Let me start off by saying I have to return to Peru! Maybe it will happen sooner rather than later but as I come to an end of the Peruvian leg of my travel memories I did learn a lot along the way which helped me improve my approach to portraits.
This portrait is by far my favourite. I was enthralled by the multitude of colours and the stark contrast between the turquoise background against her red coat. This one took me about 11 days. I think it was because I was so in love with everything about it and didn’t want to take too long to finish so I was excited about seeing the end product and getting it all the way I wanted to.
I did a trial version of the wall background because I needed to have it all perfectly executed and I guess this is where my perfectionist nature emerges! But I’m so pleased with the end result. After completing this piece; I was pretty much an expert with the masking fluid and capturing the details. In my reference photo, she was behind a table so I had to make up her skirt, but in the end all turned out well!
A couple of months ago, I posted about some pieces I was preparing that were outside of my portrait painting norm for an art exhibition in my country with one of our local art galleries for new and emerging artists.
The 16th of August was our opening night and I was not as nervous as I thought I’d be. I was more excited about the how the format of the night would be rather than the prospect of having to talk to others which is usually very intimidating for me. Would there be some opening remarks from the gallery? A specially invited guest? Alas, none of the above took place which was a bit underwhelming , but anyway I took some of my family members, mother – of course and my aunt and cousins. Some colleagues from work also showed up which was awesome since a couple of them heard my desire of wanting to become an artist for so long!
It’s was great seeing the range of talent on display…. in the lead up to the show, the gallery took care of mounting and labeling our work. All we had to do a month or so before was to get our stuff framed or matted and then show up on the night! It was my first experience dealing with a gallery so I was glad I didn’t have to be concerned with the logistics and set up. As a new artist, showing with a gallery is less stressful, they also market the show which places less pressure on you the artist if you’re new in the art world as long as you don’t mind the commission factor.
The opening ran for about an hour and a half….and I was able to talk to a potential buyer of my work who, eventually bought it (happy dance!) and meet other artists. It was a pretty awesome feeling being surrounded by those who came out to support even though they scolded me for not starting my art sooner and also just absorbing the atmosphere.
On that note, I definitely look forward to entering more shows and working towards having the guts to do a solo exhibiton!
On another note…I need to upgrade my camera…I don’t know why my S7 is betraying me like this with such poor quality pics!
Having lived in Peru for about 11 months while going to school it was my first time living outside of my country for such a long period of time. It was definitely an adjustment not hearing your native language 98% of the time but sampling new foods, seeing new locations and making new friends helped with that adjustment. I also managed to learn Spanish along the way; I really had no choice in the matter and I’m glad I did 🙂
Peru for me represents a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, the challenges associated with living in any developing country became quite evident at times(and more so in another language) and on the other, my desire to explore its geography and immerse myself in the culinary world made the challenges (and the extra pounds) worth it!
I am in love with colour. Seeing the indigenous people in all their colourful splendour was a sight to behold – it’s what inspired my first piece in this collection. I actually posted about it before. In this piece, I experimented with a couple watercolour techniques to get it to my liking. I especially love his jacket where I got it to resemble the textured threads of the fabric with some dry brush and lifting of the paint. I wanted a type of 3D effect so I painted his hat outside of the colored background; I was also unaware of the use of painter’s tape for my borders, so this was my attempt at staying within the lines. Almost got it!
My very first why is because I’ve always wanted to be an artist. It’s that simple; always felt like it was my destiny and one day in 2017 I told myself it’s either I shut-up about telling people I always wanted to be an artist or do it since there is absolutely nothing and no-one holding me back – except myself – and I wasn’t okay with killing off the artistic side of myself for good, so here I am!
With that in mind, it led me to my second why; after living in Peru and the Netherlands over the period 2016 – 2017 while pursuing my Masters I took the opportunity to see as much as I could and I wanted to recapture some of those memories on my canvas, on my medium of choice – watercolours.
