran short of words to praise her paintings,” said Daniel, a visitor at the painting exhibition.
Based in Salalah, Mayada has always been passionate about art, particularly painting and drawing. To maintain the pace of her work, she joined Salalah Youth Studio and the Omani Society for Fine Arts (OSFA) and took part in several workshops and exhibitions locally and internationally.
Her artworks had been featured internationally such as Vienna, Geneva, Brazil, Egypt and Dubai. Recently, she had exhibited her paintings at the ‘Omani Flying Art Exhibition’ organised by OSFA and Oman Air.
As a full-time artist, Mayada has always been attached to art for as long as she can remember. She had real attachment with colours and creatures even when she was young. Inspired by the things around her, there was no better way to communicate what she felt except visually showing them through her beautiful pieces of art.
“I felt like art was calling me some 20 years ago. I started working on frankincense, which is associated closely with every Omani,” she shared.
Mayada seems to have inherited her painting skills from her father, who is also a painter.
“I am not sure, but I might have inherited this passion for the art from my father,” she said. She is also thankful that she has been receiving massive support from family, friends and her husband to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.
In the last 20 years, she has created a full collection all speaking of her growth every year. Many of her pieces can be found in government and private sector offices.
“Some 150 to 200 nicely done paintings are there with me,” she said, adding that she has done many others in the course of her practising her chosen profession.
She appreciates the support she got from OSFA in building her as a professional artist.
“I learnt a lot from artists who came from Muscat. I also learnt a lot from many other places I’d been to, which collectively gave me technical knowhow. Today, I am confident of organising national and international solo exhibitions due to the training and exposure that I got at OSFA,” she said.
Reflections, movements of water, texture lines in portraits and true human expressions using oil are Mayada’s signature works, which she applies with the perfection of ease. She has been successful in reflecting her feelings into her paintings.
Lauren Mertens from America and working as a faculty at Dhofar University praised Mayada’s works especially those with reflection on the water and the shells on the water. The colours are beautiful, and some of the paintings look like photographs,” she said.

Photos by Hamed al Khatiri