New Techniques and Inspiration in the Studio

Creating art on a daily basis is no easy feat. It’s so rewarding, but can take a lot out of you and not in ways one would expect. The most obvious example is the ever-present idea of Inspiration. What is it and how do we cultivate it? Can you lose it? Can you sustain it over long periods of time?

These are the questions that I’ve been exploring lately in my own practice and I’m happy to say the results have been positive. I feel happy and healthy when I am in the studio and when I am not. Outside of the studio. This is key. Many people artists, and others alike, may think of the creative process as starting in the studio. But for many of us, it begins well before we enter our caves and grab our brushes.

I have found this increasing need to fill my artist well, as Julia Cameron discusses in “The Artist Way” (great read, btw). And part of the way I am learning to fill the well is by taking care of myself, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Traveling (or even just looking at places to travel), enjoying a slow afternoon, or spending time with family are all ways I like to recharge.

These last few weeks have been a flurry of deadlines, traveling to Oman, and preparing for a very exciting exhibition (more to come on this later). In between my “have-to’s”, I’ve also been painting a series of camels, giraffes, and more abaya women, just because it brings me joy and it’s fuels me creatively.

But, that’s a lot of canvas. That’s a lot of painting. Some days I get stuck. I feel frustrated, and I know it’s time to take a break. Go have a cup of tea or meet a friend outside for lunch. It’s a give and take.

I’ve been really excited, however, at this increasing interest in textiles and patterns. I’ve been watching and reading about surface pattern design from a distance now for the past two years. It’s fascinating to me how illustrators can turn a drawing into a vector and repeat pattern and then have it placed on a product. What artist doesn’t want to see their art go as far into the world as possible? While I have a strong handle on illustrating and I never shy away from drawing, design seemed way out of my reach, like some luxury item only for a girl to dream of.

Until recently. I am finding ways to incorporate pattern and texture into my work in ways I could have never anticipated. I am able to work out some of the imagery that’s been playing in my mind now for months and this is only the beginning. I am adding to my visual vocabulary daily, and quite frankly, it’s torture! I have soooo much buzzing on in my head but it just needs an outlet, some graphic design, and lots of planning. Patience, Amira, patience (never been my strong suit).

Here are some of the fun things I’ve been doing in my latest release of paintings, coming soon:

Stencil

I find these arabesque Islamic geometric art very inspiring. I am trying to incorporate this all. This picture is from my recent trip to Oman.
I find these arabesque Islamic geometric art very inspiring. I am trying to incorporate this all. This picture is from my recent trip to Oman.

Stencils and giraffe

 

stencil and camel

Collage

 

 

Collage work in my upcoming abaya paintings. These are found papers featuring Klimt.
Collage work in my upcoming abaya paintings. These are found papers featuring Klimt.

 

Collage work in my upcoming abaya paintings. These are found papers featuring Klimt.
Collage work in my upcoming abaya paintings. These are found papers featuring Klimt.

 

And of course, playing around with gold leaf. This is from my last commission of a Bedouin woman.
And of course, playing around with gold leaf. This is from my last commission of a Bedouin woman.

Modeling Paste

Modeling paste is applied to my canvas using a palette knife. It is a very nice ground for painting on and the end results are quite stunning.
Modeling paste is applied to my canvas using a palette knife. It is a very nice ground for painting on and the end results are quite stunning.
You can see the effects on a piece almost finished. It creates this sense of delicacy and texture that I really enjoy for this series.

 

IMG_0027

 

So, these are just some of the things I’ve been adding into my art practice. Would love to know what you are doing differently in your art practice if you’re an artist. And just in general, if not, how do you recharge and get inspired after a burnout?

Advertisements

New Art: “Heat Wave” Abu Dhabi Landscape Painting

 

"Heat Wave" 16x16 inches - acrylic on canvas SOLD
“Heat Wave” 16×16 inches – acrylic on canvas SOLD

This painting was inspired by the Abu Dhabi scene and it’s one of my favorites of 2014. I have been experimenting more with abstract expressionism and abstract art in general. I think what I like about abstract art is the fact that it can represent many ideas, places, and subjects at once. If I were to paint in a very realistic way, the fruit will always just be the fruit, the landscape the landscape.

Some people don’t really like abstract art mostly because they say they “don’t get it,” that it’s not about anything. But that’s just it. Abstract art is about everything.

I’m finding my inspirations and desires to be far more abstract these days and I think it’s showing up on my canvases. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me.

I’ve also been creating more non-representational work as you can see from my Instagram gallery.

I love what I’m creating these days and I hope it touches a few people out there.

Please follow the link to my Facebook page for more updates.

In the meantime, I’m gonna go give this Happy in Abu Dhabi video another listen. Cuz I’m happpppppy 🙂

Cheers!

Guys, I’ve been painting!

Like a lot. I have proof.

Visit my Etsy shop as I list all the new goodies.

It’s been a great thing to focus on and these paintings are really helping me stay grounded. Each one is a bit of therapy and sometimes experimental.

Here’s some sneak peeks of what to find. Feedback welcome!

20140126-151532.jpg

20140126-151541.jpg

20140126-151555.jpg

20140126-151612.jpg

And as a token of my appreciation, I’ll be posting a coupon code exclusive to my blog followers soon!