Saturday, November 1, 2008

In Memorium

I am currently taking a mixed media course at Emily Carr University, taught by Elizabeth Barnes. The project that was introduced last week in class (while I was absent) was mail art - that is, art in post card format. As I was away last week, I asked my teacher to email me the assignment, and I was pleased when I received the email detailing it. The theme of choice was "In Memorium", which I thought to be quite fitting, considering it's now been a year since the sudden passing away of my dear father. I decided to make this assignment a tribute to him, and also an exploration of how I see myself in him. Dad used to always tell me that I was like the "carbon copy" of him. Kids rarely can see themselves in their parents, but as I grew up, I realized it was true what he had always said, and even more clear when I saw old photos of him. I thus chose photos of my father in his youth. One image he's about 18 years of age, and the other, he's closer to my current age.

Media chosen includes image transfer, using a blender pen. This took more effort than it looks! First I had to get the photo images just right, and match the photo quality and of my photo to that of the old photos of my father using Photoshop. I had to adjust sizes and then print everything in black and white, run it over to the copy shop to make photocopies (necessary to activate the blender pen), then come home and cross my fingers that the transfer would work ok. I was pleased to see that on watercolour paper, the transfer looks almost like a charcoal sketch, but unlike charcoal, now we can mix it with wet media.

My wet media of choice here is brown ink mixed with water to get the orange/blue separation effect. I also added a little collage work for the text.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Upcoming projects

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been battling a cold, and it's rather difficult to be inspired to create art when I feel under the weather. But that seems to be improving now and life shall return to normal shortly.

Some upcoming projects of note.... I'm starting a new art class this Sunday at Emily Carr University in alternative drawing. It should be a great opportunity to create art in alternative media than what I normally do. I'm very much looking forward to the course and will of course, blog about my progress and projects.

I'm also getting further involved with the Drift society and am possibly teaching some art workshops at Riley Park Community Centre in the Spring of 2009. I'm looking forward to developing the programs and moving forward there. There are also possible plans for a community mural project, which is something I have lots of experience in and passion for doing.

More immediately, I will be working on a small piece, as a gift for Cam's nephew's first birthday. I will be starting that this weekend and posting the results soon here!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Maple & Mehndi

Self explanatory? This one was a doodle I did the night I was invited to go on Chai Time to promote the Drift Festival. Yes, it ended up being a late night, with tired eyes the next morning. It was an evening of questioning my connection to my heritage - how much of me is "Canadian" and how much is "brown" or, more appropriately, "South Asian", and how each of those are interconnected.

It's funny because when I was first introduced to the idea of the texture factory technique, I thought about mehndi, and how I've always loved the patterns. But I couldn't visualise the patterns. So here I experimented, keeping in mind that the designs are often floral and/or resembling lace. And I'm pleased with the result of the doodle. Every wedding I've attended where I've been able to watch the mehndi artists do their thing, I used to think, "I could do that!" But of course, never tried. Anyway, here's a doodle, and the hands are my own (yes, I traced them). I think future texture drawings might incorporate mehndi designs, to give that extra South Asian flavour to it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few changes to the Drift details

I had originally thought my art would be displayed at Front & Company (Main and 22nd) until October 15th. Well, that's no longer the case. Things have changed. My work will be there from now (Oct 2), until end of the work day on Sunday, October 5th.

I also have less display space than I thought I would at Front & Company so to make up for it, I am displaying some work at my friend and fellow Drift artist, Surrinder Bring's home / art studio. She's been gracious to give me a wall in her gallery space to display my work with hers. If you wish to see that work too, she can be found at 475 Aubrey Place (near Main and 29th Avenue).

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Drift, Art on Main Street

Just a reminder to all my blog followers that I will be part of the upcoming Drift Art Festival on Main Street (Vancouver, BC) this coming weekend. My work will be displayed at Front and Company on Main Street at 22nd Ave, which is a consignment clothing and gift/accessory store. I will be on site over the weekend, October 4 and 5th to answer questions.

For more information on the Drift, please follow this link:

www.thedrift.ca

Also feel free to visit my new homepage at:

www.zahidajaffer.com


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Girl Carrying Water

On a day where I had a few hours of spare time, I decided to doodle. I was thinking about strong women - strong women I've met, both in body and in character. Strong women who've endured all kinds of hardships, but still take on the role of caretaker. Somehow the image of a young woman carrying a large vessel of water on her head depicts strength. Physically, I couldn't carry water like that. But it's more than that here. How many of us here in Vancouver would whine and complain if we didn't have water coming out of our taps and we had to travel for miles to get it. What a terrible inconvenience that would be, to our busy lives. We'd likely whine more too if we were needing to fetch it for someone other than ourselves, like for children or sick parents.

