My name is Faegheh Shirazi. I was born in Abadan and lived in Iran until I graduated from high school. I have lived in the United States since 1972. I am a professor at the University of Texas at Austin where I teach in the Islamic Studies program.
My formal training in painting started in 2001 when I took my first oil painting class, and I have enjoyed painting ever since. I have always been interested in various art forms and have explored many mediums, particularly in material culture, including clothes design, sewing, interior furnishings, pottery, jewelry making, weaving, as well as painting in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Early in life, my academic training in textiles and clothing enabled me to see how hand-woven patterned textiles and printed motifs on fabrics can reveal so much about the cultures and those who created them. In a way, the motifs and colors are silent communicators. I see the same principles in every “man-made” creation.
In my art, colors are the most revealing aspects of my mood and personality. No matter what medium of art I am working in, my bright color combinations always move forward. I have a keen sense of color combination, which is not a skill that I learned in any of my art studies; it is more of a natural capacity. For me the colors on canvas are the first thing that I relate to, and colors in various combinations are what I see first in any art.
Painting is a happy and creative time for me and is a form of mental relaxation and imagination. Each canvas is the labor of creativity, and so in a general way I do not like to copy and paint in the realistic styles, which to me are more like reproductions. My subject matter is diverse and normally I do not paint from a real model or example, but from a collective and imaginary memory or mental impulse. Expressionism is my favorite style, since that is truly what I consider captures my inner feelings and imagination. My primary influence in art is German Expressionism.