My Last Trees From Ghana

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This is a painting with a difference. I have wanted to paint this since our beach trip October last year. It was inspired from a photo I took looking at the sunset between the palm trees at Beyin. Again I applied Gesso over the canvas, painted yellow and orange into the Gesso and then smudged it with my hands. While the paint was wet I drew in the trees and added extra colour with chalks. Its a combination of chalks and paint If I had black ink or black thick house paint I would have dribbled that on top too. It is only a small piece but is quite striking. Here is a photo of my wall to show the scale of the paintings in relation to each other.

Three on a wall

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Four New Paintings Inspired By Fabrics From Ghana

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I spent all day today painting these they are 30x30cms so not huge but I really like them. I am happy with the patchwork effect of the fabrics combined with the rollers, textures and dry brushing. I am having a lot of fun playing with colour. I tried to have most of the women connected to fabric somehow. Anyway it is late and time for bed so this is just a quick post to show you the last of my paintings before the exhibit this Sunday.

Boats from Elmina Castle

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Here is a very different painting for me. I have been wanting to paint the boats for a long time. This is actually my biggest canvas yet. I have combined techniques from my past and present paintings. For the texture in the boats I used a paint knife and dry brushing (just like in my old wall paintings). The sand was created with a texture grainy gel while the soft colours were applied with rollers. I really love this technique as it picks up the textures of the layers underneath. I have 4 small paintings left to paint this week and then that is everything that I am putting into the exhibition. Any other canvases will be for next year. I am really happy that I got the chance to complete this painting yesterday.

Buckets of Beauty

Buckets of Beauty, 40x40

Buckets of Beauty, 40×40

I am still exploring my new style. After being able to stock up on some supplies in Canada I have returned with many ideas and products to play with which I am looking forward to capturing on canvas. When I am not thinking/pre-planning my colours I seem to grab the blues and purples which I balance with a touch of complimentary yellow. These colours are very relaxing to me.

I was also experimenting with gesso as you can see the lines from the textured gesso and the symbols were created with a stencil and gesso. I incorporated a piece of fabric again as I really like how it links my images to Ghana. I am still loving the textures as they make me want to look closer at the image, they intrigue me. I am actually very happy with my focal point as I a pleased with the realism of the lady and her buckets. I still like the dark background which contrasts with the woman and tones down the colours a little. In my next painting I want to try a warmer base colour. Even though I think it still has to be dark to create the contrast and visual interest in the painting. I hope you like it.

Last Painting for 3 Weeks

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I am guessing that this is my last painting for 3 weeks as on Friday I will be flying to Canada for Christmas. I am planning on stocking up on some art materials which I can’t get here and will continue the artistic journey as soon as I get back. With this painting my goal was to play with and strengthen my colours. I have been painting with a lot of blues lately so thought it is time to try the textures with more orange, a colour I associate a lot with Ghana. This was also inspired from my trip to the beach at Sisimbo, the women were on the beach with the fishing nets while the men were in the ocean. The whole process of dragging the nets in took hours or hard work.

I hope you like it. Have a fabulous Christmas and a sensational new year.

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A Days Work

In a Days Work- Acrylics on Canvas, Oct 2012

I have decided to create three of these paintings capturing people and images who move me. Again I have included the embossed foil, glue and beads plus tissue paper. I am really happy with the girl’s expression and especially her lips. I don’t usually paint faces so this is a real challenge for me. I would have liked it to be more expressionist like the previous painting but kept to the browns yellows and just a touch of blue. The colours are calming and so is her expression. I like the addition of the beads especially since they are actually from the bead factories here.

I am not sure what my next piece will be but I will have another attempt at a portrait, perhaps an old lady/man then my three paintings could also capture the generations here. I would like my paintings to become even more textured and I’d quite like to work layer on layer a little like the effect of batiks but am not sure how to combine the realism with it yet as I have also decided I like a “mess” with a bit of realism for the human connection. But who knows what path I will travel down next. I just know I am really excited by the journey. Please come with me.

I Am Back Painting

Motherly Love-Acrylics on Canvas, Oct 2012

This is the first painting I have produced since being back in Ghana. I am thrilled to be painting again even though the end product was not what I was really thinking of doing. It may sound strange but I never really know what my work is going to look like in the end.

Just so you know why there was such a large break or in case you have just joined this Blog. Last May I had my first art exhibition here in Ghana. Despite the lack of sales it was still a huge success and the first time I have really been respected as an artist and a teacher. As I am currently teaching art in an international school in Ghana I had a big summer break from June-August where my husband and I traveled to Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.

I am back now in Ghana, it has taken some time to get my brushes out again. However, every time I get out and about and surround myself with the gorgeous people, fabrics, beads, music, and sunsets I am inspired to paint. There are so many things I want to capture that I don’t know where to start. As any working artist knows it is VERY difficult to paint after a busy day at work so my main painting days have been Sundays. I wish I could do so much more but I am also juggling yoga, zumba, drumming and various groups at school so it is all about balance. I have actually just introduced a group at school called “art for the soul” where the teachers will be able to come and play with arts and crafts inspired by Ghana. I figured that was one way to make me CREATE.

I am also on a mission to meet local artists here in Ghana. It would be amazing to hear their thoughts on contemporary art in Ghana and I’d love to see their techniques. That is my goal this year…to find 5 local artists who I click with and can be inspired by. I feel like something is missing when I am not painting, it would be fabulous to exhibit or work with others who felt the same way. The tough part for me is always beginning, especially when I don’t have a set style. Last year I loved my markets, close ups and textured walls but this year I would like to explore more mixed media techniques which will incorporate media found around Ghana like the beads, fabrics and anything else I can think of. Maybe even some of the plastic trash. As all my art is pretty much self taught I am going to have to experiment with a variety of techniques- from weaving, beading, batiking to fabric tying as I think these skills will really enhance my future art works.

This painting is a little start towards that direction as I have used some embossed foil, texture paste, beads and glue. This is actually the first time I have painted an expressionist portrait. I am really happy with the limited colour scheme. The warmth of the colours seem to enhance the warmth of the hug. I adore the expression of the mother as she looks truly at bliss. Everything in her life is about this child, there is no love stronger. I really hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.