Anyone who has read my past couple of posts is aware that I've been struggling to find meaning in my work and am feeling a little lost. I was throwing myself a little pity party the other day when I got a call to let me know that a client bought 3 paintings for her new home! If that wouldn't have lit a fire in my belly, nothing would. And good news: it totally did!
That immediately pushed me to the studio and I started thinking about how to challenge myself. Started going over images of my work dating back to 2010 and realized that I've never given florals a chance. I don't know what it is but painting them was never something I felt like I wanted to do. Its a little crazy since I'm a certified florist and love being around flowers. So I took a look at the sad canvas I was working on and decided to challenge myself a little. Laid down my first layer of paint and am still working on composition. I'll tell you this, its bloody difficult working on an abstract floral piece. Nevertheless, I'm back to having a blast in the studio and here is what she looks like right now.
I had already put down paint before I decided to turn it into a floral piece so my main challenge, I guess, has been to restructure the composition. Its usually hard for me to work with anything but a blank canvas, so I guess let's double up the challenge! Will surely post more on this piece soon.
There have been so many gaps in my art and that has been excruciating for me. I've been feeling kind of lost and unable to find my bearings. Sometimes I feel like I'm unsure as to what I want to achieve with each painting and we all know that most of the time, the artworks have minds of their own and never seem to listen. I've been struggling with this piece for months and ended up abandoning it for almost an entire month. Just 3 days ago, I sat myself down and refused to give up, and decided to have another go at it.
Once it was complete, I realized that it entirely reflected how I feel about where I am today. Its moody, darker than a lot of the other work I create and is trying to find meaning of its own. I named her 'Making Sense of It' and here she is :)
There are so many areas of interest in this piece. I have layered tirelessly and I couldn't be happier with the result. Here are a few detail shots where you can see the textures, marks and layers better.
With this new piece comes new challenges. Before I began the painting, I set aside a handful of paints, and decided that I wanted to work with just those colors and not lean on some of my favorite hues for support and comfort. This has almost driven me mad. Although the palette is enjoyable and I have a feeling that I'm moving in the right direction, I catch myself wanting to add that Cadmium Orange or Coral, or darker blues so badly. Here is a detail shot and a shot of the entire canvas. Wish me luck!
After almost a week of struggling with the new painting, she's finally done! Orange has become such a safe color for me and it bothers me slightly since I do want to fight it and try newer palettes. The Prussian was another color I reached out to for comfort but mixing the lavender and peach was what defined the painting for me. Here is what she looks like. Titled: The Beginning and the End.
The past month or so has been so hectic. I just moved into a new house and the move really got the best of me for over 2 weeks. It was a strange experience to see a place I called home slowly become a foreign space. I remember the last time I visited the apartment to collect a few things, I could hear an echo that made me feel so strange.
I just finished setting up my studio in the new house and gave a 30in square canvas a shot today after so long. I don't think I've used lilac in such a long time and there's something about this orange that I can't get out of my head. I definitely want to add more drama and I would like to work a little more on composition but I like where its going so far. Here's where it stands right now.
A few weeks ago there was an interesting open call for a pattern or artwork to be printed on vinyl for these limited edition golf carts as part of a resort project in Dubai. I saw the open call just two days before the deadline but decided to give it a shot any way. According to the brief, the artworks were required to draw inspiration from Emirati culture, the city of Dubai or contain Arabic calligraphy.
Having grown up in this city, I felt like I could bring something personal to the table by incorporating childhood memories. One of such memories was driving by the Ras Al Khor sanctuary on the way to and back from school and being mesmerized by all the flamingos flocked together in the wetlands. Watching them for a few seconds every day made them a huge part of my daily journey and I decided to make them the subject of my artwork.
To complement the pinks from the flamingos, I decided to include palm leaves in cool tones of green and went with two color themes. Here's what the patterns look like
There was this super cool project on Indiewalls where the clients are looking for a huge mug shot of a woman wearing sunglasses to cover the entire back wall of al elevator. They wanted to add a perforated metal sheet in front of the artwork (which I love) and it was to be a digital piece so i whipped out my iPad Pro. I created the piece in Procreate and decided to give her bright Kaleidoscopic sunglasses and a bold red lip so it would stand out from behind the perforated metal sheet. Here's what she would look like with the metal sheet and I've photoshopped her into the rendering of the elevator. :D The piece measures 60in x 84in
I finally finished the second strip as well and decided to wait for feedback from Indiewalls and the client before I began to work on the 3rd strip. The project involved 15 hour drawing days and then at least 3 hours of photoshopping per day to complete. I'm pleased with the result and feel like this could be something that would work in the space. Here's what parts 1 & 2 look like together and then of course a few 'in situ' images are in line :)
There is this brand new project on Indiewalls, which got me super excited. I'm not sure if you remember but last year, there was a restaurant in Plano, TX, which was looking for an Asian/Western fusion themed wall covering for a restaurant, and I had pitched 2 pieces. The motif with the longhorn skull is one my favorite artworks till date. So when I saw a call for another wall covering, I jumped at the opportunity.
This time, the brief states its looking for a 'black and white pop art comic strip; wallcovering to go on an approximately 22'W x 11' wall', and the inspiration image provided looks like this.
The concept sounds super cool and I began to brainstorm. For ideas, I started looking at Romance/Adventure comic books from the 50s, and decided to bring in an Eastern flair to the strip. Since the wall is wider than it is taller, I'm working on 3 pages morphed onto the wall. Each drawing on each page is a separate .psd file, which I'm then Photoshopping together into the master file. Here's what the first page looks like!
Day 2, I decided to shift focus to a 30x40 inch canvas, which I had been wrestling with for days. The urgency to complete the piece within the day pushed me to stop procrastinating. The palette changed drastically and a part of me feels like it was in response to the pressure. No complaints though :) Here she is. Titled Memorabilia.