Painting is like therapy to me. Whenever I feel like expressing my feelings and thoughts and whenever I have anything to say, good or bad, I paint,” said the 22 year old Huda Noor Baydoun. Huda is studying special education at Dar AlHekma College in Jeddah. With a desire to direct painters and other people how to express their emotions through painting, Huda has her sights set on pursuing a higher degree in art therapy. “I believe if people can positively channel their anger and negative fee ings through painting and sculpturing, they would be able to arrive at beautiful resolutions rather than screaming and fighting with one another,” she enthuses. “I want to work as an art therapist because it combines my two passions, art and psychology, and it would allow me to help people with special needs and teach them how to paint and sketch to express their feelings,” she added. Huda’s mood is depicted through the colors in her work, which enables the viewer to feel her emotions while she was painting.

“When I’m not feeling anything I just put my music on loud and let it do the deciding for me. I have to admit house music has done wonders,” she said. “My paintings are like mood boards for me. I tend to use lots of black and dark colors when I’m furious or angry and use happy and bright colors when I’m cheerful and excited,” she added. Huda’s muse was always Jackson Pollock, for she loved his abstracts and his playful use of colors, which she was introduced to through a film that featured his life and drawings. Picasso’s expressive use of colors and imperfection in his portraits inspire Huda and has influenced her work.”I always say to my friends.

that if I were living in a different world, Picasso would be my father and Jackson Pollock would be .my stepfather?” Huda places a beauty mark on the cheek of every portrait she paints to mark her personal touch, as the mole reflects the real one she has on her left cheek. Baydoun’s work has sparked some controversy, with conse vatives pitted against the more creatively liberal.

Conservative people see her portraits as against Islam and that she should stop doing it, while others see it as a unique artistic rendering.“There are some people who are against the portraits I paint, yet they like the abstracts as there are no human images, which can be easily displayed in their homes,” she explained.

The young painters formal art training may be meager, yet her artwork attests to her inherent artistic abilities. Encouraged by a childhood teacher, Huda started painting at an early age displaying her work in school exhibitions. As her exhibitions became more frequent, her fan base grew along with the number of people who supported her. Naturally, Huda pursued the logical next steps, which meant.

transposing her paintings from school walls and into the real world. She started viewing her paintings on the internet and started selling them when she was only 18.

Huda has participated in a number of public art exhibitions in Jeddah and credits her family for their support and honest criticism.“My family is first to see my paintings and I always ask them if they are good enough to be displayed in public,” she exclaims.

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