My essentials: Anna Galea’s cultural picks

117 | Anna Galea, 65, artist

1. Book

The Passion of ARTEMISIA by Susan Vreeland - I’ve just read it for the second time. Artemisia Gentileschi, born towards the end of the sixteenth century, was one of the first female painters to become world famous. Raped at the age of 17, she had to struggle against all odds in a male dominated world to follow her passion, producing works painted from an innovative female perspective. Her resilience, perseverance and enthusiasm are a profound source of inspiration. Two other books that have impacted me are Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Atomic Habits by James Clear.

2. Film

Migration by Universal Pictures - an animated adventure/comedy which I’ve watched recently with my grandkids. It is about a family of ducks that decides to leave the safety of its home and fly off and travel to distant countries. The makers of this film must have had a whale of a time producing it… the expressions on the faces of the characters are so ‘human’! It is funny and action packed. The whole film portrays strong family values and the importance of sticking up for each other.

3. Internet/TV

I use social media mostly to post about my art on my Instagram page, which is linked to my Facebook Art Page, and then just look through any notifications. I find that too much time gets wasted once you start scrolling. I’m subscribed to some art and cultural newsletters that keep me updated with what’s going on.

Artwork by Anna Galea
Artwork by Anna Galea

4. Music

French jazz with my coffee in the morning. Beethoven when I’m painting: the versatility and creativity of Beethoven’s compositions can fit into any frame of mind. Happy by Pharrell Williams from Despicable Me 2 sets me in a good mood when I’m a bit down - my motto is Smile and the World Smiles Back. Life is too short to take it seriously.

5. Place 

Altipiani di Arcinazzo, in the mountains south-east of Rome. Trees, trees everywhere, small lakes and waterfalls. Italians have mastered the art of living - the way they serve their coffee, the simple yet delicious food, which is hardly ever overpriced at the many trattorias, the way they take pride in their dress and their cultural heritage. For them, life is not about the money. Rather than setting up second residence in Gozo, we have opted for Altipiani di Arcinazzo.