To me the image is strength, and so I used the bold statement of "texture factory" technique, but kept facial features undistorted by it. I'm very pleased with the result of this picture, and will be featuring this piece at the Drift.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chai Time

So I am very likely, most definitely going to be on television next week. I've been called in to be part of an interview on Monday afternoon for the TV show called Chai Time, on Omni Television - a television program featuring the South Asian community in Vancouver. They will be speaking to me along with another artist from the Drift, Surrinder Bring, about our art work, and journeys as South Asian-Canadian artists. Of course I don't really believe this is going to happen, until I'm in the TV studio with the camera on me.

Of course being asked to do this has challenged me in many ways. The thought of speaking on TV doesn't scare me. Well, maybe a little. The main challenge is my own self doubt on whether or not I represent the South Asian community appropriately. But my response is, why not? Growing up in Canada has offered me the ability to be proud of who I am and where my family comes from, while offering me a lens of multiculturalism to view things. I can feel very connected to "Canadian" culture while also holding true in my heart where I come from. It's opened up a curiosity to learn more about the world around me, and visit parts of the world in which I had no prior connection. It's also deepened my guilt and worried me that I've neglected familiarizing myself with my own roots. But every time my family gathers, I realize how deeply rooted our culture is in how we do things, and how at home I am there, and how happy I am to be blessed with such an interesting history.

So I see this interview as an opportunity both to promote my art work, but also to prove a reminder to myself to take pride in where I come from.

Anyway, I'm now inspired to use this as an excuse to do an image I've been considering for some time in my mind. Will post it soon here. Sorry that this post had no accompanying image, but a promise for one soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Break for Peace (part 2)

You know, it's normally instinct to take down something you don't like... but instead I'm going to post the before and the after on this, even though the after is so much better....

After two days of having this painting sitting on my easel as it was before, I decided some work needed doing on it to make the dancer stand out more. I believe this method of self-criticism is constructive. I've set up my apartment like an art studio so that paintings aren't put "away" when they're not being worked on. This way I can continually contemplate my work, and decide on what can be improved and what the strong parts are. The same thing happened when I first started working on this painting about two months ago. The background behind the graffiti was once green, but I decided to cover it almost entirely with yellow, just from spending days seeing it every time I pass my living room. Now I'm even more pleased with the result of this painting. Here it is, for a second time: Break for Peace.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Break for Peace

This is most recent piece, and perhaps one of my most colourful, Break for Peace, draws upon my experience working with youth in Colombia in 2006. The youth I met live in the municipalities of Soacha and Chia, near Bogotá. The image brings together images of youth solidarity, graffiti art, hip hop music, and break dance: vehicles that urban youth in Colombia use to express their resistance to rights violations, to violence, to drugs, and to other issues that plague their lives. It is their way of expressing their need to break down barriers and express themselves as creative individuals and as a collective who need to not be ignored but heard. I got to participate in the annual "Festival Hip Hop" in Chia that said: ¨"No al consumo de droga. No a la violencia" – a positive message that encourages youth to understand that violence, joining the insurgent groups, taking drugs etc., is not cool. And that music that says otherwise is also not cool. This piece shows the colours, sounds, and sense of empowerment that the Festival gave to its participants.

Monday, September 1, 2008

West Arm, Kootenay Lake

After a two week hiatus, I'm back home in Vancouver. The past two weeks took me to many places, from Vancouver to Toronto, and all stops in between via the USA, then I flew back and went to Vancouver Island. I had originally hoped to do some artistic journaling but found that time was often a limiting factor. I took close to 700 photographs however, and fully intend on converting some of those into pieces of artwork - especially those of the beautiful Yellowstone Park in Wyoming and the Badlands of South Dakota. Stay tuned for this.

I did complete one drawing on this trip, while relaxing on the dock on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake where Jennifer's family have a place there where I was invited to stay a few nights before we headed south of the border. I decided to use the texture factory method, as I didn't want to travel with too many supplies, and with the various tonal qualities presented in the mountains, this seems an appropriate choice.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Childhood Textures and possible 2-week hiatus


The following picture I did two nights ago, wanting to explore further the idea of texture factory drawings, and where I can go with that. I picked an image of mine that's simple, from Childhood Reflections, and drew it again. Of course this is a 9x12 and the original full-colour painting is much larger. Again, pleased with this, and I'm going to explore further. I also experimented a little with different sized micron pens so I could get in finer detail. Be sure to enlarge this one to see the little detail. It was ever so time-consuming, so it would be nice if it were to be noticed!

