Room of the Day

 

Everything about this room speaks to me. So warm and cheery, and I love the exposed brick wall. The painting is perfect, and somehow the rug doesn’t clash with it. If anyone knows the designer for this room, please comment!

 

Source: Pinterest – New York Post

 

A Note to My Art Students

Wrote a rather bold email to the members in my art class. Last week was tough. People were quitting. I’m sure if it was a different place, they’d be swearing at me. For veteran artists, we’ve all been there. Feeding into all those negative voices, doubts, and fears can eat you up if you let it. This was a bit of what I wrote them today:

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Many of you ended up with dark and muddy colors on your paper. You mixed a lot of stuff and it wasn’t all pretty. But those dark greys, scary greens, and endless blues are necessary. It helps those other colors shine that much brighter on canvas and that’s what last week’s classes were about.

You may have felt like you were wasting paint. You didn’t waste a thing. That frustration you felt, tap into it. Own it, and challenge yourself to feel it again.

Making art is an emotional thing. You’ll discover more about yourself painting than probably most moments in your life. Watching TV, surrounding ourselves with noise, or being workaholics for someone else’s dream all take us away from our greater truth.

Why we’re here and what we can offer the universe. That’s what matters. I make art to tap into all of these things and I’m still learning myself.

If you have time today, no actually, make time today–think about things you’ve been feeling lately. Feeling damn good about life? Relish in it. Got some regrets, or fears? Own it. Dreaming of a brighter future? That’s wonderful.

Think long and hard about where you are in this exact moment and be prepared to experiment with documenting that on the canvas tomorrow.

Really eager to see this group develop and grow into something magical. Because art is magic, right?

First Week of Art Classes in Abu Dhabi = Fun!

Good morning,

Last week I did something that seemed rather scary, but was so exciting: I taught my first art classes! Six people came to my home on Wednesday and another 7 on Thursday, and for two hours we talked about value and form, I gave a brief demo, and then I let go of the reins and let them paint. They did fabulous!

Teaching art is strangely exhilarating. It’s not for everyone, and sometimes good artists don’t make good teachers. I was pretty scared for weeks but my excitement to share my art knowledge was far greater than my fear of venturing into the unknown. By the time my lesson was planned and my students started pouring in, I was on a roll. It’s nice to teach the core idea and then sit back, and just guide the class participants to a finished painting.

 

It has been such a great opportunity, and I was even contacted by a woman here in Abu Dhabi that wants me to teach her kids at her home. It was the perfect offer because I really want to be an art teacher for kids one day. I had great art teachers growing up and my mom found me great spaces to paint as a teen. To be able to provide that for kids years later is a dream of mine.

So, today is the day for my second week of classes and I’m so excited to meet the new faces just joining us. I was thinking we’d continue our lessons on tones and values with a nice session of landscape painting.

Hope to post more soon! The class participants are so talented!

Oh, and I’ve made two sales on Etsy last week. Score! 😀

Check my store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/amirarahim

If You Think You’re Going to Fail, Make Art Anyway

It’s a strange concept. Failure.

What does it mean to fail at so449ade0fc68f908a22d600372155c0d4mething? It’s even more obscure as a creative person, as a working artist. The longer you devote yourself to your craft, and decide that it’s worth your life’s pursuit, the more obstacles and challenges you’ll face.

In being a professional artist, many of us make the mistake of assuming, because a painting didn’t sell it isn’t good. Or because you didn’t make a certain amount of money this month, you’ve failed.

We have to overcome this fear of failure if we’re going to survive as creatives.

Lately, I’ve been having a very successful time here in Abu Dhabi selling my original paintings, connecting with more artists online and in person, and even being featured in The National‘s Art Blog. It’s really made me think about what success would me to me as an artist. My dreamy-colorful-art life would look something like this:

  1. Having the courage, audacity, and strength to create beautiful, authentic, and moving works of art everyday.
  2. Having a lifetime supply of family, friends and followers who support me on my art journey and believe in my work.
  3. Sharing my knowledge and experience with others in the form of workshops and classes regularly.
  4. Having a solid relationship with interior designers and art dealers as in love with abstract art as I am.
  5. Successfully operating my very own sustainable and prosperous art business.

I pray to God these things happen for me, and so I challenge myself everyday to work towards these goals because I know it won’t happen by wishful thinking. But say I accomplish this? Say it works out. Then what? Do I stop creating. Do I relax?

I want to share with you guys this very awesome Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (who, by the way, gives amazing Ted Talks) on how our Creativity must survive its own success. Very powerful concept, and very inspiring speech for anyone out there trying to do anything.

 

Remembering Maya Angelou

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Today, I was reflecting over my connection to Maya Angelou. Saddened by her passing, I searched for inspirational quotes of hers and landed on this one, which I placed over my painting “Electra Street.” I hope you guys enjoy her words.

In high school we recited her poems. Our mothers collected her wisdom and passed it down for us to read in our maturity. Her stories made us embrace her, and her speeches made us embrace ourselves. What a woman, what a human being.