MUNTHE ART MONDAY: SIMONA FLOREA
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do
My name is Simona Florea and I am a Romanian - Swedish artist, mother and wife based in Malmö, Sweden. I am autodidact and have painted for 15 years but have drawn, colored and written from a very young age.
I work with acrylics, mainly on larger canvases. Most of my paintings revolve around and/or portray the feminine strength and beauty. I strive for harmony and balance between sharp lines, soft curves and colors.
Each of my paintings usually start with the need to express an insight or event, an observation, a lesson learned and/or a feeling. I try to identify the elements of the story and then work on piecing them together. A lot of the time goes to researching the subject to understand for example the color theme, motif, pose that would best describe what I would like to communicate. This goes for commissioned work as well, but the focus is then on the client. The color pallet is as important as the actual motif of the painting, if not even more so. In order to achieve harmony and balance between all the elements of the painting I mix every chosen color in all the other colors. So that all blues would have let’s say red and yellow in them if yellow and red would be the other colors that I work with. Therefore, mixing colors is an extremely time requiring process. All my work is accompanied by its own story and below you will find the texts to some of them.
As for my inspiration- it is based in my personal experiences as a woman but also women in general. I use nature as the best teacher when it comes to choosing my color palettes.
Could you please explain more about how being a woman affected your career.
As a female artist and mother things have progressed a lot slower and I believe a lot more difficult. I have had to recover from a severe burnout resulting from working in a work environment not so friendly to me as a woman. I entered my pregnancy without realizing that I was burned out. Back then I was splitting my time between my art and my day job. I literally painted till my belly was in the way of me reaching the canvas and I did so because I refused to accept, me being a woman and becoming a mother to hinder me from reaching my deadline and my goals. I have, since a couple of years back, recovered and I have learned to respect my body and accept that it will have to take longer for me, as a woman and mother, to reach my goals.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Josephine Baker is a great source of inspiration. But there are so many others that have moved through the currents of society and its limiting demands, serving humanity without giving up on who they were. Those women inspire me daily!
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
I often wonder if I would have to explain and repeat myself as much and have as much patience had I been a man?
Besides that, being an artist and a mother is very challenging especially when trying to excel in my career. It has made the progress so much harder and so much slower. There are the needs of others that constantly have to come first and there is always too little time.
What would you like people to notice in your art work?
My work is indeed very female oriented since I am a woman telling a story but through my work, I strive to bring forth the beauty that every phase of growth brings, no matter how difficult some might be and also to remind us all that the feminine truly is strength and something that we should allow ourselves to awaken to, to cultivate and to be proud of.
I would also like for men and women alike to become aware. To inspire them to work towards closing the existing gap between them, both at home and at work. I would like to contribute to a change through my work and for future generations to have less or preferably none of the issues that we face today. This is one of the reasons why my paintings are accompanied by texts.
And lastly, I want my work to enhance the good feelings both in its viewers as well as the environment it is placed in because we really need to focus more on that especially now.