Annelie Solis is an artist whose art is difficult to put into words. It is something that must be experienced and felt. While her pieces feature characters whose morphology and adornments are reminiscent of aesthetics and visuals from cultures around the world, they also transcend any cultural confinement and speak to something universal. Annelie attributes the profound impact on viewers, and messages people receive from her images, to allowing God to work through her in order for the pieces to come to life. Rebelling against “academic art” at one point as a teenager, she now considers it her “dharma”, and doesn`t see her love of painting ever dying.
EP: When did you start painting?
AS: I guess I`ve been drawing and stuff my whole life.
EP: So you`ve been drawing since you were three?
AS: Pretty much. In school I was very defiant and I did not want to choose art because everybody told me that I had to. Everybody was like “Well you must choose art” and I was like “Whatever, I can draw I don`t need to do it for CXC (Caribbean Examination Council).” But then I realised I was not really capable of anything else. *Laughs*. So I was like “Fine, I`ll take art”. It`s only in form 5 when we got a new art teacher who was an actual artist and the way that she taught us, just opened my mind so much. And I think that was when I really fell in love with art.
EP: Who was that?
AS: Ms. Cozier.
EP: How did you find her approach was different to other teachers?
AS: I don`t really remember exactly how it was. I just remember that that was what changed for me. The one thing that I can remember is simple things like, be dramatic with your work, in the sense that, if you`re doing dark, do DARK. Shadows should be black, and the highlights should be white. That doesn`t apply to everything obviously but that`s something that I remember so distinctly. Cause you know when you`re at school you`re timid and you`re not really sure. She was like “No, do it!”. And when I did I just remember the results being like “huuuuu” *Amazed sound*. Look at that! Just be fearless. She knew about artistic principles. She had a dedication to teaching. She paints incredible portraits. I think that was something too, I respected her so much.
Read full interview here