In fact, Ester Roi, born and raised in Vicenza, Italy, some 40km west of Venice and now living in California, presently working mainly with wax-based coloured pencils, has created a form of art that is characterised by brilliant colours and accurate detail. Her subjects are mostly rocks and flowers depicted as surrounded by or immersed in water, offering viewers fascinating images of the visual changes thereby conveyed.
Her extremely colourful paintings, which sometimes look so realistic one feels they are three-dimensional, feature an amazing and quite unexpected understanding of the interaction between light, colour and water. This is achieved through the use of a special drawing devise based on the use of heat and created by Roi herself, the Icarus Drawing Board, which allows for the creation of warm and cool zones, thus enhancing colour saturation and density.
Ester Roi’s remarkable talent, together with her trailblazing technique, result in whimsical and ethereal paintings, whose subjects meticulously feature the changes imparted by water on their colours and shapes. Roi strives to harmoniously capture the interplay between the realistic images and their abstracted counterparts transmuted by water refraction, in what could be regarded as a reminiscence of Venice and its saturated colours and mesmerizing water reflections.
As the artist herself puts it, “water transforms everything it touches” and she exhaustibly explores this interaction by experimenting with natural objects in a fish tank she has in her backyard. She painstakingly records how differently they look above water, below and in-between, so that she can depict their ever-changing shapes. The result is sheer magic.
Another of Ester Roi’s favourite effects is transparency, a characteristic she works with particular skill when flowers are the theme of her paintings. As the artist says, “one of the best art tips I ever got (is) how important it is to learn to ‘see’ without letting your mind cloud your vision”.
All in all, Ester Roi’s mind-blowing colourful art creations can take us back to our happiest childhood days and, as Maya Angelou wrote in Letter to My Daughter, they can “be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud”.