Nothing New Under The Sun.

Wonderings of a Mixed Media Artist

In August 2017, I got an email that opened something for me. I got accepted to be part of Culture Days in London, Ontario, where I could display an art piece of mine. This email came at a time I was struggling. Looking to find my purpose in life and just what path I should follow that would let me live my life to its fullest potenial. A friend once said that I was a push over a few years back and it hit me to think that I always gave the reigns of my life to someone else to control. But this email felt like I was finally taking it back.

So I wanted to show how much I deserved this chance given and come up with a concept that spoke to me about London. Having lived here for about 5 years, considering that I moved home then finally relocated here again, I was out to show off how london had influenced me and started with furor.

There was no method to the madness I fell into and this led to sleepness nights, no appetite and an anxiety that never slowed down. I kept changing the ideas and oh, it was a train wreck…then I stopped. It hit me that I couldn’t do by trying to show off that I deserved this path. It was never about deserving, it was just about accepting. I wouldn’t be the first person to have go through anything in life. What issues, problems, joy, happiness I have ever had, someone else has done it already. My mix is unique to me but definitely not the experience. There is absolutely nothing new under the sun and that was it. My concept was here.

So, with better confidence and peace in myself, I set about creating my vision. I made about 17 figures from paper and wire using the papermache technique for all of them. As they would all share the same form, each would capture a different movement. This is to represent humanty basically.  While they dried, I worked on making swirls that represent the sun using newspaper for them. I wanted to get something close to the swirls you see in Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ as he is an inspiration to me.

I wanted this piece to be big as I always seem use smaller sizes to convey my ideas. So I used 2 16″ by 20″ and 4 8″by 10″ canvases for this. The plan was to arrange the pieces in such a way that you can switch them up when you hang them so that you get different scenes from this whole piece.

After painting all the canvases, the figures and the swirls, I finally arranged them. To add to their differences, I painted them in similar colors but each in a different way and arranged them in different hieghts across the 4 8″ by 10″ canvases. Then the swirls were placed on the bigger 16″by 20″ canvases as well. And finally, like a puzzle, they came together as my art piece.

This piece got good reviews from all that saw it. The colors stood out, it calls out for your attention and that was what I wanted. I wanted it to remind everyone that there is nothing new under the sun, hence the title. We may all have different stories, different experiences, both good and bad. But if the Sun could compare our stories to the ones he has seen as we travel round him, there wouldn’t be anything new. We all journey the same, we all want the same things. A home to call our own, another to love without restraints and walk our lives with a legacy to leave behind.

So…knowing that someone else had or has a journey similar to mine make me feel like I am in good company. I shall, one day, reach my destination. It may be a road less followed but the path has been beaten for me to follow. Ask the sun. He knows.

Sand in the Cracks of My Heart

Queen of Hearts Project

The weather has been dreadful. The sun has been shy lately, hiding like a child, eagerly waiting to be found but still wants to win their game of hide and seek. And while listening to Ruby Gyang’d new song, Oya Dance, I must say that I miss warmth.

Growing up in a tropical country, Nigeria, Canada makes me miss extremely hot days and warm swimming pools. I remember days as kids when extended family members all gathered in Lagos and we go to the beach. My dad would always caution us to stay to away from the waves but my uncle, my dad’s younger brother, was more of the risky one. He would splash and carry us in while keeping an eye out for my dad. Those are fun memories.

But my most recent memory of the beach are of the summers I got to spend in Italy. I fell in love with the clear blue water, the hot sand and the whiffs of baberqued meat as we travelled along the coast of  the Ionian sea. I amsure you now understand why my heart yearns for summer heat.

Well, as I cannot be there physically, I made a version of a happier me by the sea.

This was made from tissue paper, a cereal box cut out of a heart. After giving the cut out 2 layers of paper, I glued up tissue paper to make the waves. I painted really tiny versions of myself and my husband, basking under the sun like lazy lizards. I finally painted my beach, added some glitter to make it shine under a light and also painted up my sea with foamy waves.

This is a cute heart and right now, I envy tiny me as she is captured in that tranquil moment forever.

 

 

Saved By The Brush

Wonderings of a Mixed Media Artist

I love abstract paintings. The way colors seem to clash but yet work together to draw your eyes to certain areas and the varying emotions that come up for everyone that sees them. I also believe that the act of painting abstract for most artists is a liberating, explosive feeling. For me though, it was the scariest thing.

Staring at a blank canvas is a BP rising thing. It’s like the point of no return once you throw anything on it and all you can do is go forward from there.

I think conquering that is a great thing though. It allows one to let go and set free. Though I am self taught, I tend to be rigid in my paintings as I can be a borderline perfectionist. I need to have the perfect stroke, the perfect lines, the perfect blends that are in my head and I have to do it quickly so I get constricted…which is why I started watching other artists paint.

One artist I love is Amira Rahim. Her blend of color and bold strokes shows a freedom and flow in her work. I got the chance to sign up for one of her online live classes and It was a good investment for me. I started the class with this painting as she asked that we work on an older piece.

20180124_112035

Some progress done…

20180124_120839

some more progress done…

20180124_123728

and the final piece.

20180124_150615-02-01-01

 

I am so proud of this piece. This is a representation of me letting go. I am now so excited about making more abstract art. I would love to combine it with paper and other things or material that would give different textures. That would be fun to work on. But in the meantime, I shall bask in the colors of letting go.

 

 

 

The Journey Begins

Uncategorized

I fell off blogging sometime back. Not because I lacked content…though that happens once in a while, it was because I wasn’t sure if my voice was being heard. But I realised that it wasn’t about being heard, it was about if that was my voice was true to me.  We know how complicated living is and finding what you are truly about takes courage, vulnerability and a strong liver.

I want to live a life that is absolutely me. With all the good, the bad, the ugly. This is what living is all about and I go through this everytime I make something. There is always an ugly side that tends to be part of the process which helps me appreciate the result more in the end.

So, as I start the journey of writing again, about my work and work process, I would like to ask you to be a part of it as well.

Hello, I am Amsa Yaro and this is my studio.