We are Efrat and Gonen Halevi, a couple of artists. We have been married for 18 years and we have five children. We live in Safed, which is located in the Upper Galilee Mountains in the northern part of the land of Israel. We live a religious Jewish lifestyle.
The prayers, the Mitzvahs of the Torah, learning the Torah and being close to God inspire our belief, and Safed, which is one of the four holy cities for the Jewish people, symbolizes the element of spirit and acceptance and induces the spirit of art and creation. We are both autodidact artists, we haven’t studied in any art institution and our art comes from an internal burning of blessed creation.
We actually declare that we have learned from “the Big Painter”, Creator of the universe, who is a “Painter”, everything we see around us, we only need to look, be impressed and learn…
All her life Efrat worked with art, was it in professional flower arrangements, playing music and all disciplines and media of painting: oil, water, acrylic, gouache, tempera, papier-mâché, precious stone beading, and more.
I (Gonen) have been painting in this style since a very young age, of course not in this complex method that you see now. Since about 6 years of age and not consciously, what helped me relax in class and not disrupt it was to turn my notebook over and doodle. I would start in the center and the shapes would spread with the use of my imagination. Today it is already a tested and experienced method for treatment and focus of children and adults alike.
At some point in my life I forgot about this, but not completely. When I was 26 years old I was trained as a Torah scribe and worked as one for eight years. This profession requires tremendous concentration and great responsibility, the writing laws are very strict and you can easily make an error. The scribing has put much pressure on me and I found myself returning to the same method I had used as a child but this time I had a quill pen in my hand. I sketched shapes and infused my writing skills.
Efrat, who saw what I have done, joined the “party” and with wonderful paintbrushes and colors she completed the spaces between the letters.
And suddenly, Wow! We became excited and hung it on our living room wall and we did not know it yet but at that moment we opened a spring. And an abundance of shapes, blessings and colors filled our little table in our home.
And pretty soon I, Gonen, also held the paintbrush and with the close and loving training of Efrat I learned the wonderful art of color.
People who visit the gallery ask: “what is this called?” –“our flowers,” we answer.
Each painting and every flower comes from our heart and soul to yours!