Different Dialogues : Ms. Patricia Al Fakhri

In conversation with Ms. Patricia Al Fakhri – water-colourist based in Dubai and England.
Educational background: Degree in Nursing from UK and Diploma in Nursing from University of London.

I came to realize that I was meeting up with my friend, Patricia Al Fakhri after a gap of several long years. To understand why, was jointly exclaimed by both of us with the mutual excitable reaction of: How time flies!

From a high elevation, the rousing view from Patricia’s apartment in Dubai provides the apparent proof of how she gets the ready inspiration to bring out the colours of landscapes and seascapes. At the same time when Patricia is at work from her home, the rich notes of Beethoven, Chopin play in the background with the intention to show how much light and enjoyment they can put into her brush strokes.The artist diligently spends half of her day sketching and painting.

We discussed in length, the past and her immediate present standing side by side to compare Patricia’s artistic career. Coming from a medical background of 20 years, Patricia worked as a Director of Nursing, in the Ministry of Health in Dubai. All that changed when she lost her mother in 1985. The grief and desolation drove her to discover the fantastic talent she possessed lying dormant within her. Under the guidance of Margaret Henderson (a well-established artist in Dubai from New Zealand), Patricia accumulated step by step the creative power in her to paint. She says she did not have to experiment again and again to find her direction or preferences concerning the medium she would apply on canvas or paper. In the flow of movement, she liked the choice of water-colours the most! Patricia is basically a water-colourist at heart, though she sometimes uses acrylic and pastels. She also gives herself the freedom to use different techniques of the brush for her water-colours. One is justified in admiring Patricia’s work because she gives you plenty of examples of her versatility.

The momentum of Patricia’s growth in the world of art is not only supplied by the demand for her paintings – it has all got to do a lot with her basic attitude towards life. She finds a new reason everyday to determine the value of remaining constructive and positive. The use of this philosophy makes her spontaneous, practical and business friendly. An enterprising artist – between 1987–2011, Patricia has been actively engaged in solo exhibitions, group shows; she has been involved in a fair deal of projects – be it for public buildings, children’s books, greeting cards or calendars. Patricia has been connected with Dubai International Art Centre – in the capacity of an art student, art exhibitionist and an art teacher for more than 30 years.

Q 1. What has been the turning point of your life?
A. There is more than one turning point in my life. But, I suppose the move to Dubai from U.K after my marriage was a big turning point. And then, after a 20 years career in nursing, following a course in water-colours at the Dubai International Art Center. This changed my direction completely from medicine to art.

Q 2. If you could go back in time, what would you want to do?
A. More travelling.

Q 3. What are your future dreams?
A. Now I am in my sixties, I feel that it is important to keep on developing oneself and keep learning new things. For example, I have become interested in the restoration of antique water-colours.

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Geeta Chhabra

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