I am really happy with this piece as it could be any number of amazing villages here in Ghana. However this village near Blue Diamond is particularly striking with its fort and amazing tree. I have combined all my favourite techniques into this painting; knife painting, rollers, patterned rollers, stencils and small brushes for the details. Every painting I have done so far has been a close up. Close ups of boats, people, markets one individual at a time. This is my first painting where I am trying to capture the bustling scene. I love the colours in the people. It is so Ghanaian with their gorgeous fabrics. I still love the contrast of the black. Ironically I have run out of black paint just in time for my last painting. The next time I post another painting it will be from Vietnam.
This is what I created today. I have had this painting in my mind for a long time. Finally it is on canvas! These beads were hanging in the bead market at Krobo. They are too expensive to buy so figured why not paint them and hang them on my wall? I hope you like it. Now I am going back to boats after some inspiration from last weekend.
The trip to Blogatanga and Sirigu was just as amazing as we thought it was going to be. We stayed in SWOPA which is famous for its basket weaving, murals and pottery. We balanced sight seeing trips with pottery, painting and weaving classes. By doing the painting course I was able to learn the meanings behind the geometric symbols which are now appearing in my paintings.
I really like the geometric designs not only because they make my work a little more unique but they also remind me of Sirigu. This painting is a small cute painting inspired by the mural designs and the guinea fowl which are everywhere. They are such cute birds. I used the mixed media Gesso painting techniques which I am working with in my grade 7 and 8 classes. I had no idea oils pastels, chalks , charcoals and watercolours worked this way in wet Gesso.
This technique is very similar to my previous style which incorporated rollers and textures but this time I added some small Sirigu designs and put Gesso through a stencil which is another mixed media technique that I am exploring with my students. I love the large pots as they were so round and were huge. It was incredible watching the ladies load up their massive pots on their heads.
This is the piece I created today inspired from the food section in the Sirigu market. It is more like my previous style incrporating fabrics, textures and rollers. This time I used stencils too to replicate a fabric design. I loved the splash of red colours in the market so decided because the tomatoes were so bright I would use a predominantly cool colour scheme so that the tomatoes would become a focal point. The black-brown adds great contrast which is why I still love using that technique of painting onto a dark background.
I reworked a painting which was bothering me so I took a boat out and incorporated a funny quote which has proven to be quite popular. I am now much happier with this piece and really love the colours.
This was the view from Cape Coast Castle. The boats are so much fun to paint. I decided to continue to use the dark background to create contrast between the light and bright beach colours. This is actually quite a large piece.
This is also a large long piece also from the west coast of Ghana. You can see a blend of old and new styles here. I have used the dark background, textures, rollers and added my new favourite effect of dribbled paint and rollers. This one has it all!
Another market/fabric scene using rollers, stencils and real fabric. This version was inspired from my last exhibition.
My last piece before the exhibition. I really do love these colours and had so much fun painting it. This piece is layer on layer using knives, rollers,sponges and brushes. It also has my Ghana touch of fabric and beads.
This one was really fun because I had no idea what I was going to do. First I created a random background using brush, rollers, fingers and stencils. This was actually the first time I dribbled paint on the canvas and rolled the rollers gently over it. The pattern reminded me of string prints where you dip string into paint and press it onto paper so that is why I stuck the string on. I thought it complimented the design and added subtle texture. I then chose the photo resource which spoke to me the most today. Every day is different. I loved this lady when I saw her at the bead market. I waited quite a while to get a good candid photo as I really don’t like pointing cameras in people’s faces. When I took the photo I knew she was going to be a painting one day. If only she knew.
I love the colours and the addition of the fabric. I am always looking for ways to combine fabrics with my art as they are so beautiful and important here in Ghana. I don’t like sticking them on so they look like random designs they have to be a part of my painting. The colours, and designs have to balance or create contrast. I copied the design on the fabric and painted a section in the background. This piece really is layer on layer. I am actually really happy with it especially because of the fabric.
This was inspired from a photo I took at the bead market. I loved the positions of the ladies along with the peeling posters behind their heads. It is a combination of my new and old styles. The posters were painted with a paint knife, the background is in roller and dry brush. I am experimenting with fabric manipulation. When I compare the two ladies I actually prefer the one without the details. There is something calming about her. No features makes you focus on her clothes and surroundings. I am happy with the colours, beads and touch of fabric.
This is my new favourite. There is something very appealing about the colour scheme and realism in the dresses. This time I tried painting the fabric designs outside the figures. I like how the white creates a focal point, movement and contrast. One of the strands of beads is threaded onto wire which made it very easy to shape into an interesting design. I like how the other two strands hang.
This was inspired from the bead seller at the festival I went to. She was actually leaning against a red wall but I found the orange and yellow background to be not as successful so I changed the background to a red black which created more contrast. Somehow the painting used more greens than reds. The fabric is one of my favourite prints in Ghana.
I am very happy with this piece. It was actually the second one of my female/market series. I particularly like the dress, and the colour combinations. It was the detail in this dress that made me change my style slightly.
Here is a different one. The pink circular pattern is a new discovery I squeezed some paint out over the canvas than then gently rolled rollers over it. I was going to blend the colour in but actually loved the effect so kept it. I really like the stencil design too because it reminds me of Adinkra symbols and fabric design. I didn’t think this one needed the fabric or the beads.
This was an older one which I reworked with my new style. Recently I have been creating texture with my paint alone but this one has the actual and implied texture. I do prefer these colours and the touch of beads.
I actually painted this today and as you can see it is very different to all the others. I loved this mural when I first saw it in James Town. As I had a photo of the man painting it I though it would make a great painting in its own right. Greg says I paint too many women so here is a man! (Haha) Even though the woman is still there and quite a bit bigger. I actually have 3 “men” paintings planned one with a tro tro and another with a tree. I would love to capture the amazingly colourful African men as their fabrics are just as gorgeous as the women’s. However, I do love the curves, babies and strength of the women in their daily lives.