New Paintings from the Studio

Hey guys,

Here are three of my latest paintings from the studio. They were all about loosening up and remembering the joy of painting. Painting for paint’s sake!

 

"Deep Blue" 16x20" canvas
“Deep Blue”
16×20″ canvas
"Heart of the Matter" 20x30" canvas
“Heart of the Matter”
20×30″ canvas
"Lily Pond" 7x9.5" canvas panel
“Lily Pond”
7×9.5″ canvas panel

I have them listed on both Etsy and my website. If you click the painting, it will take you directly to the link in my stores.

Have a colorful day! xx

Using Meditation in My Creative Practice

"Prayer Rug No. 2" 48x36 inch canvas Available
“Prayer Rug No. 2”
48×36 in on canvas
Available

It’s that time of the year again: Autumn. Back to school. The days are getting shorter. The temperature cools. The leaves change. And our hearts change too. It’s always been my favorite time of year, literally the mark of new beginnings.

One thing I’ve been aspiring to implement into my creative practice is meditation. It’s not anything new. And even in our Islamic tradition, there is much on the topic of reflection, contemplation, and sitting in solitude–absolute stillness, and reconnect with The One. And yet, we seldom do it. Sure, praying five times a day is a spiritual discipline, but without a pure and undistracted heart, it can quickly turn into a chore.

I have to admit, I didn’t start meditating out of any religious encouragement. I see a lot of literature circulating on social media around meditation, but it’s mostly for the physical and mental benefits, which I can surely use.

There are so many benefits to meditating, and this post is certainly not the expanse to explain them all. So, I just thought I’d share a little of my thoughts on how it’s going for me.

Today, I decided to meditate for only the second time. I am using the Headspace app which I highly recommend because it guides you every step of the way without it feeling too “goo-goo gaga”. I’m not into that (or maybe, I am, but don’t realize it yet).

Some immediate things that have happened to me when I meditate:

  1. I concentrate on my breathing. This is really important. I have recurring back pain and at my last chiropractor visit, I was instructed on how to breathe properly. Turns out, I’m not even breathing right! Meditation makes you more conscious of your breath, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  2. I realize exactly how much anxiety I’m feeling that day. Good or bad. I’m an anxious person. When I have a creative spark, I cannot rest until it’s out, expressed. On my best days, I am a happy, loving artist flowing colors from my magic wands. Today, in meditation I realized just how much I wanted–no, needed–to paint today. Which leads me to my next point…
  3. I feel the colors that resonate with me the strongest when my eyes are closed. You know how it goes. You’re in bed, trying to fall asleep, and then BAM! Hoards of painting possibilities seem to fly through your mind endlessly. I am been trying a mental practice of staying in bed, sleeping yes, but before sleeping, take a mental screenshot if you will of the paintings in my head. In the morning, I can usually remember what I loved the most. Meditation helps me know for sure exactly where I want to go.
  4. Today, I asked myself, my soul, my spirit, whatever you want to call it: “What do you need today? What do you want to feel? What do you want to love like, eat like, be like, today?” It’s a strange concept at first, but really comforting. Just saying to myself, I’m going to fulfill you. You are fulfilled. You are fulfilled.
  5. You get this cool, hippie vibe of general chilled-outness that I love. I’ve always been a worry-wart, self-prophesed perfectionist. That was cool and all in college. But I’ve made leaps and bounds in my self-awareness since then. It feels great to be honest with myself, to relax, to say “You got this,” “you’re good.” I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Taking 10 minutes to meditate each day is like giving life, society, people, the small voices in my head, whatever, a fat hand to the face. A pause. A complete stop, as I take a moment to…well, enjoy this moment.

How do you use mediation in your creative practice or in general?

"Hijab Figure Study" 12x16" on paper SOLD
“Hijab Figure Study”
12×16″ on paper
SOLD

Thanks UAE + 2 New Paintings!

Needed to take a moment and say thank you, UAE. More specifically, thank you Anna Seamen for your amazing interview and journalism. And thank you, The National for highlighting my “quest for color”!

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Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 3.36.59 PM

 

I was totally stoked for the last few days. I’ve been on cloud nine. I even started dancing with this crazy lady in my apartment. All because of this great news (literally).

A few months ago, Anna contacted me about covering me in the paper. She arrived at my Reem Island apartment and studio and we talked about some very deep ish y’all. Not just about my art, but about life, changes, and surviving the bleak landscapes of the desert. I was honest, thanks to her being so easy to talk to. It was actually quite fun.

Other than that, I’ve been dancing in the studio too. Check out my two latest pieces:

"Girls in Brooklyn" 30x40" canvas www.amirarahim.com
“Girls in Brooklyn”
30×40″ canvas
Inquiries: www.amirarahim.com/contact

 

"My Particular Infinite" 30x24" canvas www.amirarahim.com
“My Particular Infinite”
30×24″ canvas
Inquiries: www.amirarahim.com/contact

Back to painting, or zumba, haha!

Art Crush: Sandy Welch

Hi guys,

So for a long time, I’ve been meaning to share inspirational artists and their work on my blog. A sort of “pay it forward” if you will, but not really, since their work pushes me to keep painting everyday. Outside of making art, I enjoy looking at it and spend a lot of time doing so.

To start the first round off, I begin with Sandy Welch. I don’t know much about her. All I know is that her work is a happy spot on my timeline and I’m always grateful to see it.

Discovered: via Pinterest
Website: http://www.sandywelch.com
Style: Abstract

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

 

I just love the juice paint and messy brushstrokes colliding into each other in a perfectly orchestrated ensemble of color and composition.

The colors and gold in this…swoonnnn!

It’s just too much richness in one place!

What’s your favorite piece?

All images sourced from http://www.sandywelch.com.