My First TroTro

Bread Sellers at Salt Pond

Bread Sellers at Salt Pond

Ok this one was planned except for the symbols. I knew I wanted to incorporate more beautiful fabrics and continue to create the textures but this time I scrubbed the paint back off of the foil so that it had more of a shine. I was hoping to use the colours of the fabrics to inform my palette. The goal was to capture more of the browns and red-browns but I couldn’t resist adding yellow once again which I then felt needed some balancing with pale blue. I love how yellow can be used to create warmth and happiness whilst also assisting with creating a focal point, in this case the tro tro. I have wanted to paint the tro tros for such a long time due to their stickers on the back windows and variety of colours not to mention the bored hot faces peering out which tell their own stories. I am happy with the incompleteness of the tro tro and the ladies as I think it adds to the interest of the image. It wouldn’t be the same if they were complete. The rollers are being used for random effects, textures and they add subtle pattern to the image. The symbols were added last with dry brushing on top to help them disappear into the background as I didn’t want them to complete with the van. They symbolize “appreciation towards generosity”, “morality and nurture” and “contentment”. I hope you like it.


The African Markets Reappear In My Work

Market Life

Market Life

This was a piece I created after a frustrating day at work. Normally when I am tired I just want a wine and a good book or pillow but this time I went straight upstairs and painted all night. I had already created the textures and base colour but the rest was uncertain. I was experimenting with a copper mesh ribbon which I actually quite like. Due to my fatigue I just grabbed the rollers and painted what ever colours I felt like. For some reason the greens and yellows appealed to me. Normally I use the sponges and rollers at the end but this time I reversed the process. My background colour helped me choose the colours for the women as I knew I wanted a contrasting colour but nothing too strong. The splattering shows the carefree mood or release I was getting from the paints. I have been wanting to combine these ladies for a long time. They were women I saw at different times when I was on my beading trip in Eastern Ghana. I am not normally attracted to greens but this time the colour scheme appeals to me. It actually seems quite calming. Sometimes I think I am so lucky to have this outlet. Often the paintings are coming from within and are not overly planned which is the opposite to what I tell my students to do. Haha.

Today Has Been a Busy Painting Day

I am currently working with two very different styles. Both I like but I think they will appeal to different people. This is the first one:


The first style is an Abstract Expressionist piece which is playing with primary and secondary colours whilst layering the paint. I have been playing with transparency for blocking in the figures. The bold black lines really make the image pop. Today I created two small ones but this time incorporated beads. One of my goals when I arrived back to Ghana was to experiment with texture, symbols and objects significant to Ghana. Hence, the patterns inspired from fabrics and the incorporation of the beads. I have also combined textures and the roller, similar to the previous painting.

DSC_0563This one is inspired from one of my photos taken when I was in a bead market. This woman really appealed to me in the way she was casually holding the chicken with the bag of shopping. I simplified her body so it isn’t 100% accurate as I wanted her to fit in with the rest of the Abstract background. I love the use of the reds and purples. That is a combination I have not used much. The symbols are Adinkras and beads are all made here in Ghana.