Tue | Jul 14, 2020

Brush strokes inspired by life

Published:Sunday | April 21, 2019 | 12:00 AMAmitabh Sharma
Desreen Daley, talent management associate at JMMB Limited and self taught artist, focuses primarily on abstract art, uses her emotions and draws inspiration from her environment in general.
Desreen Daley, poses with one of her creations.
Some of the works of self-taught artist Desreen Daley, who uses abstract to engage the audience in convesations.
Paintings of self-taught artist Desreen Daley.
Amitabh Sharma

Life is a canvas in many ways. Its blankness inspires numerous creative minds to ip their brushes into the palette, swirl to mix colour, and express their inner thoughts with a stroke of swift movements. But the key is, as summarised by Thomas Alva Edison, the critical mass of the one per cent of inspiration has to seamlessly complement the 99 per cent of perspiration. It is only then the light bulbs will glow.

In essence, whatever one does – one’s purpose – this is the word by which Desreen Daley says she swears and lives by.

“I am born with a purpose. That’s my Mantra,” she says. “I believe it is the things that excite us most and invoke that deep sense of fulfilment – things that we can do all day and that influences others in a positive way that truly unveil purpose in our life.”

Some profound words from this young self-taught artist, who has a day job as a human resources professional, from the realms of her cubicle into the metaphysical plane of endless creativity.

“I am very passionate about supporting others with charting the best path for their career and life,” says Daley, talent management associate at JMMB Limited, adding that she was equally passionate about painting, cooking, designing, and decorating.

“I deeply enjoy doing them, and in the right time, I intend to passionately pursue them all,” she said. Her abstracts, she says, tell a story – blending colours to evoke emotions and build conversations.

Her life experiences have fuelled these conversations, too. Whatever she does, Daley said, goes back to the beginnings.

“I believe this is so important to me,” she said. “Where I started and where I am today is just a glimpse of what is in store for my life.”

The daughter of a taxi driver, Daley has risen from ground up, acquiring a degree from The University of the West Indies, a human resources professional, and now an artist … and much more to come.

Began with pixie

Daley’s love affair with the visual arts began in 2015 during their annual Christmas Pixie Treat, wherein each team member was tasked with creating a treat for his or her pixie. She gravitated toward a sculpture, and it dawned upon her to re-create it.

“I thought to myself, ‘Why not create something similar’,” she said. “I took a picture of the sculpture, purchased all I thought I needed to paint, and that night I painted. I painted all night, having not painted before.”

This venture came with its share of backbreaking physical labour, which Daley said was more rejuvenating than painful.

“Painting that night gave me life,” she said. “I continued over the next few days to add finishing touches until I was satisfied that it would be something my pixie would appreciate.”

The hard work, she shared, reaped rewards. “When the gift was unveiled, my pixie, Kaydia Tomlinson, was in tears and the wider team was in awe …,” said Daley.

Her inner artist was initiated. But she could not paint for the next two years, and the Eureka moment, as in the case of any creative thought process, came unexpectedly in December of 2017.

“I was consumed in a sea of emotions waiting to be unleashed, so one Saturday, I got out of bed, collected my tools from the office – which stayed there since my first painting in 2015 – bought canvas and I painted my second work of art,” Daley said.

One of her team members named the painting Tranquil, which, according to Daley, was apt as the whole process gave her inner peace. This was also the catalyst to kick-start her romance with the palette, paints, brushes, and canvas.

Not looked back

Daley has not looked back since. She said that she got a lot of positive feedback for her second painting and checked in to find out if she was creating more works.

“They have been a constant fuel to this passion of mine,” she said.

In July 2018, she mounted her debut showcase – D’Gallery – at the JMMB Nursery, which was for the viewing pleasure of her team members. She latched on to the social media bandwagon by creating an Instagram page (@dgalleryja) to showcase her work, which is being appreciated and sold.

The constant flow of positive feedback, Daley said, has been a driving force for her to make this vision into reality, the next steps of which are diversification into other nuances of the arts.

“I am a possibility thinker, and so beyond the sky is the limit for my art,” Daley said. For this young artist, the journey has just begun and the hues on the canvas are evolving and maturing with every brushstroke.

Her journey thus far has been a manifestation of the power of divine forces behind her.

“Look at God, though,” she said.