So, I have been keeping quiet for weeks now and I can finally share! A few months ago, I was commissioned by The Anasya Media company to create a painting for a VIP movie screening in London, UK. The event took place on June 15th and was a massive success.
I ended up creating a massive 4ft x 4ft painting as their updated advert and statement piece. I also created some artwork that served as additional decor for the event. Some of the big names in attendance included Suki Waterhouse, the UAE ambassador in London Abdulrahman Ghanem, Almutaiwee, Sheikh Shakhbout Bin Nahyan, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak himself. I guess you never know where your art will take you! Here is a look at the exciting debut:
Dr. Katherine Hennessy
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak
Suki Waterhouse in attendance
Suki Waterhouse signing her autograph
I am having a really exciting time meeting new faces and saying yes to new opportunities in Abu Dhabi and beyond. Besides this, I am preparing for two events during this Ramadan as well as an exhibition in California this summer that I will be announcing shortly.
In the meantime, I am still busy in the studio doing what I love most: painting! Here’s some of the latest pieces off the easel:
“Chosen” (20×30″ canvas) is my latest figurative painting featuring 3 women turned away. The incohesive yet subtle script and strong contrast makes for a dramatic piece, yet in a beautiful color scheme. I have not yet listed this piece on my website but if you are interested in purchasing it, please email me.
I’ve been home now for about 2 weeks and getting pretty cozzied up in my hometown of NJ. Weather’s warming up (yay) and the pizza is better than ever.I recently shared my latest collection of veiled figurative women via my newsletter.
They are ghostly, secretive, anonymous, mysterious, feminine, serene, and beautiful all at once.
And here they are. You can click on each image to take you to my store. Most of them are already gone (love you wonderful art lovers!):
That’s all. It’s important to remember to see the positives in anything. I love being able to interact directly with the people who love and collect my art. Nothing beats that in my opinion. So, I was happy to list them on my website as soon as possible. Several people already expressed interest in these new pieces and were happy when I was finally able to offer them for sale.
In the meantime, I cannot NOT paint for longer than like a week. The creative juices are flowing. So, naturally, I am on my mom’s kitchen table making little abstract paintings on paper and spreading my art gear all over the living room. Bless my family for putting up with me. Thankfully, they are loving the colorful messes popping up and freely offering their art critiques. It’s been fun. (Peek on Instagram @amirarahimart or search #amirainNJpaintings)
More on that later. Life’s good. Don’t stress too much. People are infinitely kind.
Hey you! It’s been a sandy weekend. Abu Dhabi has seen one of the most intense sandstorms ever and left much of us indoors for the past few days. We almost cancelled our safari booking, but decided to just bear the brunt of the storm and hope for the best. Fortunately, I was able take advantage of one of my last few days in Abu Dhabi before vacation and enjoy a traditional desert safari. In a few more weeks it will be too hot to bear!
The camels, dunes, and blanket of stars at night made for an unforgettable experience. Here are some of the photos from yesterday.
The timing couldn’t have been better. I am diving deeper and deeper into my collection of figurative abstract women and I managed to complete a set of Bedu women on canvas.
I am happy to say they have already gone to a swift and trusty collector of mine (thank you, if you’re reading!). I will be doing more with this motif in the future. I love the monochrome scheme for this theme, and I think it lends to the nostalgic quality of these figures that move me so much. I may also explore them in red.
If you have any feedback or more ideas, feel free to share in the comments below!
So the 30 in 30 challenge is officially over! I managed to complete 28 paintings in the month of January, more than I probably ever did before. Each week was a new experience, a new interpretation of my initial motivation to paint faces. Many of you purchased these paintings, commented and liked along the way. So, thank you so much for your patronage and support!
Today, on the first day of February, I wanted to share with you the latest painting off of the easel. It was actually painted over an older painting that I did a few months back. I didn’t mind at all. Sometimes, you have to destroy a perfectly decent painting to get to a better one, right?
This piece was created with hope and perseverance. I returned home from a rough day of trying something completely out of my creative interests. I learned that you have to stay true to yourself, even if it makes you the odd ball out.
Sometimes, it’s okay to get it wrong. To freely go after what moves you. I think it’s the rebels in this world that make the change. And so, I named this painting “Rebel” after my own heart this weekend, for surprising me with how fearlessly it dared to be itself.
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:
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?