With bright colors and almost-abstract compositions, Salima Sa Feh’s art seems to surge off the canvas. She has a favorite piece in her current show, but doesn’t say which one it is, preferring to let viewers find one that speaks to them. She has several paintings on display at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. The exhibit runs through Sunday, March 2, and hours at the center are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
Where are you from originally? Where are you living now?
I am originally from Algeria. I came here in 1980 on a scholarship for graduate school. I attended UVA and obtained a master degree in chemical engineering. Since 1996 I’ve been working as a software engineer. I live in Reston.
Who are your major artistic influences?
I am self taught so I don’t think I have a particular artistic influence.
Any local community influences in your work? Other influences?
What do you do when you aren’t working on your art?
I work full time as a software engineer and I am a single mom too. I am part of the Reston Runners and enjoy working out, roller blading, cooking etc…
When did you first get inspired to create art? Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?
Unfortunately not, I discovered that I enjoyed painting and art in general when I was forced in a way to stay home because I didn’t have the permit to work back in 1992. That’s when I started experimenting with different mediums and I just loved it.
Where do you do most of your work?
My dream is to have my own studio but that hasn’t happened yet so I just paint at home, usually surrounded by storage boxes, washer and dryer but they all disappear as soon as I start painting. When I work on big pieces my living room, dining room my whole house in a way become my studio.
What do you listen to when you work? Is it reflected in the work you create?
That depends on the day I guess but in general I listen to soft music just in the background, because once I start painting I almost don’t hear or see anything else but my canvas.
Favorite medium to use and why?
I started with pastel and I really liked it because of the feel of control. Lately I’ve been working with acrylics and I love it. I haven’t had a chance to really experiment with oil painting because of the lack of a studio. So I guess that’s something I haven’t discovered yet.
What would you consider the theme of the exhibit?
I like to call it “The Wonders of the Artful Colors.”
What do you hope viewers get out of the show?
I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating the paintings. For more information please check my Web site: www.safehart.com.
Sa Feh Art is the combination of part of my first name and last name and the two of them sounds in French as “Ça Fait Art.”
Do you have a favorite piece in the exhibit?
Actually, I do, but I let the viewers discover their own or at least I hope so.