SOUTHINGTON - The art of local artist Necla Balasaygun, which includes oil paintings that incorporate pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds to create 3-D textures, will be displayed at the Barnes Museum starting April 4.
A reception will be held at 6 p.m. April 4 at the museum, 85 N. Main St.
Balasaygun, originally from Turkey, came to the U.S. in 1987 and previously lived in San Diego, Savannah, Ga., New Jersey and Bristol before moving to Southington a little over a year ago.
Her art, which focuses on themes of nature and landscapes, has previously been displayed at the Southington Library, Southington Community Cultural Arts, the University of Connecticut Health Center and other venues. She also participated in a workshop in Italy with artist William McCarthy.
“I started with watercolor painting at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey and I started oil painting in 1997,” said Balasaygun. “One day, when I was eating a cantaloupe and cleaning up the seeds, I thought to myself ‘How does God create these? They look just like leaves.’ Then, inspiration hit me. I’ve been making art with this medium since 2001 and as far as I know, no one else is doing it like this.”
Balasaygun explained her process of cleaning the seeds and applying them to a painting, layer by layer, with wood glue. Then, she colors them to resemble leaves on a tree. Her paintings incorporate a variety of shades and lighting.
“I love all four seasons,” she said. “I like snow and ice and I like the spring. It’s why I come to New England.”
Balasaygun said sometimes she will paint a specific place, but she might add animals or trees to bring additional life to a scene. Other times, she will paint from her imagination. Some of her artwork also features old sailing ships.
“Some paintings take two weeks, others a month, and others I create working six, seven, or even eight hours straight,” said Balasaygun. “My painting takes a bit longer because I include a lot of detail.”
Once Balasaygun’s art is up for display at the museum, she said some of it may be available for purchase. Prospective buyers can contact her at 860-681-9588.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.