Nackeshia Tomlinson, Gleaner Writer
WARMINSTER, St Elizabeth:MULTI-TALENTED ORAL Farquharson, otherwise known as 'Zala', is a painter. His love of art began early as he started to draw from a tender age.
It was in high school that he received the opportunity to improve upon his talent. He credits his intuitive art teacher for that period of development and direction.
"My teacher was always painting, and I was always around him. He noticed that I really liked painting, so he said that if I really wanted to learn, I should come and see him during break time and lunchtime, so I did." Farquharson recounted.
Although the time for the tutoring was short, his teacher taught him a number of key things such as the importance of being focused, putting in a lot of practice, and taking as much time as was required to complete a painting.
Farquharson said family members and friends encouraged him when he started to paint and have continued to do so. All of those experiences have paved the way for his entry into the field in 2005, when he took up painting, along with farming. In 2010, he took the bold decision to pursue art as his sole livelihood.
LOVE FOR ART
Farquharson told The Gleaner, "Art is my passion ... . I love art more and more each day."
He describes his paintings as "imaginative compositions" because a lot of his work is unscripted and comes from his imagination. Although the ideas come naturally, he is also inspired by books, movies, and socialising. In addition, Farquharson said, "A lot of time, being in the streets, the meditation come in mi head and mi leave di road same time and come sketch it out."
He told The Gleaner that his favourite depictions are country scenes of old Jamaica, which are usually commissioned by those who might feel a bit nostalgic, or those wanting to see early aspects of past Jamaican life. Farquharson prefers to use bright colours, which, he said, give his work high- visual impact.
He enjoys a varied customer base as he gets business both in and out of St Elizabeth. He disclosed that he is usually asked by his clients to do portraits, scenic paintings, posters, and to make signs. He added that he has even found a small niche to market his paintings as he is a regular supplier of at least 20 pieces per month to a craft vendor in Negril.
An upbeat Farquharson told The Gleaner that he has encountered a number of challenges, for example customers wanting to renegotiate the delivery price upon completion of a piece even when they are satisfied. At times, he experiences slow periods at the outlet from which he sells in Negri; however, he regards these times as trivial and is looking forward to the future, continuing his painting and seguing into the performance arts as he is also an aspiring artiste.