SOUTHINGTON – Local artist Necla Balasaygun’s artwork, which include oil paintings that incorporate pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds to create 3-D textures, will be displayed at The Barnes Museum starting April 4.
A reception for the gallery will be held at 6 p.m. April 4 at the museum at 85 N. Main St.
Balasaygun, originally from Turkey, came to the U.S. in 1987 and previously lived in San Diego, Savannah, Georgia, New Jersey and Bristol before coming to town a little over a year ago. Her art, which focuses on themes of nature and landscapes, has previously been displayed at Southington Library, Southington Community Cultural Arts, the UConn Health Center and other venues. She also did a workshop in Italy with artist William McCarthy.
“I started with watercolor painting at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey and I started oil painting in 1997,” said Balasaygun. “One day, when I was eating a cantaloupe and cleaning up the seeds, I thought to myself ‘how does God create these? They look just like leaves.’ Then, inspiration hit me. I’ve been making art with this medium since 2001 and as far as I know, no one else is doing it like this.”
Balasaygun explained her process of cleaning the seeds and applying them to a painting, layer by layer, with wood glue. Then, she colors them to resemble leaves on a tree. Her paintings incorporate a variety of shades and lighting.
“I love all four seasons,” she said. “I like snow and ice and I like the spring. It’s why I came to New England.”
Balasaygun said that sometimes she will paint a specific place, but she might add animals or trees to bring additional life to a scene. Other times, she will paint from her imagination. Some of her artwork also features old sailing boats.
“Some paintings take two weeks, others a month, and others I create working six, seven, or even eight hours straight,” said Balasaygun. “My painting takes a bit longer because I include a lot of detail.”
Once Balasaygun’s art is up for display at The Barnes Museum, she said that some of it may be available for purchase. Those interested in purchasing her art can contact her at 860-681-9588.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.