About the Artist

My work can be described as mundane surrealism. I love to express myself in every artistic way. Painting allows me to verbalize the way I imagine and perceive life. My colour palette is rich with the various metaphors necessary to communicate my imagination.

Marie-Emily Sendrea is a native of Bucharest, Romania, and has received degrees in Fine Arts in Romania and Canada. As an artist in Europe, Sendrea offered her work for sale in group and solo shows. Her paintings hang in businesses, institutions and private homes in Italy, France, Israel, Hungary, Austria, Romania, the United States and Canada. After she came to Canada in 1981 from Paris, her work went through a transition from realistic simplicity and uniformity to surrealistic diversification and most recently she adopted a subjective realist way of expressing her inner thoughts. She is influenced by the work of Emily Carr, Diego Rivera and Salvador Dali.

A closer examination of the artist's work raises a most frequently posed question: "What master influenced you the most?" There is a long list of masters who deserve credit and who helped shape the artist as she embarked on understanding the mysteries of art.

Recognized as a "gifted child" and after receiving multiple awards as a young artist, her talent continued to develop in an art school in Bucharest, Romania. The school, which fostered young talent, afforded the artist numerous opportunities to be exposed to the art of the most famous Romanian artists such as N. Grigorescu, C. Baba, S. Luchian, N. Tonitza, C. Brincusi, T. Aman and others.

After an extended period of inactivity, she was once again inspired upon coming into contact with a talented fashion designer. With newly acquired motivation, she began to create artwork rooted in various forms of folk art. Later, her inspiration would come from the monochromatic portrayal of silhouettes in the Christian themes of Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian and Roman artwork.

Words from the Artist

As a young mother of three, I still managed to exhibit my art in solo and group shows and I was able to produce a large number of watercolors and oil paintings. I was highly encouraged by the fact that my artwork was sought after by and sold to people from different countries such as Italy, France, Israel, Hungary and Austria and not only Romania.

Moving to France was the greatest experience of my life. Paris was the place that deepened my understanding of art. As an ‘in search of a new style artist’, I tried to framework a unique technique that would ease
my transition from ‘innocent realism’ to ‘mundane surrealism’. That transition showed immediate results and heightened my satisfaction. The more galleries I visited in France, Belgium and Holland the more fulfilled I felt. Where I was previously completely captured by the French artist, Gustave Moreau’s elaborate fantasies and detailed representation, I was gradually falling in love with Renaissance art. I was especially moved by the artists’ freedom in their choice of subject matter. Georges de La Tour’s way of manipulating light and Botticelli’s transparent floating impressed me enormously and I later tried to emulate some of these masters’ tricks in my own paintings. My visits to the Louvre Museum in Paris gave me enormous satisfaction, but it also confused me a great deal. The impact of seeing Mona Lisa’s smile was so great that I promised myself that one day I would paint “my own Mona Lisa.” Leonardo da Vinci’s new concept of reality and beauty, Raphael’s clear interpretation of concept and Michelangelo Buonarroti’s architectural representation of forms and space led me to spend hours hunched over my drafts and sketches. In trying to reproduce Titian’s red I discovered the seductive play between red and green colours, a play which I use in almost all my paintings. Needless to say that the more I saw and learned from the old and contemporary famous artists the more baffled I became. I stumbled between modern techniques and the amazing technical procedures of the Renaissance artists. Thus, for years, I considered my style as having no definition; I felt lost among trends. My enthusiasm diminished gradually and it was about to die for the second time, if not for another major change in my life.

Moving again, this time to Canada, my first concern was to settle into our new country, and evidently, my artwork was put aside once more — but not for long. I visited galleries and tried to contact Canadian artists, thinking to find a place for me in the art community, but unfortunately, my future as an artist in the new country appeared dim. After graduating from the University of Waterloo, I embarked on an intense study of the art of the masters, intending to find a place and definition for my own style.

This led me to the discovery of El Greco’s unique representation of bodies and movement. Traces of his ‘out of proportion bodies’ can also be seen in my paintings. Nicolas Poussin’s rich and mature art influenced me notably and I also worked hard to combine his methods with Emily Carr’s throbbing movement of vivid colours. Dali’s “art of illogical” and Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical forms caught my attention in a special manner. I recognize and admit that, since my initial exposure to his artwork and until this day, Dali continues to be my teacher and mentor. A short time ago, I accidentally discovered the attractiveness offered by the minuscule holes found in porous surfaces and textures — something that can be seen in Max Ernst’s paintings. I kept on practicing, endeavouring to improve upon this effect. In doing so, I was striving to achieve the effects of the Viennese artist Gustav Klimt in his richly ornamented overlays. All this effort was made while being mindful of the importance of definition as can be seen in the artwork of the Argentinean artist Leonor Fini.

Over the years in Ontario, Canada, my art was exhibited in the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and various venues in Windsor and Leamington, in-group or solo. Concurrently, I offered art classes in my private studio to students of all ages. In July of 1989, I had the honour of presenting then-US president George Bush with one of my paintings. In his response letter, Mr. Bush expressed his appreciation for my “symbolic painting.”

In 1990 I graduated from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Education. As I applied myself in teaching art, I felt both hopelessness and satisfaction. While in the classroom, my mind was back in my studio, and I was constantly tormented by my lack of time to work on my unfinished paintings. The most encouraging moments I encountered while working with my students were the hours spent on various art projects, sponsored by both Ontario Art Council and Royal Conservatory of Music, when, as an in-residence-artist, I worked with gifted students on murals and installations.

I presently devote my entire time to my artwork, striving to get “that next exquisite technique and style” capable to describe impressively my allegories. When my lack of inspiration prevents me from displaying my allegories on canvas, I apply my creativity in writing novels. My first novel “The Price; stop my time, I want to get off” was published in 1997. The second novel “Witness to my Judgement” is currently in the hands of a literary agent and should be published soon. My third writing, a non- fiction book, was published in Romanian in 2010.

The message to the admirers of my artwork is none other than Klimt’s statement:

“Whoever wants to know something about me — as an artist, the only notable thing — ought to look carefully at my pictures and try to see in them what I am and want to do”