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William Azzopardi - A Wash with Colour   Print  E-mail 
Submitted by Artissa Administrator  

TantrumsWe have recently spoken to William Azzopardi, a talented watercolourist who through the years has gone through various phases in technique, style and emotions which his paintings convey.

For this article, we have decided to do something which we have rarely seen done, and which we are sure will be appreciated in its originality.

When an Artist writes about him/herself we get to see a new perspective which is rarely conveyed by third parties. Its just like reading an autobiography (in contrast to a biography). The writing style is much warmer in that you read an emotional recount, rather than a factual one.

We would be very interested in having your comments on this new initiative we have taken - and if you are interested in doing the same, you are more than welcome!!

We have also created a gallery with some of his works, which can be viewed here.

Read on - William Azzopardi writes about himself and his art...

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EcoutezIt is not always easy to write about one's paintings. Nor is it necessarily a good thing. Art speaks the unspoken. When somebody looks at my work, he sees what he wants to see. He sees what he needs to see and not always consciously. And I want others to see what they need to see. The more that happens, the happier I am. Art is all about being oneself. God has given us immense power to shape both our and others' existence and to change the world for better or for worse. Sometimes, nature just takes over and we have no power other than the power to channel our feelings in the right way. I cannot stop the huge waves invading our winter beaches. I can simply paint them with my colours, colours of joy or colours of woe. Nature is inseparable from my paintings – even those paintings that are more abstractions than mere depictions of sea or land scapes. As Louis Armstrong once said, what we play is life. My art is about nature – whether it is nature we see around us or the nature of human beings. It is also about life- primarily my life, but also the life of those who look at my pictures, finding in them….maybe something uplifting, something amusing, a memory, a hope… an escape.


The RoadAnd what a fascinating a thing it is to listen to others comment about my art. When I opened my very first exhibition in a gallery carved into the fortifications in Birgu, a poetess came Seas along and after having bought four paintings, exclaimed: “Your paintings remind me so much of  Fellini” then scribbled in the visitors' book; “If you keep on painting like this, I'll finish up real broke!”  One of Malta's main art critics described my art in terms of movement, stains of colour and transparency.  To quote another article, this time written in the Times, November 9th 2003 “the rows of coloured windows, the play of light and shadows, the small human figures are really and truly a maze of grace.”


The Sunday Times art critic, Fiorentino, October 17th, 2004, not only commented about the good watercolour technique but found an oriental feel in the seascapes exhibited in the Valletta exhibition entitled “Tandem”. Maybe it was the form of the weathered rocks, the circling waves in rage, the shape of the struggling trees, the subtle shades of the washes….


Ir-RamlaThen of course, there were comments I found difficult to reconcile: “You ought to paint less detail” said a fellow painter…Another said: “What I like is the details!”


I look again at my pictures. Do I find the beaches of my childhood, the summer holidays spent at the fishing village of Marsascala, Malta, the blues, the showers of late September waves?  Maybe. Do I see life, do I see death? Maybe. Do I think my work is slightly surreal?  So they say.  Do I see the English tradition of watercolour painting over and above the academic training in Malta and Italy? Sure I do. And I love Malta's battered limestone, the rapt beauty of its vivid seas, the subtle colouring in the sea weeds clinging to the rocks, the radical summer shadows, the green challenging the dry and rocky landscape. Yes I do.  And you, do take a look….

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