Three years later, Sabzi, his wife, Farideh, and their two children moved to California. Although he still misses his country, he’s now an American citizen and has fallen in love with his adopted homeland and his home studio in Thousand Oaks, Calif., which is lined with windows and looks out at the mountains.
A Collectors Editions artist for more than 10 years, Sabzi is highly prolific. When working on a painting, he often “forgets time,” starting at 8 or 9 in the morning and not stopping until midnight.
Not surprisingly, his paintings are rich in color and resonate with both Eastern and Western philosophies. His subjects almost always are women, reflecting beauty,
love, mystery and solitude. One of his latest works, “Do You Love Me,” portrays a couple lying on the shore and symbolizes what Sabzi calls “the two natures” of women: the more visible side, represented by land, and the deeper, more elusive and mysterious side, represented by the sea.
When not absorbed with a painting, Sabzi loves to play the tar, a classical Persian instrument similar to a banjo but with a warmer and deeper tone. He also plays guitar, drums and bass, and he performed in bands in both Germany and Iran.
Although he travels for art shows, lately he prefers to stay at home with Farideh and his grown children, doting on his three cats and surrounded by a large garden that he landscaped himself with palms, more than 150 rosebushes, lilies and dozens of other flowers. (He earned a degree in agricultural engineering in Iran.)
While he’s now decades removed from his homeland, his memories still inspire him. As a child, he spent hours watching his mother weave beautiful Persian rugs and listening to his uncle play the violin and his father sing and recite poetry.
“That created for me another world, another life full of beauty and creativity,” Sabzi says. “After all these years, you can still see those elements in my work.”