The 2-week hiatus I refer to is because on Saturday I am going on vacation and won't return until late on September 1st. I don't foresee any time during that vacation to be blogging, but I guarantee that pictures will be drawn and watercolours will be painted in that time. I'm going first on a road trip across the continent to Toronto with Jennifer, then flying home alone. Along the way, we'll be stopping and taking in the sights at various places, including Yellowstone Park. When I return, I'm immediately heading to Parksville on the Island with Cam, and we'll be relaxing and enjoying the beach there. I anticipate creating pretty pictures along the way.

So if I don't blog before, we'll see you in September, with lots of drawings to show off! Then I'll have another month of preparation time leading up to the Drift. Wow, time flies!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monserrate

This piece is based on a photo I took in Bogota, Colombia, atop Monserrate. From up top this mountain is the most amazing view of the city, but if you walk around, the top of the mountain itself is quite beautiful and outlines the path of a holy pilgrimage. I don't know the whole history behind it (or rather, it's been a few years and I don't quite remember). What I do recall is it was really beautiful here. The picture shows the view toward another famous hill, Guadalupe.

Technique here was mixing my magic brown ink with a little bit of blue and green watercolour paint. The image itself presented itself a challenge as it combines the buildings, as well as natural elements such as plants and mountains. Also there are various textures, and a need to build depth and perspective. I think I was successful here and am quite pleased with the results.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Texture Factory - Young at Heart and Sunflower

In my pen and ink class, we learned a technique called texture factory. Essentially, the goal is the shade in the object according to their tonal values, rather than their shapes, assigning each tonal value with a unique texture. I had a lot of fun with this, and in class created this picture of the old man. It was a big hit in class, and I must say I truly love what I've achieved here. I call this one, "Young at Heart" as it's based on a photo of an old man with a beard, but since it's been distorted through the texture factory, he looks quite a bit younger, although his face still tells many detailed stories.

I've decided I'd like to take this concept further and explore it with other natural items like flowers and landscapes, as well as cityscapes and buildings. I think this approach would work quite well, and I hope to be able to create some unique drawings of this sort while on my upcoming trip across the continent.

Here is one sample of me trying this again on my own time - a sunflower. I think it works yet again, although here I focussed on shapes (stamen and petals) rather than tonal value patches like I did on the man's portrait, and used textures where I thought fit. I'd like to do this with more flower designs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ink and Watercolour

Here are three samples of work I did this week combining ink and watercolour, during my class at Emily Carr. Each one of these is using a different technique, and all using the same brown ink, which to me is magic when you add water, as the colours blend, bleed, and separate in the most fascinating ways. The unpredictability of this media makes it very exciting to work with in that the results never come out the same twice. Here is a still life, which I'd like to explore further. Unfortunately I was looking at artificial flowers, so this would be a good exercise with actual plants.



This here is using the technique our teacher, Stan Hunc, called "happy accidents" where we purposely soaked the paper in water, then added splatters of watercolour and ink. The following day we adding ink drawing to it. Many class members opted for abstract design, but I decided to go for something a bit more representational. Looking at it again. I see other possible directions I could have taken this, but I'm still pleased with the result.





Here I am just goofing off with my new best friend, the magic brown ink, and a little bit of green watercolour paint. I think I've discovered my new favourite method for representing trees!

I think I've definitely discovered a new media for my art that's intriguing, and one I'd like to explore further, hopefully with the coming Art Drift show as an excuse.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Clematis

This is the first project from the Drawing With Pen and Ink class I am currently taking at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Here are two clematis flowers.

The exercise was actually to trace the flowers from a xeroxed photo (to save time, and thus be able to focus on shading technique rather than on composition). We were encouraged to use one's own interpretation for how to shade it and do the background.

I didn't rely fully on tracing, as I got the hang of using the classic pen pretty fast anyway, so tracing wasn't all necessary (ie., no need to save time per se). I decided to aim for realism for the flowers and a darker, abstract background. It's a neat challenge to show depth and shadow when you only have one colour to work with - ink at it's full strength, using a classic pen with various sized nibs to achieve different line qualities. Unlike in pencil where blending and various line strengths alters the colour to create grayscale, one must be a bit more deliberate with ink. I used a mix of hatching (lines in one direction), cross-hatching (lines in multiple directions), stippling (dots), and scribbles to shade.

