The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Conversations with nature

Sunday, 22 May 2022, 07:25 Last update: about 2 months ago

An exhibition of painting by Joanne Fenech Portelli

Conversations with nature is an exhibition of a series of plein air to studio-painted naturescapes, which have emerged from Joanne's paintings on location during the past year. Taking her plein air experiences into the studio has enabled Joanne to relive those outdoor painting sessions.

Painting amid nature engages every sense and becomes a conversation with nature itself, according to Fenech Portelli. She loves escaping the daily hustle and bustle of everyday life when she can, by finding quiet nature spots, possibly where very few people pass by, if none at all.


The presence of trees, garigue and wild flora makes it all the more interesting to get a sense of place and portray that immediate connection with nature and transmit it into paint.

That emotional response becomes a dialogue between nature and artist - one who interprets form and colour together with the overall feeling of wellbeing that only Mother Nature can truly give. The dialogue is one that through the emotions of that moment lets the viewer feel those instances of peace in nature, which are so necessary to balance out our busy lives. For the artist, the sense of place and emotional atmosphere created are what is paramount.

Ultimately it is the feelings of the viewers and their own conversations with what they connect to in the paintings that make this a full circle in the universal language of art. The artist strives to capture these special places in our unique Mediterranean countryside in paint to also raise more awareness of their beauty, seen through her viewpoint, and to also make viewers appreciate what we have.

Joanne Fenech Portelli

Joanne Fenech Portelli, born in 1976, is a Maltese artist most known for her en plein air paintings which she has been regularly exhibiting for the past years, both collectively and solo. Joanne also exhibits abroad when she takes part in international plein air festivals and competitions, namely in Ireland and Holland. During such festivals Joanne also takes part in Quick Draw events where she also wins prizes. Her paintings can be found hanging in private collections in the US, Ireland, Holland, France, Germany, Kuwait and Malta.

The artist's favourite medium is oils, because she prefers the versatility and the possibility of creating textures, although she also uses watercolour, gouache and pastels when she sketches outside. For Joanne, art is her passion and life journey, and painting outside, surrounded by nature, is her epitome of being able to make art and enjoy it at the same time, for ultimately what is painting without joy? Because it is this joy and beauty that Joanne wants to give back to who views her art.

To keep up to date with Joanne's painting adventures one can follow her on her social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook pages, Joanne Fenech Portelli Fine Art.

The exhibition will run until 31 May at the Malta Postal Museum in 135, Archbishop Street, Valletta. Opening times are Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.

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