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.