North Texas Daily

Up-coming artist Zarina Kay finds her niche in nature

Up-coming artist Zarina Kay finds her niche in nature

February 21
18:30 2018

Each drop of color, each speck of paint creates its own story like the autumn leaves, drifting in and out but always here to stay. The colors ebb and flow together in an elliptical as they pass each other by. The texture heightens the galaxy and creates an almost infinitely finite space.

“I was inspired by Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ — I use the same color palette but instead of flowers, I did a galaxy,” Zarina Kay said. “I’ve always wanted to do a galaxy painting so I was glad to do it.”

The mural, entitled “Impression of Andromeda” at LSA Burger, was created by Kay, an up-and-coming artist whose love of art has been embedded in her since she was a child.

The LSA Mural Art Project was exhibited last year as a joint venture between LSA Burger and the Greater Denton Art Council where six to seven artists got together to create art in less than 48 hours.

“It’s gorgeous,” Denton resident Mike Casper said of Kay’s work at LSA Burger. “The colors are very vivid and makes you think.”

Just like the Andromeda galaxy brightness can be seen with a naked eye, Kay’s talent is bright in any limelight.

“[Art has been] my priority since I was 13,” Kay said. “I spend every dollar I can on it. I’ve spent a thousand hours on it to grow and be stronger. That’s my only goal in life — to be in that state.”

Born in Armenia, Kay moved to Texas when she was 1 year old. Realizing her talent at a young age, her mom then enrolled her at the Ermitage Art Academy at 13 years-old, working under Mikhail Dimov, a classically trained teacher.

“She was 3 or 4 when I realized her talent,” Kay’s mother Milena Karatetyam said. “She spent lot of time drawing and had a reason for her shapes and colors. After she started, it was all about art.”

Since then, Kay has been experimenting with every possible medium from acrylics to charcoal.

While the influence of Dimov made her more disciplined as an artist, it also allowed her to discover exactly what channel of art she liked. Perferring classical techniques, Kay has worked with Dimov to fine tune her skill to this day, now even teaching classes at Ermitage.

“[Ermitage] is an old-school classical Russian academy — my teacher studied in Petersburg and is a very classical painter,” Kay said. “He’s like, ‘You wanna sculpt? Okay let’s do it.’ I grew up with that opportunity and it has helped me break creative roadblocks.”

From expressive brushstrokes to more refined pencil work, Kay has tackled it all and yearns for the opportunity to grow. As an artist, it is not her goal to stop when she is the best, but rather keep chasing after her insatiable hunger for creativity.

Although Kay knew from a young age she wanted to pursue art, she had to face hurdles and discover the type of art she wanted to create.

“I went to UNT for a little while, but I realized I wanted to study more classical techniques, so I started to focus on my own creative path,” Kay said. “I didn’t enjoy the large classroom settings and [so] went to my own private lessons.”

Her journey eventually landed her in Aubrey, Texas, where she settled in a creative dwelling encompassed by nature. Deep in the heart of the forest, Kay surrendered herself to the peace of nature for a year in which she painted and observed the surroundings: nothing yet everything at the same time.

“I learned a lot about life,” Kay said. “If you want to learn about life, go watch a tree in every season. I would just sit there and watch a tree change.”

The air, the trees, the plants and the very ground she stood on all allowed her to breathe in the art that has been part of earth even before the term “art” was even coined.

Now residing in Dallas, Kay has kept those memories alive by hanging a piece she did during her time of making art in nature, out in the woods.

The piece exhibits the beauty of a tree. The texture and gray-blue hues perfectly mold themselves, creating an almost picturesque dreamy quality to life.

“That’s the kind of stuff we miss,” Kay said. “We separate ourselves too much. I felt connected out there. I explored a lot in Aubrey, and now I am taking that freedom and I’m cultivating it into a different body of work.”

Kay’s work, more defined now, has morphed into something new.

Currently working on an Edison light bulb piece that requires a more structured and clean style than her previous pieces, Kay has seemingly bonded the two together.

And at 24 years-old, Kay has had considerable success. From exhibiting art in shows at the age of 13 to commissioning pieces for others, Kay believes she owes her luck to how she was raised.

“I think it doesn’t matter who you are,” Kay said. “ If you want to make art, be humble, truly. I’ve been humbled by great teachers and great friends.”

Currently, Kay has a piece being showcased in Fort Worth at the First Come, First Serve exhibit and has a workshop planned at UNT in April, in which she will be teaching watercolor techniques.

“I’m very proud of her,” Karatetyam said. “It’s her hard work — she is constantly working on herself — trying to do different stuff. Always searching for herself. I am a proud mama.”

Kay has established herself as an artist who aims to overcome every obstacle just to relish in her passion. No matter how hard it is, she continues work toward her shine, just like Andromeda does.

Featured Image: Photos by Will Baldwin

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Sadia Saeed

Sadia Saeed

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