Bettina Seiger is from a small village in the North-Western Part of Germany, around 70 km from Cologne; she has been in Oman for the last eight years working in the local banking sector. "I first got in touch with Oman in 2004 when I visited as a tourist. Ever since my first contact with Oman, I visited regularly and was able to do an international job placement in Muscat and Dubai, UAE, between 2006 and 2007. I decided to apply for a job here in Oman, and luckily I got an offer from a local Omani bank in 2013. I did not hesitate to accept immediately. Since then, I am thankful to enjoy the unique opportunity to live in a major city like Muscat while still being surrounded by nature."
Despite working in the banking sector, Bettina found a passion for creation and art at an early age; she began painting with watercolors and knitting in her early years as a banker/ auditor. When she moved to Oman, she made sure she brought her art supplies to continue her hobby here. "However, during the week, I used to be occupied with my job, and during the weekends I was busy socializing as, being in Oman on my own, it was important for me to keep connections through dancing and outdoor activities."
In the beginning, Bettina's inspiration is mainly driven by her memories and impressions of the Hajar Mountains, the wadis around Muscat, and other northern parts of the Sultanate.
However, since the beginning of the year, her abstract creations are more about t Dhofar region as she spends a good amount of time in Salalah. "It was there that I again went on regular weekend trips and thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors. I explored local mountains, beaches, and some of the many Ains. I was deeply impressed by the multifaceted landscapes I could witness."
Different materials also inspire Bettina, she found on her excursions. "It is fascinating for me to use materials that I find in Oman. So besides the sand, I use from local beaches to create interesting texture and depth, I have also included Omani Sea Salt in a series of mini paintings." The crystalline structure of this mineral combined with acrylics and water is a fascinating combination in her artwork. From Salalah, she recently brought back some coconut tree fibers, which she collected from Haffa and Taqa. "I am yet to use this in one of my next projects."
"The manifold nature in Oman is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for my abstract art."
Ever since Bettina moved to Oman, she is amazed by the diversity of the landscapes all over the Sultanate. Whoever says that desert landscapes include only colors of beige and sand has not been to any of the wadis, the Dhofar or Hajar Mountains, or on any part of endless pristine beaches in Oman. No matter where Bettina goes, she observes color variations, exciting and unique textures. She finds inspiration in the reflection of light in shallow water, the sunlight falling through a canopy of date palms, beautifully flowering plants defying the desert heat, or the evening sky before and during sunset.
"So, it is no surprise that after I could resume my hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, my experience outdoors has changed. I now see more with an artist's eye and pay more attention to small details within a place, landscape, or object."