Three New 12×16 Colorful Abstract Paintings

"Slim Pickings" - 12x16 on canvas
“Slim Pickings” – 12×16 on canvas
"Pixie" and "High Born" both 12x16 on canvas
“Pixie” and “High Born” both 12×16 on canvas


Hello. Here’s some cute little abstracts I’ve made recently. I have them listed for sale in my newly launched Etsy shop.

I’m about to head out and grab a fresh canvas for a recent commission. A lady contacted me and would like me to paint her friend’s dog as a birthday present. So there you have it, an abstract artist, about to do her very first pet portrait commission. It should be fun though, simply because she wants it in the same style as my cute camels.


“Prayer Rug No.2” – Abstract Colorful Palette Knife Painting


Hey guys! Hope you’re having a swell week. I will be posting paintings incrementally on my blog here to update. Feedback welcome 🙂

This one is titled “Prayer Rug No.2″ and is part of my tapestry series. I was inspired by the quilted, colorful patterns in found objects like prayer rugs. This painting is my largest one yet, measuring 48×36” on canvas.

For pricing, email me at

New “Oud” Painting Series: Process and Inspiration

Good morning!

I’m up bright and early, after finally moving into our new place. The view is just amazing! And today, I realized that this is the first full sunrise I’ve seen since I moved to the UAE a year ago.

Yesterday, I decided to work on some watercolor illustrations for a new series. Introducing, my original “Oud” paintings, inspired by the signature Emirati fragrances. Perfume here is kind of a big deal, and the traditional bottles are so cute.

These paintings are done on 9×12 heavy watercolor paper:

  • First, I started out with a rough sketch of the shape.
  • I then loosely applied the main color for the bottle using fluid watercolor washes.
  • I then mixed Yellow Ochre and Yellow to achieve the golden top and and second wash.
  • Finally, I applied the embellished designs of the perfume bottle using gold acrylic paint and outlined the final shape in black for contrast.

They are very fun to paint, and the color options and combinations are endless. I’m very pleased with how they turned out. The bottles feel so glamorous and instantly take me back to the little perfume souks I’ve visited here in Abu Dhabi.

Thanks for viewing!

Visit my shop for pricing!

My Artist Interview in The National!

I’m a bit late with this blog post, moving and all, but I am still so thrilled to tell you guys: I’ve been featured in The National, a UAE multi-platform news and media organization!

I was interviewed by Marina Iordan of My Velvet Instant, and published by Anna Seamen.


Here’s the interview:

Amira Rahim is an Abu Dhabi based artist who has been creating art since she was 13. She planned to be an attorney after graduating from the University of Pittsburg, but time spent traveling around Europe and a developing interest in sociology, culture and travel took her on a different path. Here our guest blogger catches up with her for a Q&A session.

Q: What is your earliest memory of art?

A: I remember making art at a very young age. I would draw houses a lot, as well as imitate illustrations I’d seen in my children’s books. My earliest memory would have to be when my mom signed me up for a children’s art class at the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ, my hometown. I remember the instructor had us sketch an egg. I mean, we were five or six years old, rendering shadows, and I succeeded in the task. I still remember how proud I felt when the teacher praised my finished drawing.

Q: Can you remember your first creation?

A: I think my first serious piece of art was when I was 13. I landed my first job as part of a community art project commissioned by the city of Montclair. I’d take two buses across town to Montclair High School in the summer, where a group of young artists and myself designed and constructed our individual mosaic benches that were then installed in a local park.

Q: Your art is very colourful. How do you select your palette?

A: My colour palette is a combination of intuition and emotion. Many colours end up in my work intuitively, but some pieces are a bit more calculated depending on how I respond emotionally to colour at that time. When I need a dose of sunshine and cheer, I use a lot of red, orange, and yellow, when I’m a bit more somber or serious, I lean toward my favourite, Prussian blue, and other dark colors.

Happy Not Hippy Acrylic on 28×28″ canvas Available at


Q: What made you choose the abstract path?