I'm pleased with the outcome, although I think the background is a bit on the busy side. That said, I was experimenting with various forms of shading. If my sole goal was composition and making something pretty, I would have gone for a more simplified, yet still abstract background.

More from the pen and ink class to be posted in the coming days. Just waiting to get them all back from my teacher. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Etosha Elephants

So I had a little nugget of time today, and a little 10x12 canvas, so I decided to paint some elephants, again to go along with my theme of travel-inspired paintings. This is based on a photo I took of a bunch of elephants and antelope at a water hole in Etosha National Park in Namibia from my trip in 2004.

In reality there were about 25 elephants at the water hole. My photo had 4 of them. I decided to minimize it even further to two elephants, and even more by leaving it looking unfinished. I'm never a realist, but I'm picky about making things look finished normally. So this is a stretch beyond my style, but I am pleased with how it turned out. The splashes of paint are mostly achieved by scraping my palette knife all over my palette and then all over the canvas in a random fashion, then blending some areas with my fingers. This was the same approach to the background in Namibian Playground which was partially intentional in that I liked how it turned out there and thought it would work again here. Now it has me wondering if I should tie each painting within a mini set (this one being a mini set of paintings about Namibia) together using some commonality. Just a thought, but we'll see what happens!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Namibian Playground

Namibian Playground is an acrylic painting, part of a series of works based on my experiences traveling abroad. My trip through Namibia in August of 2004 was one of my first experiences overseas. What I learned from the experience has had an immense impact on my life and has shaped the lens from which I view the world. I had the privilege of working very closely with youth at risk, offering my hands to help change diapers, my feet to keep the kitchen running, and my heart to provide educational programs at the children’s shelter they called home.


Through this experience, I was able to learn and journey with the children. Together in tight quarters we lived, broke bread, shared stories, shed tears, sang songs, and often danced until our feet hurt. I met many inspiring children, listened to incredible stories of courage, and got a glimpse at the complexity of factors contributing to poverty in Namibia. And I took many photographs in an attempt to document my experience.



I chose one of my photos to base a painting on 4 years later. The boy in the image is absolutely remarkable. He showed me a very passionate way of living; he gave 100% in expressing both the heights of his joy and the depths of his sorrow. He was one of the children living at the children's shelter there not because he had been orphaned, but because he had been rescued from a home where domestic violence was a reality. It was often difficult, yet a highly rewarding to work with him and learn from him.



This painting is based on a photo I took of this boy playing on the swing set made very creatively out of an old tire. This swing set is found in a playground I spent quite a bit of my time in. I was often up and in the playground before the kids woke up in the morning, as that is when I got my best work done painting a mural on the playground fence. This playground was where so much magic took place: where imaginations ran free, where new songs were composed, and where children from around town would gather and dance.



So many people have the misconception that if they are to go to Africa, anywhere in the continent, they'll be overwhelmed by the poverty and misery. And sure, there certainly is much that is overwhelming in Rehoboth, Namibia; I am not going to deny it. But what was so much more apparent and important to see was the way everyone was so alive, so in touch with one another, and so tuned in to their own dreams. The children, like the young boy here on the tire swing, reminded me of the importance of play in my own life. They taught me that no matter how adult I become, I must always remember my inner child. And no matter the circumstances that we face in our lives, we should always make time to visit the playground.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Childhood Reflections


WhenI posted a photo of my painting called Reflections, I mentioned a painting that I did when I was in grade 12 as part of my portfolio assignment. Well, today I was digging in my closet for old travel photos (from back before I went digital), and remembered that I had a pile of old artwork stashed in there. So I dug out the old canvas, unfolded it, and decided to apply a little extra paint to define the lines a bit more. Now she's finished, and I'm pleased. Not bad for something I did in my teens (honestly, the edits done today were minimal).

