Nestled in the heart of Maryland’s beautiful and rolling green hills is Frederick County; known for its historical downtown district and recognized for its preservation and growing cultural society. David and Celeste Bassiri have resided in Frederick for over 15 years. Suiting their quiet lifestyle—while also appealing to their aesthetic and cultural sensibilities—the Bassiri’s channel their creativity through artistic expression. Sipping either a grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, the novices tap into their imagination—together—and paint. “[Wine] helps to release us of our inhibitions”, David elaborates, “every day tunnel-vision fades away and I can just let go.” Likewise, Nineteenth-Century Impressionist artists immersed in Parisian society had similarly expressed that fermented grape juices allowed them to delineate thoughts lucidly.
David experiences no hindrance, “I start with a vision and then go in the direction the brush takes me.” Celeste on the other hand “…is more straightforward. She sticks to her vision.” In many ways, the couple feels their artistic styles are echoes of their personalities. The couple has no qualms about discussing their relationship and the benefits of fusing art, wine, and togetherness. “It will bring you closer together because you laugh and give each other compliments.”
David bolsters the concept of painting together, emphasizing that it paves the way for fresher conversation between spouses. “[Painting] helps us talk about something other than bills and everyday life.” But—the connections and rekindling developing between them end there. Stylistically the couple differs tremendously. David’s style stems from his desire to break from conventional guidelines and express his inner-psyche through the paintbrush and onto the canvas. In fact, David’s most revered piece is the first one he painted Untitled, Nude Woman, 2015. The smooth and fluid strokes look effortless and minimalistic. “I didn’t think it was that good, but Celeste loved it. It was a romantic connection between us.” David confides about their initial reaction to the painting. Celeste’s love of Baroque paintings, like that of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665, is analogous with her technique. Like Baroque artists’, Celeste is constructive and adheres to the guidelines of her artistic vision. Her paintings are usually carefully carried out, meticulously striving for accuracy and form. Other paintings are looser and more fluid—yet—still conform to the original vision.
While David produces paintings that are filled with surrealistic and psychological underpinnings, Celeste appreciates bright and happy paintings. “We’re opposites. Painting together compliments us. What one of us is lacking the other has.” Celeste describes her own personal style to that of her husbands—while glancing at him sideways, eyes glossy, and giggling. The love between them is overtly apparent, and every one would be wise to take advice from this burgeoning couple, who seem to have it all figured out.