A: It’s an interesting question because it’s the last route I thought I’d take in my art. I always tried to create work that looked as realistic as possible. While building my portfolio in Abu Dhabi, however, I began to change course. I was finding it harder to see the beauty in this foreign land and missed the many things in nature I took for granted back home in New Jersey. The only way to compensate for this void was with colour. I started experimenting first with just abstract landscapes, and then something happened. It was like a spark was ignited and I needed to paint immediately all throughout the day. I couldn’t wait to try new colour combinations and compositions. I was no longer confined to merely painting what I saw in front of me or in a photograph. I could create the beauty that I desperately needed in my life. I haven’t looked back since.

“Push and Pull”, Mixed Media on 12×16, Available at


Q: My first look at “Push and Pull”, your work on paper, makes me think of a Rorschach test, and I find this exploration of subconscious your art initiates very interesting. Can you tell me more about this piece?

A: “Push and Pull” is a piece I created during a period of experimentation and a sort of opening up of my inner spirit. It is the result of working subconsciously without any preconceived end or goal. The result is this beautiful chaos, visual poetry on paper. Art is an incredibly vulnerable and personal process. Many times, artists have a vision of a landscape, a portrait, or a still life, and we pour so much of ourselves into that piece, and the viewer may never see the whole process behind it.

Q: In your artist statement, you mention your interest in the effects of colour on the human psyche. Can you tell me more about this?

A: Absolutely. I am primarily interested in colour and combinations of colour in my work. This is most effectively achieved in abstract painting, but it can also be used in representational art. I am always pleased when people comment on my paintings with statements that start with “This makes me feel…”. Art should make you feel something and by infusing color into my abstract pieces, I am having a conversation with every person who sees my work.

Q: What do you think of the art market in the UAE?

Heat Wave, mixed media on 24×24″ on canvas, Sold

A: I started selling my art and marketing online officially about 8 months ago. Since then, I’ve learned not to underestimate the UAE population for potential art enthusiasts. My art is very colourful and leans more toward the abstract, and people here have been really responsive. My plan now is to keep making the art that I love and trust that my fans will continue to support me.

Q: What are you working on now? Are you planning on showing your art in the UAE?

A: Now is a very exciting time for me in my art. I’m working on a series of colorful camel portraits. They are almost biographical because each camel has its own personality. Outside of this, I am developing my skills as an abstract artist by testing new colour schemes, compositional elements, and techniques. I recently had a solo art show at a private residence on Reem Island and the turnout was great. My main goals in the next few months include getting my art in front of galleries and interior designers interested in garnishing quality abstract art and installations for home and office. This would give me the creative freedom to really develop as a contemporary abstract artist in the Middle East.

* My Velvet Instant is a guest blogger for The Art Blog. Click here to read other posts

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Art Party with Amira Rahim: Pictures & Recap!

Hey guys, it’s been a crazy busy last few weeks. I spent the last half of April painting like it was going to go out of style and boy am I glad I did!

It’s certainly difficult to paint under pressure and under a narrow deadline, but I had a lot of inspiration building up over the last few months. I was able to paint traditional landscape scenes with an abstract twist, but I also got really inspired by cute camel faces.

Camels are kind of cute and goofy-looking at the same time. I knew I wanted to use an abstract color scheme, and once I got a few reference photos of camels smiling and winking, I couldn’t stop.

Along came “Dino” and “Humphrey” and I will be painting many more since they have been very popular amongst us expats.

"Dino" and "Humphrey" SOLD
“Dino” and “Humphrey”


In other news, we’re moving! I can’t believe a year has passed of me living in Abu Dhabi. I’ve shared the highs and lows on this blog. It wasn’t an easy adjustment, but I do believe the first year abroad is the hardest and looking forward to the year ahead. We’re moving to Gate Towers on Reem Island and the apartment and facilities are just amazing.

I have a separate room for my art studio, which I will be happily reporting to once we’re all moved in. I can’t wait to push some paint around again. One week break is kind of too much!

Thanks all who came out to the event last Wednesday, and stay tuned for more work.

Also, my shop is fully updated now with new works so have a look:

Prints available: