The Man Behind The Brush

with UNILEB - 2017-02-19

Choosing the professional path of a painter requires a good load of audacity. But what if that path chooses you?

For Charbel Sader, it was never a matter of choice, only a matter of time. Having discovered his passion for drawing at the age of 7, Charbel immersed himself in the art world at quite a young age, with the support of his father. While other kids his age were playing with toys, he was maneuvering paint brushes and colors.

Nonetheless, Charbel Sader had to walk a long path before he could dedicate himself fully to his beloved art. Once he graduated from Jamhour, he enrolled in the army and devoted himself to it until his retirement. However, during his military career, he kept drawing and painting, never giving up on his favorite hobby that was soon to become his life, nothing less. He spent every available moment he had to draw with Chinese ink on paper or with oil paint on canvas. His thoughts wandered in front of his eyes as he drew and they often leaned towards human subjects revolving around motherhood, elderly and inner conflicts.

While he taught himself to draw, he developed a peculiar interest for surrealism and expressionism; his favorites were Dali, Otto Dix and Hans Bellmer. As his work evolved, this became very obvious whenever he would draw about the darker side of his soul. He also experimented with abstract landscapes among other techniques, as part of his wish to follow his creative hunch, wherever it may lead him.

In parallel with his drawings, Charbel studied History at the Lebanese University for a year and then Drawing but he was never able to complete the program due to his daytime profession.  Through the years, he built many friendships with fellow painters who often guided his brush when in doubt. He also spent endless hours at the library, reading and researching about art work and painting techniques, only to solidify his hope of one day becoming a professional artist.

More determined than ever, Charbel turned a part of his home into a studio and this is where he drew most of his paintings. However, when he didn’t need much material to draw, such as with Chinese ink, he preferred to sit in public and draw as he observed the crowd.

Today, Charbel Sader is 38 years old and retired; he can finally share his work with the world. And he just did that on February 10, 11 and 12 in a space that is very dear to his heart: l’Agora showroom, at the Lady of Seeds Monastery of Université Antonine, Baabda. He named his first exhibition “Empreintes”, reflecting the footmarks of his whole artistic path, which everyone was able to see in his 80 exposed drawings.

And though he admits it isn’t easy to make a living as a painter, specifically in our country, he urges every artist to never give up: “You will regret giving up because you cannot get rid of your urge; it’s in you to stay”.

Painting requires an incredible amount of time; if wasted, it can never be brought back he says last but not least.