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.
Good morning! It’s a week past January 2015 and I’m still recovering from the amazingness of last month. As many of you know, I committed to completing 30 paintings in 30 days for the first time. The challenge showed me a lot of things about myself, my work ethic, and interests. Equally, I learned a lot about my fans and supporters. It was such a high energy time and I enjoyed it immensely.
I managed to paint 30 paintings in the 30 day span, although some of them were not shared (commissions, studies). It was fun to post a painting each day and know that my audience were expecting it and would hold me accountable if I didn’t. I didn’t have any sales goals. I wanted this to be a space for me to push myself creatively, and I’m happy to say that I did.
Within the first week, to my pleasant surprise, paintings started to sell. Some collectors even came back for seconds, and thirds! I wanted my work to be accessible if anyone decided to buy, so I kept the works relatively small and their prices as well. Thank you all for the comments, sharing, and support.
I’m happy to say, once counted, I sold 21 original paintings last month, 17 of which were a part of the 30 paintings challenge. I believe the momentum of the whole occasion had somewhat of a ripple effect. What a great way to start the new year!
Here are a few things that I learned throughout:
You can and should stretch your creative muscle. Don’t be afraid if the ideas aren’t fleshed out to perfection each day. Just show up and work. The rest will take care of itself in the studio.
You can change your mind or idea about a subject. I initially thought I would paint very true to form faces. Instead, I wandered off the beaten path and explored what was more interesting to me. Abstract figures, veiled women, and spunky curly girls were more entertaining to me then getting an accurate portrait or resemblance of someone.
Anxiety will creep in, it will make you feel like giving up. Don’t listen. Ignore the smallness telling you that you can’t finish what you started.
Working on sets and series is a great way to keep up with your creative ideas! Instead of waiting for one day at a time to start each idea in your head, jump on 4-5 canvas in one day. You can finish one or none but just having them started is a big help in my creative process.
That was me. For those of you that did the 30 in 30 challenge or witnessed another artist participating, what did you think about it all?
Hey! Back with my two days of painting. I started this set earlier this week and finished it today. In continuing with my veiled figures series, I wanted to explore a more colorful, warm color palette this time. I painted the faces in burnt sienna instead of white, and played around with their veils to end up with a colorful array of garments that remind me of the traditional Sudanese tawb. As such, I decided to call it “The Wedding” or as they say in Sudan “Al ‘Agd”. The bride as it so happens is facing away. I like the mystery of some figures facing toward the viewer and others facing away. It also makes for a more interesting composition.
Once the basic shapes were in place, I played around with translucent colors overlapping the layers and playing around with the different tones I could get. The underpainting is quite textured thanks to a relief substance I applied in the initial stages of the painting. I’m really enjoying painting on this surface and find that the paints just glide on it, much smoother than the basic canvas.
It’s me again! Today I finished up this painting that I started last week. I was pulling from several different images and ideas, and just worked through them intuitively. I love this series! The yellow glow reminded me of sunrise so I decided to include dawn in the title somehow.
I’m still two days behind on the 30 in 30 challenge, so I will be trying to post two paintings each day. Fortunately, I have had no shortage of inspiration this month so the ideas are literally more than the canvas available.
Back with more paintings for the day. I started this piece a few days ago. I knew I would be making a companion to it as I’m trying to develop my work more in series. These were painted completely intuitively. I mixed the colors on the canvas most of the time, and really wanted to explore a more muted, toned down color palette. This is one of the pair and features three women wearing a veil. It can be interpreted as a painting of Muslim women wearing the “abaya” or religious garb, but it not necessarily.
I knew that I wanted to incorporate figures in my abstract work for some time now. I have to say, it is difficult but also fun. Being in the Emirates has definitely influenced me as an artist, and seeing so many women wearing the abaya has inspired me to capture their graceful, yet mysterious presence.