Thursday, October 29, 2009

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!

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how one cannot suppress what is a God given talent no matter how long they dance around it. The journey you are embarking on in this blog is a confirmation of something that I have known for over 30 years. Way back in NRL I knew that you had a passion and the natural talent to back it up. You only needed to take a pencil and and some felt tips and something beautiful would emerge on the paper. What I found amazing was your interpretation and your take on seemingly obvious things. I'm not just trying to flatter you all I want to say is that, you have always had it in you; the ability to capture and interprete things on paper in a unique way. Girl follow your dreams and passions and you never know where it will take you. J