Friday, September 16, 2016

Dr. George Farah: Physician and Artist

The canvas was stark white, remembers Casa de Mañana resident Dr. George Farah. “I was about seven years old visiting the countryside near Beirut, Lebanon where I grew up,” he said. “I was watching intently as I saw a man and a woman apply colorful paint and gradually change the white canvas from literally nothing to intense beauty. This experience gave me great happiness and started me on a path from which I never strayed – the path to becoming an artist.”

Dr. Farah, a renowned cardiologist with a distinguished practice in Chicago for many years, shares his love of painting with his love of medicine. Both give him great joy. But unlike medicine, he has no formal training as an artist. He either paints at Casa de Mañana’s resident art studio (where he also teaches) or in his apartment.

“I love watercolor landscapes,” Dr. Farah said. “Since I’ve traveled around the world I’ve seen a great deal. Now living at Casa de Mañana I can reflect on my journeys abroad and paint them on canvas to share with others. Sketches I’ve made during my travels take me back to those places. I mentally recreate those scenes and rediscover the feelings I had during that time.” Casa de Mañana’s exceptional seaside location with its magnificent light and natural beauty provides Dr. Farah a perfect palate. In fact, he has dedicated part of a calendar he produces each year to capturing Casa’s beauty. Its many buildings as well as the La Jolla shoreline and cove in which it sits grace the calendar’s pages.

“I never paint from a picture,” Dr. Farah said. “I visit every place I paint in person and make a sketch. I take the sketch home and apply watercolor. It’s very relaxing. I feel that I lose myself in the moment.”

Dr. Farah’s watercolors have been featured in exhibits and in magazines including several times on the cover of Chicago Medicine, the official publication of the Chicago Medical Society. “When I first saw Casa, the ocean and the architecture I told my daughter I want to live here,” he said. “Who wouldn’t? It’s picture perfect.”

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