Our HOF of October is artist @AntoineKhanji who reinterprets the nature and creates a new world with his own way.
Let us begin an interview with the artist to explore @AntoineKhanji’s world of art.
We are from PENUP team.
You’ve been selected as our HOF of October.
Please tell us how you feel.
Hi, it was a total surprise and a shock when I started getting all those congratulation messages and I did not know why at first, then I realized that I was selected for the HOF of October.
It is such an honor and a privilege to be among those great artists such as @Hanne, @Vlad, @zifzif, @nuni, @Zak, @TitusCrow, @Koo, @Abex, @Mariella to name just a few and many others.
Those great artists are the backbone of PENUP, and their wonderful artwork and inspiration push me to do more and to reach my potential as an artist.
Please introduce yourself.
I am a 58 year old Canadian, married for 31 years, my wife Anne (a French teacher) and I are blessed with two wonderful young adults, a daughter, Cynthia (28), holder of a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Montreal and a son, Alexandre (21), who is studying at the University of Montreal majoring in Economics and Mathematics.
I work in Hartford, CT, USA as a systems analyst for one of the top Re/insurance companies in the world and have been working for that company as a consultant for 20 years.
I commute back and forth from Hartford to Montreal, Quebec every week.
I have been drawing and painting since a very young age, maybe when I was 3 or 4 years old and my first oil painting was at the age of 8.
I learnt drawing and painting by observing my father who was a hobby artist, spent hundreds of hours watching him paint and learnt so many things about art from him, and I learnt to be patient while painting and how to pay special attention to details from my mom.
I had my first oil painting exhibition at Bishop's University back in 1984 when I was 24 and I sold most of my paintings which enabled me to pay for my tuition fees for that particular year.
It’s been a year since you’ve joined PENUP.
Thank you for your continued commitment in PENUP.
From your profile, it seems your career is not related to art. How did you get to start PENUP? Also, could you please tell us the device and the drawing tool that you mainly use?
I started using PENUP application and platform when I got my first Samsung 8 smartphone,
I always thought digital art was not something I would be interested in, but how wrong I was.
Using PENUP application is a hassle-free application and very user friendly.
I can draw and paint anywhere I want, whatever I want and can make changes to the paintings without waiting for the paintings to dry, what a relief.
My wife and children bought me a Samsung tablet 3 last Christmas, so now I have more space and multiple applications to choose from for my drawings such as ArtRage, Art Studio or ArtFlow.
“Nature” is something that is easily seen in your artworks.
The nature as it is – landscape, birds, trees and fish – will become the topic of your artworks.
Through the nature, we can feel the leisure and the beauty, as well as awe. How did you get to draw nature?
Drawing nature whether in its real form or in its imaginary form is my passion, I find my subjects every time I take a moment to pause and reflect and since I have been travelling from US to Canada every week, I travel through the Adirondack National Park in New York state and there where I get inspired.
The mountains, lakes, rivers, sunsets are divine. Sometimes I take pictures of those sceneries and paint them later or if I have the time while having a break, I draw them on the spot.
Do you like traveling? We get indirect experiences to new travel sites through your artworks.
It is just so meaningful to draw the travel experiences. The memories will last long too. Could you please tell us the most impressive travel site and the artwork?
I have travelled to many countries and places with my parents when I was a teenager, lived in Greece, France, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, USA and Canada, that is why many of those places are found in my drawings, they are just memories from my childhood.
The most impressive travel sites were from Greece, a country with such a rich history and diverse and colorful nature.
Visited so many islands while living in Greece between 1975-1976.
The island of Mykonos was my favorite place where 16th century windmills are still in use.
The island has so many beaches, Paradise and Super Paradise beaches offer an incredible experience to whomever wants to experience the Aegean Sea and what it has to offer.
When we look around your gallery, there is something more to your artwork style beyond just drawing realistically.
There are also works that show abstract drawings and that use basic shapes like dots, lines and sides.
There is much creative energy around your works.
Please tell us more about it.
Art is all about FREEDOM, freedom from the known.
That is why I venture to use different styles, whether being realistic or unrealistic such as (Green skies, purple waves, etc.).
That is why you will find sometimes abstract drawings using dots, lines and shapes in my artwork.
There is no limit to the human imaginations and that what I try to convey in my paintings.
Since your joining PENUP, there seems to be a change in artwork style, and you seem to work on new expression styles.
Is there any style or topic you want to try?
My style changes with time, and what makes life more exciting and interesting is that I have no idea what comes next.
I try to express my feelings the moment I draw.
I want people to first hear, touch, taste, smell my drawings and last but not least see my paintings.
My favorite artists are Vincent Van Gogh, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Joanne Corneau (Corno), and Salvador Dali and as you can see, those artists have different styles which influenced the way I interpret the subjects in my drawings.
I cannot say that I have any particular style because I do not want to limit myself, and the way I draw is a manifestation of that fact.
Every day is a new day for me.
Although your career may not be related to art, you may find vitality through artworks and feel joy through new attempts.
Could you please give an advice to the user who likes artwork that they want to learn or draw but have not yet made the attempt?
My advice to all the users who like artwork but never tried to draw or paint is that there is no right or wrong way in drawings, there are some rules preferably to be followed such as perspectives, light and shadows and so on, but be imaginative and DO NOT worry about what others say or comment.
Art is something that is unique to each individual and what you may find bizarre or different in an artwork, may well be beautiful and exquisite to someone else.
When you do paint your first chef-d'oeuvre, please let me know so I will be the first to like it.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Chinese proverb
At PENUP, many users interact with each other through drawings and connect themselves through digital drawing,
Is there any episode that most memorable to you at PENUP?
I totally agree that many users interact with each others through drawings and connect through digital drawings, I made so many friends and I personally communicated with many artists on your platform, what an enriching experience.
One of the episodes that most memorable to me was when the artwork of one of my favorite artists @hanne was being reported by someone on the platform, and the artwork was deleted a few times.
Those events should not happen before being investigated thoroughly, it is not fair for the artists to be reported and their work being deleted.
Lastly, is there any idea or recommendation for PENUP for the platform to make people interact through drawings and create a total new community?
Lastly, I have a recommendation to make in order for the platform on PENUP to make people interact is to have a private group on Facebook where users can communicate among themselves and where new members feel that they belong to a larger community of artists.
And before I forget, how about bringing back the gifts for the bi-monthly challenges, that was something that I really miss.
Thank you again for the HOF nomination of October.
IT FEELS GREAT.
The interview with @AntoineKhanji was an opportunity for us to learn about the artist’s view on nature and the world of art.
How about giving more attention to the landscape that surrounds you,
which you have never thought deeply of,
and draw as you want to feel the small delight in daily life?
Fun, Express, Share!
-The PENUP Team