My last why for this collection comes from, I guess, a place of self-discovery. Most of my travel was done solo and while I was intimidated by that fact and there were a lot of things that at times tainted the true beauty of my destinations, I still found the beauty in each location, the diversity of the people and just the sheer geography made me want to share this diversity with others through my work.
In painting your collections, has finding your why come easily?
After the buzz and euphoria of being selected for my first exhibition has settled, I realised I have fallen off the wagon in terms of blog posts. I’m still working behind the scenes to complete my collection before September, but I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed when I think about how do I market this body of work.
So I spoke to a friend about my challenges and she suggested I start from the inspiration behind the collection….duh right? My tiny breakdown and her words of advice also came at the same time that I had to compose my artist’s bio for the exhibition and it made me really think about the ‘Why’. And since as the saying goes; people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it; of course much thought needs to be placed into that area.
With that thought in mind, I leave you with another teaser…starting from the bottom and continuing over the next month with a documentation of my thoughts, process, materials, challenges and successes in compiling my first collection.
A month or two ago, I did a couple of posts on my decision to submit some pieces for an upcoming exhibition in Trinidad for new and emerging artists. As the heading states, I was successful in obtaining a space along with 14 other local artists!
I happened to come across the call for submissions quite by accident on my social media and of course saw it as a sign. Funny enough, after deciding to submit, I came across a YouTube video from Stefan Bauman about improving your painting by selling your work. two things happened for me at that point; I saw this exhibition as giving me the ability to experiment with non-portrait work and focus on more local scenes and also to produce pieces for a specific purpose. Yes, I know we produce art for the love of it, but as a new artist it can feel pretty daunting just painting for painting’s sake – this was a great goal to work towards!
Receiving the news that I was successful was pretty overwhelming – it confirmed for me I was on the right path finally taking up art. I felt a bit validated in my decision and it gave me the boost I needed to continue. I am already working on more submissions for more shows!
Hope you like them!
I feel like a collection isn’t even what you call it! But I’m currently working on my first collection of paintings…maybe it’s my first full portfolio, maybe it’s something else altogether. My intention is to produce 10 – 12 pieces and showcase in different formats/media.
Over the following weeks, I will be showing snippets of my process on my Instagram so if you’d like to see works in progress of these new pieces and my previous portrait posts, head on over!
For now, I’ll leave with this first teaser of my collection/portfilio/artistic reveal!
In my first post, I mentioned I have wanted to be an artist since my teens. It was during that time while at high school I was exposed to artists in Trinidad and Tobago who subconsciously had a profound impact on this desire. I’ve been drawn to portraits and capturing realism in my work because of them and their ability to capture the beauty and gracefulness of their subjects so effortlessly. Their use of colour and the sheer sizes of each piece amazed me and it was only after a visit to an art gallery last week and seeing one of their works, that feeling of being awestruck came rushing back.
It was amazing seeing the work of the persons who first influenced me again. Like a sort of déjà vu and quiet recognition that I was on the path I was always meant to be on. It also made me remember that now I could add some of their prints to my art collection! So without any further rambling, here are some of the major artists from Trinidad and Tobago whose work inspired amd co tinues to inspire me the most – Karen Sylvester; Michel-Jean Cazabon; Boscoe Holder and Harry Bryden
What do you think of my sources of inspiration and who inspires you?
It’s been a little while since my last post, think I am falling off the horse a bit in terms of my level of consistency. Trying to maintain the same level of productive discipline when other parts of my life are thrown off track is a challenge, painting when I don’t want to is so hard!
I tried to settle myself this weekend and get back to at least one aspect of it all that I love and did a couple sketches of portraits. This one is the first I did, she wore jewelry in the reference photo but I decided to remove them and just focus on her features.
I enjoyed the figure drawing so much I decided to do another sooner than expected. After watching this video after completing this pastel study, I’m even more enthused to do more pastel work.