Rassouli is a mystic artist who has come to the attention of the international art world in recent years. What makes his art so unique is the way he translates spiritual experience from his subconscious onto canvas through meditation. With vibrant hues, Rassouli produces joyful color blends and circular brushwork that distinguishes his painting technique, which he defines as Fusionart, a style derived from mysticism, near-eastern spirituality, and a foundation in European painting technology.
Can you tell me more about how you create your art?
I usually begin a painting on a black canvas, starting with acrylic paints. I then keep on playing and playing until images that I like begin to show up. From then on, I use oils to edit the images and complete the painting.
At what point in your life did you start thinking of yourself as an artist?
I began to paint from early childhood. During the college years, I studied fine arts, but continued to receive a Master’s Degree in architecture due to the notion that it would be difficult to make a living as an artist. After practicing architecture for 15 years, I finally followed the love of my heart and became a full time artist. I was 45 years old then.
How would you describe your spirituality?
As a child, I grow up in a family of mystics. My uncle was a Sufi mystic and he was the one who introduced me to the spiritual realm. My nursery rhymes were then poetry of Hafiz, Rumi and Kabir. My entire life has been connected directly with mysticism.
How does your spirituality find expression in your art?
When I begin a painting, I have no idea about what I’m going to create. I surrender to the power that is guiding me from within my heart. My images are not taken from reality. They are spirits of the physical realm.
Can you share a story of how creating your art expanded your awareness of God?
Every painting of mine reflects the Divine Power. It is the power that drives from within, not a God who is somewhere out there in the heavens and gets pissed all the time. Every canvas is a story of my connection with the Divine Energy.
How do you connect with divine flow when you are creating?
My connection with the Divine begins with destruction. I eliminate whatever blocks my getting into the flow. My achievement is when I have become a “Block-buster.”
How do you connect differently to your creative source when you work solo versus when you are collaborating with others?
They are two completely different processes. When I paint alone in my studio, I am surrendering to my heart. When I paint with the group, I surrender to the energy of the group. Their energy guides me!
How do ideas come to you?
I do not start a painting with sketches, I do not paint on location and I do not work from photos. Instead, many mornings, before the dawn, I climb a mountain to its peak. There, sitting in solitude, I observe rising of the sun. I watch plants open their leaves, buds tear up their dresses and birds sing to the arrival of their creator. There is an interconnected serenity that allows all creatures to experience the divine unity.
Having felt that creative energy, I rush to my studio, dip my brush into paint, and let it move freely on canvas.
How do you decide which ideas to pursue?
When the canvas is covered with paint, I sit down several feet away from it and look at the canvas for as long of the time as it needs to see images showing up in the colors. If I don’t find any image, I keep on turning the canvas around and around until I find what images attract me. I pursue developing the images, but most of the time, even that image transforms to new ones.
If you were going to teach your creative process to someone else, what would be one or two of the key things you would share?
Two key ideas that I am teaching emerging artists are:
- Do not ever try to make a painting. Just play on the canvas until you are done.
- Do not impose your ideas to the canvas. Treat it as if you are making love with the canvas. Let the canvas guide you rather than forcing your ideas on it.
How has your art affected your spiritual evolution or spiritual evolution affected your art?
My art is about unity. I call it Fusionart. It is the art that is the opposite of so called “…ism.” In my paintings, I fuse the opposites together. I cannot distinguish if my life has affected my art or the reverse.
How can our readers find out more about you and your work?
Just google “Rassouli” and you will be able to see many sites reflecting my art, or type in “Rassouli” on YouTube and watch many videos. My official web site is www.Rassouli.com and the gallery that feature my art is: www.AvatarFineArts.com
With the Art as Worship radio show on hiatus, we’ll continue to feature artists using their written words to describe the connection between their art and their spirituality. Access the Art as Worship radio interviews on Empower Radio. Listen to an encore presentation of an artist’s interviews each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio. Like us on Facebook at Art as Worship, then share your art and comments. Contact Vanessa Lowry at vlowry (@) gmail.com if you would like to be a featured artist on Art as Worship. Namaste!