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Ata Alishahi Ata Alishahi Artisan
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Ata Alishahi

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I am a Canadian fine artist and photographer. My interest in photography began at a young age, with people and mountainous rural landscapes being of particular interest. Ever since then I have been in love with the camera, focusing on learning, then adapting technique and design to suit my inner vision. When digital technology was introduced to the world, I saw unlimited creative possibility and set about educating myself in computer design and software application. Eventually this expertise combined with my innate creativity and I began designing websites. In the process I taught myself to use a variety of software and this naturally led to expanding my photographic endeavours into the new field of digital art.

My preferred program is Corel Painter IX, which allows me to appreciate the method and attain similar results without having to master brushes and pigments, I incorporates Adobe Photoshop CS with Painter IX, having found the two are not only compatible but highly complimentary. I want to thank both Corel and Adobe for developing such powerful technology and making it available, which have added new frontiers to my artistic vision.

My Background


I began developing my life long interest in photography at the age of 10 and from that point onward I have been fascinated with the medium. My first subjects were character studies of friends, family and interesting people I encountered, but also the natural world. In particular, I focused my lens on rural and mountainous regions I love. Being in the natural world, connecting with earth and heaven bring me the serenity visible in each image I create.

My photography is self taught, learning through many years of study, research, experimentation and experience not only the technical aspects of photography and computer, but the creative side: design and presentation. I enjoy exhibiting my work and talking with other creative people. Most importantly, I recreates what is beautiful and precious to me, sharing this vision of peace and serenity with others of similar vision.

My Artist Statement

When I make art, whatever my medium, I enter an internal world of light and creativity, and I escape the external world of shadow and destruction. While I am painting, I not only live in this light-filled world, I create it. In this sense, I have always made art for myself: to alleviate my own suffering and the painful memories of the war and violence I witnessed, even as a child. Yet although this work is therapeutic for me, my finished pieces also ask the viewer to join me in experiencing these beautiful worlds, and celebrating the triumph of light and color over darkness.

I paint with the same precision and techniques that traditional artists use, but via the digital medium. I became fascinated with digital technologies during my work in the computer industry. I educated myself in the software that enabled me to make art using this extraordinary new method. Although I prefer this medium, I recognize that every visual image, regardless of how it was made, is primarily a message, a story to be told and interpreted.

My work tells the story of a world without darkness—a world that the viewer longs to enter. My goal is to depict the opposite of destruction: peace, order, love and light.

Although there is always an awareness of shadows in my art, it is for the purpose of contrast only. In the same way that I choose to focus on positive thoughts, I choose to feed these thoughts with visual representations of beauty, innocence and color: qualities that I believe are best represented by the natural world and the female form. For this reason, the three dominant subjects in my work are women, nature and animals. These three entities have suffered most at the hands of mankind’s greed, and I use intense colors to redeem their suffering and capture their sublime beauty.

Brilliant colors are a hallmark of my work. Color is a language unto itself, and I use this language to speak to the soul and calm the mind. Because every color is some combination of pure darkness (black) and pure light (white), the bold use of color in my pieces represents the way that all experiences—good and bad—can combine to create something beautiful.

Often, we have no choice in whether or not we are exposed to suffering, but we all have a choice in how we respond to suffering. When I was suffering, I was immersed in darkness, always seeking light. Art has shown me that light. I choose to make art and in this way, I choose to fight darkness and pain.

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