Rocks, boulders, cliffs and the silence of the valleys near her Israeli home serve as inspiration for artist Dr. Raya Brama's watercolor paintings.
Raya has made her home in Beit El, Binyamin, for close to 40 years and it is the natural, untamed and dramatic beauty of Judea and Samaria that she captures so deftly in her expressive works.
Israel's Jerusalem Theater is venue to the first exhibition of her works outside a Judea and Samaria community. The exhibition opened the last week in May and the thousands of visitors to the theatre can now see the arresting views from her window and the beauty of the hidden spots she loves to visit.
Arutz Sheva attended the opening of the exhibition and spoke with the Ramat-Gan born artist, who also taught Tanach and did research in the field of Education and Society at the Szold Institute in Jerusalem after receiving her Ph.d, until she retired in 2012.
"I have been drawing from an early age, and studied as a teenager in the artist Ms.Richter-Rauch's studio in Tel Aviv, where I learned to pay attention to the minute details of my subjects.
"In 1988, I began studying at the beautiful home of artist Yitschak Greenfield in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, where I experimented with varied techniques and mediums, but found that I was most comfortable with watercolors.
"I love to draw landscapes. Every meeting I have with a landscape becomes an opportunity for sketching. I see the layers of color that form the view and find myself racking my brains to find the way to transfer that experience to paper. In order not to lose the composition that I have 'drawn' in my imagination, I have begun taking a photograph the instant that I see a landscape and using the photo to draw the impressions I had at the moment of observation.
"After a 15 year break, I returned to Greenfield's studio, my artistic home, as I struggled to deal with the cancer that struck my daughter Rachel, a young wife and mother. The precious hours I spent drawing helped me find a creative outlet for my pain.
"I didn't dare show anyone the landscapes I drew, all the while thinking of my daughter.
"After her death, I decided to share with our friends the paintings of the natural landscapes within which we have built our lives, the sheep and goats grazing in fields so evocative of Biblical verses. This seems is a fitting memorial for Rachel, who left us while embarking "on the road of life" as did the biblical Rachel, who died so young in the Land of Judea.
Raya can be reached and more examples of her works obtained by writing firstname.lastname@example.org