My FINAL Piece From Ghana

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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.

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The Trip To Sirigu Was Very Inspiring

DSC_1044The 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.

DSC_0196 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.

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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.

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The Last Work Before The Exhibit

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Another market/fabric scene using rollers, stencils and real fabric. This version was inspired from my last exhibition.

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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.

 

TroTro for Today

DSC_0315Here is one for the boys! Masculine theme and colours. I have wanted to paint this for a long time. It is inspired from a photo taken by Greg on one of our road trips. Quite a common scene here in Ghana. I was playing with different textures such as string, plastic and newspaper. I am still using rollers and dry-brushing for the finishing touches and colour balance. The swirly paint was created by squeezing paint directly onto the canvas in a circular design and gently rolling a roller over it which creates the cool pattern. This was an experiment which I am really enjoying.

My First Proper Tree Painting

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This is one of my favourite trees here in Ghana. Mind you I have many favourite trees. It was inspired from a photo I took a long time ago on a grade 9 field trip. The tree was actually in a local school in the Volta region. All the kids from the school had climbed it to watch our kids give out Malaria nets and play football. I chose three children to paint because I loved their levels and positioning on the tree. Odd numbers really appeal to me in my art. I hope you like it. I have two canvases drawn up for today one is a Tro Tro and the other is another market scene from my recent beading trip. I am also hoping to begin another boat painting.

I am on holidays at the end of this week so wont be painting for another three weeks but when I get back I will only have 1 week before my art exhibition at Alliance Francaise. I think I am going to invite interested people to my place to view the art before but they will not be allowed to purchase as it will give them time to think and decide which one really speaks to them. If you are interested in attending the preview please let me know.

My Latest Paintings

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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.

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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.

DSC_0156-2This 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.

DSC_0156I 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.

DSC_0158-2This shows you what my studio is looking like right now. It is definitely a more unified theme.

DSC_0158I actually really like this by itself as well. It is really fun creating the coloured backgrounds.

DSC_0161-2Here 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.

DSC_0161This 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.

DSC_0163I 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.