By Shoshy Ciment, JewishPress.com
Art is a timeless pursuit. Since the beginning of time, humans have been driven to create and inspire others with their unique artistic visions. In the 21st century, this need for creation has still not been quenched. It seems as though artists will always be necessary – for as long as people still desire inspiration.
In Jewish culture, art often takes on a holy purpose. For many Jewish artists creating is a spiritual experience for them and their audiences. Ann Koffsky and Chanie Chanin are two Jewish artists who have touched their audiences with their work. Often infused with religious themes, the works of Koffsky and chanin are reflections of their own relationships with art and G-d.
Art is also an Integral part of painter Chanie Chanin’s life. Originally from London, England, Chanin started formally painting when she moved to New York with her husband Mendy. Recognizing her talents, Mendy bought Chanie oil, paint, and canvases and encouraged her to start taking classes. Since then Chanin has created close to 70 paintings, many of which are available for purchase on her website www.frommyartandsoul.com.
The website name “from my art and soul” Chanin explained, is meant to express how she feels about art.
“Each painting is a part of me,” said Chanin, “you put your whole essence into you painting it’s from your heart.”
Chanin’s paintings usually revolve around Jewish themes, images of Sarah’s tent, the splitting of the sea, Yonah in the whale, and the giving of the Torah are just a few of the scenes portrayed in her paintings. She also has a series of paintings for the Jewish festivals and still life works of nature and Jerusalem.
“Most of my paintings come from my feelings” Chanin said, remarking how a feeling of yearning for the Kotel for example will usually inspire her to paint it. Raised Lubavitch, Chanin eventually began painting prominent Chabad figures such as Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka and the Aleter Rebbe.
Often, her paintings of Chabad figures would coincide with important dates, for example Chanin began painting a portrait of Rebbetzin Chaya Muchka around the anniversary of her passing and finished it on her birthday.
“I felt that when I began to work on a painting connected to a special day, a Chassidic Yom Tov of a Rebbe or Rebbetzin I would get the spiritual strength to achieve my success” related chanin.
Chanin sees her art as a way to connect with other people. her new program entitled “A journey through my art” is a synthesis of her art, poetry, and music. Presented primarily in Chabad houses and women’s events, the program allows Chanin to display and explain her paintings to a wider audience, “you never know how you inspire people” said Chanin who has interacted with people of all the denominations throughout her art. When she was flying from Miami to New York a few years ago she happen to sit next to a Jewish woman who is unaffiliated, after introducing herself Chanin showed the woman some of her paintings. The woman was so intrigued that she asked Chanin to send some pictures of her paintings to her so she could have them on her office computer. Chanin kept in touch with the woman from then on sending her Mishloach Manot on Purim and Matzo on Passover.
“I know that I was gifted with this talent, said Chanin. “I must utilize it to the best of my ability and share it with others”.
Chanin is now working on a large piece titled “The royal tea” which will feature four Rebbetzins drinking tea in the lubavitcher Rebbe’s dining room.
Both Ann Koffsky and Chanie Chanin share a special gift, But more impressive than their talent is the way they use it to inspire the world stroke by stroke, Jewish artists like Koffsky and chanin reveal the beauty of Judaism through art, all the while infusing the world with a little more color. …
to see more of Chanie Chanin’s Fine art please go online to www.frommyartandsoul.com and on Instagram @frommyartandsoul