A Botanical Painting Artist from Palestine: Lois Nakhleh

Majdi Habash

After retiring from a long career in nursing I was asked to help a friend decorate a café in Ramallah. Circumstances relating to the closures of Ramallah in 1997 required me to stencil the design pattern I had asked a Jerusalem friend to do.  During the long hours of attempting to do something, which I had never done before, I realized it was the most wonderful experience of my life. From that point on I searched for an adult education class to learn how to paint. Luckily there was an introductory class offered at Al- Wasiti Center in Jerusalem. From there, with the use of art instruction books, I proceeded to learn thru experience the challenge of watercolor painting. Soon I was painting nearly every day; absorbed in the process of challenging myself to accomplish the medium.

Botanical Artist Lois Nakhleh to the left and Morgan Cooper the director of Mashjar Juthour to the right.

In 2000 I and Joan Musgrave embarked on a project to raise awareness of the wonderful and disappearing wild flowers of our region. Due to the eruption of the 2nd intifada, it was a difficult time to be talking about flowers. But as is in Palestine, no matter how difficult the times are we all continue. Luckily the Sakakini Center became interested in the project and with the funding from the Heinrich Boll Foundation we were able to produce 2 separate educational calendars 2004 and 2006 and also a poster.

 Botanical Illustrations Prints

It is with great pleasure that we present these original series to the caretaking of Birzeit University Museum. Go to collection here.

As a result of painting the calendar flowers in a botanical manner, I continued to enjoy this form of work and continued on eventually feeling confident to say I was a botanical painter. I am a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), and I have been highlighted twice in the Journal. I also love to paint animals and so prefer to call myself a painter of nature. I usually work in the medium of watercolor but recently I limited myself to using colored pencils in an attempt to master this medium as well. I now use the 2 interchangeably and together.

I am most content painting in a documentary manner. I love the research involved with each subject and am not satisfied until I feel I have demonstrated a true representation of my subject which relates a story about it. I become so excited by the knowledge I gain. It is difficult for me not to share little bits with anyone who will listen. I also love to continually present myself with new challenges. Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and I intend to continue this exciting experience as long as I can. I am now 68yrs old and time will be my adversary but not my enemy!

Contemporary nature painting involves the challenge of engaging the viewer with a beautiful and different painting as well as using all the challenges of modern materials and methods available.   

Check out our collection of Botanical Art here. Prints are available in postcard size, A4 and 15x15cm. And we can also print other sizes, but we need some extra time ;).



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