April 6, 2019 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2019 issue
Journey expression through life – Jacqueline Agius
Jacqueline Agius specialises in watercolour painting and is constantly creating. She loves the landscape with its wide open spaces, the glittering sea and particularly the warm stone buildings standing proud against the skyline. Her watercolours reveal the warmth of an artist fully involved with the places that so inspire her work. When considering subjects she tries to search for something striking like contrasts in the shapes of buildings, the play of light and shadows or the vivid colours. She describes her art as her personal expression of her journey through life.
Her paintings reflect a life long fascination with the interplay of light, dark, colour and form. The colours are vibrant and the light unmistakably that of sunny Malta. There is a sense of familiarity with them, whether these are quaint chapels, alleys and streets, marine scenes, landscapes or other places in Malta and Gozo. Above all, her paintings convey an enthusiasm and delight in the world about them.
She was highly influenced by her artistic father, the late Edwin Conti, a draughtsman by profession, and cultivated a passion for architecture and a love for drawing and painting. Having been brought up in an art-loving family, she always enjoyed drawing and painting and considered herself an artist at a very young age. She spent hours watching her father painting in oils at his easel. This instilled in her an intense desire to express the beauty around her through painting. The eldest of three children, she loved roaming the open fields close to home.
Her first formal education began when she participated in several art classes, held after school, at St Joseph School, Blata l-Bajda, where she worked in oil. Later, she followed a few art courses at the School of Art in Valletta. Upon the birth of her two sons painting came to a halt, although she still found time to enjoy painting murals in the boys’ bedrooms. It was only many years later that her love for painting was rekindled and she decided to make art her life-path. She joined an en plein-air group of local artists and discovered that finding new ways of expressing herself thorough art was very exciting and rewarding. Experimenting with different media, she found her love for watercolour and painted away at buildings and landscapes, reflecting her everyday life and surroundings at the time. Through all these years, she knew that in her heart there was a burning desire to someday become a professional artist. That, fuelled by her love for art and encouragement from family and friends eventually found its way in 2007, when she held her first solo exhibition. She embarked on a professional artist career and started exhibiting widely, taking part in numerous collective exhibitions.
She likes to exploit all the qualities inherent in the watercolour medium, not least its transparency, its saturated colours and potential for spontaneous handling. Her camera travels with her wherever she goes. Before embarking on a new painting she likes to spend time in the chosen location taking numerous photographs and making at least one small study on the spot to get a feel of the place and to trigger memories of the mood. Connected to this is an increasing desire to paint nature on the spot. One of her goals is to paint outdoors more frequently.
She seeks to capture the beauty in the ordinary and is always on the look out for subjects that fascinate her. She invites viewers to walk into her paintings, hear the voice of nature and apply their imagination.
“In my paintings I endeavour to depict a slice of nature that reflects and expresses the emotions, whilst capturing the atmosphere and transforming the view into something truly magical.”
Jacqueline likes giving back what she has earned throughout her career and is happy to share her love and knowledge of this beautiful medium. During the past couple of years, she has been generous in sharing her discoveries with students who want to paint in watercolour but aren’t sure where to start on those who want to explore and improve watercolour techniques. Emphasising design, composition and especially individual style, she encourages personal creative expression and a love for the artistic process.
In some of her recent works Jacqueline is also successfully achieving results by creating semi-abstract features of the Maltese scenery. Through simplification, bold brushstrokes and confidence, the artist capitalises on the medium’s ability to render a scene in a manner that is both believable and spontaneous.
She has given public talks and interviews on the radio and has been invited on television programmes. Her paintings have been featured in various magazines.
Her artwork is included in numerous private and corporate collections throughout Malta and Gozo and abroad. She has also created many commissioned works of art.