Anyway, to recap, this was part of a series of paintings and drawings that incorporated mirrors. This is to show a child reflecting on her young life so far, or an adult looking at back at her childhood years. The girl is wearing a dress and blue shoes, as when I was a young girl, I loved wearing dresses (especially if it had ribbons) and my favourite shoes were blue. So maybe another self portrait, in a way, similar to the adult version in Reflections. The colours here though symb0lize childhood learning. I think of the primary colours when I recall my first ever art classes and learning about colour and the colour wheel.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home in Paros


I just finished a painting today. I decided that I wanted to create a series of paintings based on my travels around the world, as I've been to some pretty interesting destinations over the last few years. I've started to go through my photos and see which ones would work well in a painted representation. That is, without wanting to create photographic likeness - paint something that will remind me of my experiences abroad.

To begin, I chose one of my favourite photos from my trip to Greece about a year ago. My good friend, Jessica, and I spent a chunk of time on the small Cycladic island called Paros. What stood out there was the beauty found in the simplicity there. All the houses and buildings are white, and very simple in shape. Accents such as doors and shutters, all blue. And you get the occasional extra colour such as the gold seen here. We both spent a great deal of time photographing the homes and shops, just in amazement how something so simple could carry such great beauty. Perhaps much of it was the way the hot summer sun shone on the buildings and both highlighted areas and defined shadows.

Here is the photo I chose to work from. It's one of the photos in my album from my trip that seems to grab a lot of attention from those who have viewed it. Beautiful simplicity.






And so to turn this into a painting presented another unique challenge for me. As I mentioned in my entry about my painting of the Vancouver skyline, the idea of painting straight lines really has no appeal to me. As much as I love math, a mathematical painting or drawing lacks the same satisfaction of painting free hand! The other challenge is that I generally enjoy painting with a lot of colour: splashes of colour everywhere. The simplicity here and focus on shades of white presented yet another challenge for me - one which I still wonder if I made a good choice or not. In the end, I have what is a good painting that I am quite pleased with: one with personal meaning to me as it reminds me of a lovely trip I took with a close friend. But it seems to stray slightly from the style I'm trying so hard to define as my own. I suppose that's ok though. I suppose it's fine to have some stylistic variation.

The finished product...


This all being said now, I look forward to my next travel painting. I'm thinking of something from Namibia. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life Drawing 2

Today was my second life drawing class at Emily Carr. Here are some samples of my sketches, each from 10-15 min poses. Not a lot of time for detail, but enough to work on light and shadow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunset Beach

Yesterday afternoon, my good friend Jennifer and I grabbed our sketchbooks and took a seat on the rocks by the water at Sunset Beach. Here is a scan of what I sketched, using a combination of conte crayon and pastel. It's a view of False Creek and the Burrard Street Bridge. I can't quite get my entire sketchbook to fit on (and not sit slightly crooked) my scanner, but this gives a good idea anyway. It is so much fun to create art outside - I really ought to do it more. When paired with good company, it's even better!


And here is my co-artist, Jennifer. I know, it doesn't really look like her. It was hard to achieve realism because she was also drawing, hence not there just to model for me. And the rocks we were sitting on were kind of uncomfortable, so she kept wiggling! It was a fun afternoon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Drift - Art on Main Street

I am participating in the upcoming Drift event on Main St. in Vancouver. Please click here to see my profile:

Alternatively, you can go to www.drift.ca and find me by using the search for artist feature.

---

Quoted from The Drift


History of The Drift

Formed in 2004, the Main Art Drift Society organizes the annual Drift event to help promote local artists and artisans. The Society supports local art in other ways as well, by providing an environment for artists to get together and share knowledge, and by offering opportunities for artistic and professional growth.

Mission of The Drift

To increase public awareness of the vibrant and diverse arts and culture community around Main Street; and to strengthen ties among local artists, and between the local arts and business communities.

COMMUNITY BUILDING
The Drift strengthens the cultural fabric of the community by celebrating and cultivating the unique character, diversity and ethos of Main Street; one of the city’s most precious cultural resources – a natural habitat for individual artists, not-for-profit arts organizations, artist run centres as well as a dynamic range of creative enterprises and enterprising creatives who live, work and play in the neighbourhood.

The annual Drift community festival includes a wide range of arts and community-based events that occur in galleries, businesses, restaurants, cafes, community organizations and public spaces along Main Street from Industrial to 33rd. The dynamism of the festival therefore attracts attendees that are economically and culturally diverse; they are children, youth, adults and seniors; they are local residents and international visitors; they
are business owners and patrons; they are cultural producers as well as cultural consumers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Life Drawing 1

Well, tonight was my first of 6 3-hour life drawing studio classes at The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. I recently took a drawing course at UBC where there was a focus toward life drawings, but I found that class limiting in nature. The instructors were great and I have a lot of respect for the teaching team, however the emphasis was on realism and drawing everything we see - learning technique, rather than practicing already known technique, and working on compositionally interesting drawings. So being in an open studio class with no instruction is going to allow me to practice technique, experiment with media, and do studies of how I see fit.

