Dreamlike landscapes and intimate portraits are the usual subjects of painter Golda King’s work. Scrape past her signature rings of color, though, and there lies an eclectic blend of something more than hues: emotions.
More than technique and styles, Golda’s art is driven by what she feels, whether she’s exhibiting in San Francisco, Iceland, or her hometown Cebu. In her practice, she doesn’t just wear her heart on her sleeve—she bares it fully on canvas.
Golda wants to correct a misconception about her distinct bespeckled style: “I guess people know me as the painter who does the ‘dots,’ but they’re not dots; they’re actually circles.”
In contrast to stippling, wherein shading patterns are created by using small dots, Golda paints each small circle one at a time. She stumbled into this approach by accident while studying Fine Arts in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, USA.
“In my watercolor class, I screwed up one of the paintings . . . and while I was trying to figure out how to fix it, I painted over [it] with circles.”
Over time, these circles have become a mainstay in her work out of enjoyment, something she considers important in her practice. Aside from the standard tools like her paints and brushes, Golda’s studio essentials include WiFi, good music, and her pets—two cats, Puppy and Kusmod; and a dog, Abtik.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” Golda says about her relationship with art. In fact, she had originally wanted to be a veterinarian and majored in fashion merchandising before starting anew at age 25.
“I didn’t know what I wanted in my life. Finally, when I was 24, my mom said, ‘This is your last chance. I remember when you were growing up, you were a very good painter. You liked painting and working with your hands. Would you like to pursue that?’”
Beyond her mother’s support, family plays a major role in Golda’s life and art. Growing up as the fourth of six siblings—right in the middle—the struggle for autonomy is always present.
Nevertheless, Golda isn’t afraid to reach out to others. Part of what she considers her routine is seeing her friends on weekends. “I think being a painter or an artist can be isolating,” she explains, “so it’s important for me to see friends.”
The most recent addition to her art practice has been seeing a therapist as well, something she highly recommends to keep the ideas and feelings flowing.
“Fear motivates me and grief inspires me,” Golda expresses when asked where her creative process begins. She admits that it’s easy for her to pick up emotions, grief most of all, which inspired the darker motifs of her first few pieces.
But it’s not all sadness for Golda, either. “What comes after? Hope and happiness, that’s your end goal. . . . We all want to be happy.” Emotions like these are an integral part of what makes Golda’s art fresh, soulful, and honest.
“I’m more interested in a person’s journey from feeling grief to healing to finding happiness.”
She imbues this pathos to the pieces she will be exhibiting this year. The first series, inspired by her childhood ruminations during the height of Covid-19 lockdown, focus on themes of freedom, youth, and contentment. The second is her egg painting series, with the eponymous object being a metaphor for the female in society.
From the grief pervading her childhood to the fear first felt when restarting with art, Golda’s own journey—be it in art or elsewhere—is on its way to hope. Someday, she aspires to earn the title of “artist” on her own terms.
“I’m getting there. There’s still hope. I’m still a work in progress.”
Catch several of Golda’s emotion-laden works in her exhibition at the Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2022. Several of her acrylic and watercolor paintings will be displayed in the physical fair from September 16 to 18, 2022. Tubô will also be running an online art sale from September 11 to 18, 2022.