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September 2, 2018 – Published in Design & Decor Autumn 2018 issue

Bolder watercolours – Maris Zammit

In 1999, I had just finished another chapter of my life – Car racing – a career which had lasted 18 years, in which I had won my Class Hillclimb Championship twice, as well as numerous other awards in rallying, sprints, pursuits, etc. Finally, it was time to move on…

It was around this time that I started experimenting and dabbling in watercolours, and, quite accidentally, found that I could paint! I invested in loads of books, brushes and paints and was soon trying to capture anything that caught my fancy, in watercolour, whether it was a rubble wall, or a rustic building.

I started attending lessons at Harry Alden, where I experimented with oils, and even won a Special Mention Award for one of my paintings, by the Society of Arts – a Still Life, which is happily hanging in my kitchen! Another Special Mention from the Society was for a watercolour portrait named: Ir-Ruxxan – a Gozitan local with a rugged complexion.

Later on, I was encouraged to attend live classes at Anton Calleja, where I learned to paint the human figure, and where I made numerous friends, whom I still meet once a week, we call ourselves the Wednesday Art Group. We’ve also held a couple of exhibitions, the last one was held at the Veduta Restaurant in Rabat, our weekly meeting place.

I love painting Chapels and Churches, seascapes, landscapes, rustic places – our little islands have so much to offer! I also love painting portraits… I was recently commissioned to paint the portrait of His Majesty, the visiting King of the Ashanti, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu 11, direct successor to the Empire of the Ashanti in Ghana.

The presentation of the portrait was carried out in the presence of Ghana’s High Commissioner in Malta HE Mercy Addo and Ambassador Anthony DeBono who commissioned the task in his capacity as Chairman of HandOnsystems.

So far I’ve had two solo exhibitions and have taken part in numerous collective exhibitions, both in Malta and abroad – two years ago, in the UK and twice in the International Watercolour Painting Convention/Festival in Fabriano, Italy, in 2017, and 2018, representing my country.

Since I started painting, my watercolours have become somewhat bolder, and on a larger scale. My largest painting to date measured 70x100cm!

One day, I hope to have another solo exhibition, showcasing my watercolours. However, I still work full time and wish I had more hours to dedicate to my paintings in order to have a substantial amount for an exhibition…

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