Not many artists can say that their earnings come from art related income. For Masoud Habibyan, art is his career. He has dedicated his entire life to a multitude of arts, through a wide range of artistic fields. Recently, he has been teaching drawing and oil painting classes during the week, as well as painting commissioned portrait orders on the side, and does even more painting for galleries and shows. That’s not all though, since music also plays a big part in Masoud’s life. He can be found playing the accordion in a band named Araz Music Ensemble, which have toured venues and concerts in Edmonton and Saskatoon for the last eight years.
After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design in 2000, Masoud worked as an Animation Project Manager for a broadcasting company, winning himself awards from NHK in France, and the Animo Festival in Japan.
He tells us, “Most part of my knowledge in painting comes from my mentor, and renowned artist Daniel Gerhartz. I first participated in his workshops in 2010, where he then accepted to mentor me. I travelled to Wisconsin, USA, and started learning from him in his studio, which spawned our collaboration project: The Beginnings of Autumn, a six-hour instructional video which I had the privilege of filming and editing.”
He credits his biggest influence to be his mentor, Daniel Gerhartz, but throughout the years, Masoud has been inspired by old masters such as Ilya Repin, Sargent and the French Impressionists, telling us that he spends time daily looking and studying works for some contemporary artists.
With over 100 educational painting DVD’s, it is possible that Masoud may have the largest collection of such videos in the world. He has spent the last three years studying almost all of these videos, practicing and digesting all the information from famous master artists of oil painting and drawing around the world.
His art can be best described as realism, but he prefers not to attach himself to a specific art movement, allowing himself the freedom to develop his own style of painting. He emphasises that this does not mean that he is creating a new still, but merely that he is finding his own language, which could be a unique brush style and art that his audience could recognize in a group exhibition.
Smell Of Spring
With an interest in the 18th and 19th century era, many of Masoud’s paintings reflect a charming perceptiveness in time. He is often influenced by a scene or the story in a movie – especially those depicting what daily life may have been like in during those periods.
He says, “My interest in art started as a child growing up in a family of artists, including my uncles. I started drawing at the age of five and drew everything in sight, pens and pencils were my toys in early years.”
At the age of eleven, something interesting happened that changed his life. His school teacher handed out a modelling book with an image of a horse’s head for the kids in the class to look at and copy. When she saw Masoud’s drawing, she accused him of cheating by tracing from the book, slapped him, and sent him out of the classroom. Soon after, she realized she was mistaken, noticing slight differences, and she came out of the class in tears, hugging him and apologized. Masoud tells us this was a turning point for him, confirming he had talent to draw and a gift for art. From then onward, his teacher became one of his greatest supporters.
He recently painted a portrait of Dr. Moridi, Ministry of Research and Innovation. Masoud tells us art is his friend, and he explains, “I can stay in my studio and paint for weeks without seeing anybody, but as soon as I am out of my studio I like to be with friends and my family. Even I cannot exercise alone, it will be painful for me and I prefer to participate in group activities like playing volleyball. But when it comes to art and painting, there is no limitation being and working alone.” Painting mainly in oils, he also works with pastel, as well as charcoal and pencil. He can be found drawing for a couple hours a week to maintain his skill of drawing from life models.
The collection of portraits on exhibit this month, are painted scenes of people, and a romanticized lifestyle you would expect to find in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Masoud believes it was a time when life would have been simpler, and our world was a better place to live.
Find more of Masoud’s artworks on his website: www.masoudh.com.
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere