Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm still preparing to post my first painting on Etsy, I'm figuring out postage, packaging and all that. It's exciting and I wanted to share.

I try to make everything I do special. I've been doing that all my life, and I don't intend to stop now.

This is how I want to present my art, whether it's a gift for someone else, or a gift for the buyer, I want the whole experince of recieving anything I do to be special.

So here..........

My First Painting For Sale

This is my first painting for sale and it looks like I already have a buyer! Yay! It'll be on my Etsy page,and I'll add some more pictures, especially of it framed and packaged later!

And more details too,I'm just so excited!

Thank you Aicha! Bisous!

"Grace" Watercolor 11"x14"

Watercolors. My humble beginnings.

As you may know (or not know), I have another blog; Leonarda…..Renaissance Woman, and that blog is all about my life’s journey. Asinti Sanaa which is also the name of my Etsy shop is dedicated to my art.
As I mentioned before, after 12 years of being a very very busy entrepreneur, designer and independent woman, I’ve moved away from everything I’ve known for the greater part of my adult life to start all over again in ‘the home of the dream’. It’s exciting! However, although I’m back in school and that is my main area of focus now, I will always be a busy bee! I need to do something! I’ve been cracking my brains, looking for a way that feels authentic to who I am, to make a living, and, applying everything I’ve learnt in my painting classes to real life- seems to be the answer, for now, actually it is the first of many answers to come, I believe; it is my first feeble step out in faith!
I can hear Aunty Esther (my very dear friend) and many others saying, we don’t want paintings! We want you to come back home and make real clothes for us!
But like I said, this is my first feeble step, the fragile butterfly out of the cocoon learning to fly……..
I would like to share the stages or let’s say steps that led to this present point in time.
Although in school, my main areas of focus have been Fashion Design and Interior Design, I have given Art quite equal focus and I’ve taken three classes so far. I would like to share the experiences I’ve had with you.
My first attempt was with watercolors, I really didn’t know what to expect but I felt I had nothing to lose. My teacher was the wonderful Sharon Vander Meiden and I believe she is the one who has given me the confidence to step out boldly onto this path. I’ll never forget what she said on our first day of class, and it may have been said many times before but this is the first time I was hearing it; “It is your job, your duty to bring out whatever is inside of you, it is not just some fancy privilege to be ‘talented’ or to know how to paint, you have a duty to yourself and the world to bring forth the work!” And that stayed with me throughout the semester and till this day.
There was something else I was worried about, watercolors have always been identified with pale landscapes and the like, and those are really not my favorite types of art, but, I was about to be pulled out of my ignorance! Thank God!
Sharon gave us so many different opportunities to think! Really think, and then use the medium of watercolor to express whatever it was that this angle of thinking inspired us to create. Now, maybe for a seasoned artist, this is nothing new, but for me, this was a lifeline! I wasn’t just going to be required to draw, paint or design just for the sake of it, or just for the sake of the end user, the final consumer, but there was actually going to be a great amount of thought behind every stroke of the brush and hence ownership and eventually pride related to every piece. I needed this!
So, now I will share my class work with you!

Our first project was “Synchronism”. This project involved listening to music and then responding to the music, using watercolors to interpret how we feel when we’re listening. I guess, to get our thinking out of ‘the box’, we were also instructed to use 5 things, other than brushes- combs, sponges, toothbrushes, fabric, bubble wrap- anything!
So here’s my very first project and I thought it was HORRIBLE! And you maybe wondering why I’m even showing it, but, this is about me sharing EVERY STEP OF THE JOURNEY with you! Even if a step is ugly, I will share!

This is the final project for this assignment, after I understood the objectives, I could now produce something half decent! I used a makeup sponge, a silk rose, a comb, some cotton and a tire cleaner. And I painted to the music of Dave Koz- You are me I am you and I titled the painting “Welcome” as though I was welcoming myself to the life of a watercolorist!

Project 2 was a color wheel, but not just any color wheel, we were to create a Mandala. We were to create a radial composition dividing it into six equal wedges for each color- primary and secondary. I had a lot of fun with this project and almost drove myself crazy in the process. I had an opportunity to design! I chose about 20 different motifs but in the end, instead of reproducing an object, I decided to design something of my own from scratch, and I was very satisfied with the outcome. I even have some pictures of the process!

This is going to end up being a 3-4 part series, so, I'll be back.

Thank you for visiting Asinti Sanaa!

Asante Sana!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome to Asinti Sanaa

Asinti means “A thing of beauty” in a Cameroonian dialect.

Sanaa means “A work of art or beauty” in Swahili

Interestingly, it may seem like I had spelt “Asante Sana” incorrectly- which means “Many thanks” in Swahili.

So, let’s just say, welcome! To “Beautiful Works of Art! Many thanks!”

I am originally from Ghana in Africa and now I live in California, USA. For 12 years, I designed clothes, interiors and events for women in Ghana. My goal was to make them look and feel beautiful, and have beauty surrounding them every day. My life’s work has been to make other’s lives beautiful. I hope I was successful.

I have left all that behind and although I miss my life, I’m back in school now and learning new and exciting things and the future seems so much brighter! Fashion and lifestyle design will always be my first loves, but, I am in love again! With art and painting! (They are really all one and the same in my mind!) Watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, pencils! I love them all, and that will be my focus here. I still love fabric! All kinds, and I will find a way to incorporate them into my art.

My inspiration comes from past designs back at home in Ghana, the women I have known, the women I am getting to know, dreams of new designs for the future, the glorious couturiers of Paris, the fabulous street chic that surrounds me, fashion illustrations and silhouettes of decades past, nature, and the never ending quest for beauty which is my life.



Many thanks!