Interview with Sumali Piyatissa

Sumali Piyatissa

Sumali Piyatissa: “Art defines me”

Interview to Sissy Sigioultzi-Rooka, Philologist, Writer, member of the Union of Journalists Periodical & Electronic Press NWE, Radio Producer at and President of the”Greek Cyprus Cultural Association”


A paragraph of myself

I’m a self taught artist and have been painting from a very young age. Art has been a passion for me and painting has been one of my favorite pass times for most of my growing years. However, studies took over and I came back to pursuing art in my mid-twenties. From there on, I started off by learning the oil painting technique and the journey unfolded.

I’m an accountant by profession and art plays a big role in my life. It gives me freedom and joy and helps me to express my feelings through a blank canvas. Art is where I find myself and feel so complete in.

My Inspiration

Travel plays a big part for my inspiration and also my surroundings, color, people I interact with and whatever that captures my eye. It maybe just gazing into the sky and its moods of color, the formation of clouds, an interior, different textures and many more.  I love playing with color and the way it blends always intrigue me. I try my best to represent freedom, joy and positivity through all of my artwork.

My mediums

I mainly use oils on canvas. I love using different mediums to create layers and various textures. In the recent past I have found myself loving the use and feel of resin and alcohol inks. The free flow of color and its interaction never fails to intrigue me.

My Technique and Style

Color blending and playing with different color palettes would be my main style. Depending on my mood I would use very vibrant hues or subdued hues. I use a lot of gold leaf and the gold dust. It gives such a rich finish to the painting and somehow brightens it up.

Each painting is different and I layer it with texture and paints. I use the palette knife to create and define the painting. Which is also one of my favorite tools to use along with the fan brush.

When does an artwork end?

As an artist, speaking for myself, its quite hard to know when to stop. As I keep staring at my artwork, I always find something to add or change and its a conscious decision that I need to make, to know when to stop. However, I must say there are times I do return to my artwork weeks, months later and add/remove something from it. I guess that’s what it is in being an artist, creativity constantly flows through you.

How important is naming your artworks? How do you choose a name?

Having the right title is important to me and its always not easy to pick the right one. There are times that I get an impression within me as to what I want to paint and what I would name it. Then I go along with that name. There are also times, when I would do a painting and once its complete, I would allow the painting to speak to me and from it reflects as to what I would name it. Therefore, each painting has its own story and each painting speaks to every individual in a different way. That’s the beauty of expression through creativity.

Why did you choose art in your life?

A very interesting question…  Art is something that I am very passionate about. It defines me! As I mentioned earlier, I have been painting as a kid and it was also my father’s dream to see me grow as an artist and that is the reason I sign my paintings as ‘Buki’ the nickname given to me by him.This is my act of love for him on a canvas.

I also believe that our lives are like a blank canvas and everytime I start a painting it reminds me of that. How it takes time to paint something beautiful and you cant rush into it. There are times when mistakes would happen but you let it rest and come back and work on it and start over in painting that picture. A painting can be built on just like our lives, there’s no full stop, you can always start over. This is the reason why I would say Art defines me, its who I am and it never stops speaking to me and always helps me to move higher in life.