One thing that stood out though from my UBC instructor, Richard Prince, was his idea that one cannot understand people from an artist's perspective, without drawing them in their true form. I've found that although some people giggle at the idea of life drawing classes, it's actually a very good method for understanding human form, human proportion, and really complex light and tonal studies. Much more challenging than drawing an apple, for example.

The UBC class also had us doing 3 hour sessions of mostly the same pose so realism can truly be achieved (the poor models must have been uncomfortable despite the breaks). Here we did a bunch of 2 minute gesture drawings to warm up, then we went to 5 minute sessions to have slightly more detailed sketches with some tonal work, then 3 25-minute extended drawings where studies are possible.

I used 3 types of media today: charcoal, conte crayon, and graphite. Here are some samples:

This is one of the quick 5 minute sketches, using conte crayon. I kind of lost track of time and forgot his second leg. Oops.











I decided to do a study on just tonal work for the second 25-minute extended session, as the previous one was of the entire body and 25 mins isn't enough to do a good job of that (too much to cover).









This is the last drawing I did - a 25 min sketch using a mix of pencil and graphite sticks (for tonal work). I decided to embrace the portrait artist in me here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vancouver


This painting I completed in May 2008. The reason for starting and completing this painting was that I wanted to give a gift to Cam that was unique and thoughtful. It hangs proudly on his wall. :-)

I consider myself to be both a landscape artist and a portrait artist. Doing a cityscape was a challenge I was a bit unsure of at first. However, I believe I was successful. I was a bit nervous about having to deal with so many buildings and straight lines, when I'm more interested in exploring colour and shape. The result is a bunch of not so straight lines, all done just by eyeballing it, and a whole lot of colour. The experience of piecing on colour, one line or dot at a time was time-consuming, but gave me a new appreciation for cityscapes. I even think that now I see my city, Vancouver, with more colour than I ever saw before doing this painting.

I like this painting a lot - I believe I achieved a strange sense of realism while also being far from reality. I do want to work more now with painting man-made structures, as well as the organic.

Reflections


This is a painting I completed 2 years ago. It was inspired by a painting I did in high school whilst I was preparing my art portfolio for art school applications (before I decided to go to university instead). I should find the old painting and post a pic of it here too. The theme of the portfolio was reflections - how we see ourselves is often different than how we are seen by others.

Both paintings use only the primary colours. This one here adds some white outline. My reasoning in the past for using only the primary colours was because the painting depicted a young girl. I always associated the primary colours in their true form with childhood, and learning. This more adult version here adopts the same colour scheme for those reasons, plus the fact that they are the colours of the Colombian flag. In 2006, when this painting was designed and completed, I traveled twice to Colombia. I learned much from these experiences, and developed a fascination for the culture, history, and current political situation in Colombia. I also made some lifelong friends, and began to identify myself with the people. I believe that my experiences of the country and its people gave me a new perspective from which to view the world, and things haven't been the same since. This painting shows how I see these experiences in my reflection. The figure in the painting is my own profile, making this a more abstract self-portrait.

Tulips


This is my most recent painting. And by recent, I mean, just completed yesterday. It now hangs up in my bedroom.

Reasons behind this painting are multiple. I've always loved flower paintings. My favourite of this variety by far are those by Georgia O'Keefe, although hers tend to focus inward on one flower, rather than a bunch together as I have. My apartment is littered with postcards of works by O'Keefe, so I thought it was time to add my own work. And we all know that tulips are my absolute favourite flower. Given that spring is over and summer is here, having a tulip painting would allow me to have tulips until next spring, and beyond.

Secondly, I mentioned before a need to have a painting just for myself. I often give art as gifts, but now my desire is to build a collection for myself to display in my home, but also maybe one day in my own gallery! I might as well dream, and I thought I might as well begin with something I want to keep - something lively and colourful that complements some of my other decor, and will inspire me to continue to create.

And third, I just love these colours. I normally opt for bold and bright colours rather than the subdued. Here I use only shades of the primary and secondary colours - no mixing beyond the basic colour wheel. The dark shades you see are just because the photography doesn't catch it right. There is no black at all - just dark greens and blues, achieved by mixing with their complementary colours (red and orange respectively).