Friday, 25 November 2011

My experience with Painting...

Coming from a family of artists, I've always dreamt of being one since I was a child. I was above average as a kid in my art skills and managed to win a prize or two in art competitions. However I was more studious and ambitious than artistic I guess and growing up art went from being a passion, to seldom thought of hobby to finally a 'had been hobby'. 

Moving to Toronto and being jobless reminded me of my childhood passion and I decided to take up an oil painting class. During this course, I came across some surprises about myself and about painting that somewhat changed my cherry-eyed image of the subject. I realised, I was a very impatient person and oil painting demanded more than average patience; you've got to wait till layers and layers of paint dry out, so you can apply the new layer. It required attention to detail, another quality I'm happier living without - you need to look the the minute details of lights, shadows and shades to get the 'real look'. It required following rules! Yes, art of all the things, I thought artists were all about breaking rules and being free and crazy but that's definitely not the approach to a good painting. You've got to follow the rules of proportion, of colour mixing of spacing and much more. I realised art is also very technical. But most of all what surprised me is the kind of 'undivided attention' a painting demands. If you really want to paint, you need block yourself out from the rest of the world and life around you, doing it at home doesn't work because the kitchen or the mess in the living room or the emails keep distracting me. Unless I go to my studio, I cannot block myself out to give undivided attention to the painting. Once you're alone with your painting, it is a lot of fun and you can be there for 3 hours, feeling like they were just 3 minutes. 

I just had my last class yesterday and I learnt a good deal about art theory, different artists, different techniques of painting. I liked the pallet knife technique the most; I think I like this technique because it is more forgiving, you can mix colours and give a rough touch which still looks interesting and neat in its own way. It saves you picking different size brushes or cleaning your brushes again and again when you switch from one colour to another. Guess I'm a short-cut artist. No wonder I was always more drawn towards abstract painting. 

P.S: Yes, those are from my course work, attempts of re-producing Van Gogh and Tom Thompson. Glad they are not alive to see these! 


  1. Aaaa I love the van gogh one! It's soo goood!
    And yes, even art has it's restrictions and that's the beauty of it. Staying within the boundaries that everyone has to follow and still creating something great!
    We had a huge discussion on art and artists in class yesterday, it's a never ending debate and we concluded that anyone who is able to express himself through a medium to an audience is an artist. But since we can't work around vague guidelines like that, society determines where the line has to be drawn.

  2. Fizz thats wonderful! I wont say the cliche "YOU made these??" because you obviously have! It just tells me what I already knew.....You are the sort of person who can do anything you want to take up. So these were with a pallete knife? Waiting for more!! Oh yes.....Try water colours......something you might find more to your taste [and patience]....and they are beautiful too. Also try using charcoals.....Thats what i keep thinking about. And you could try my type of glass painting....[handicraft, naive art style] ....So many interesting and creative ways to change things around [also cover up mistakes]and NO boundaries

  3. fizza these are great!! i'm soo glad you enjoyed the art class :)

  4. Thanks for the encouragement noshe, :) actually glass painting is my fav and i was initially inspired by your work. I used to make greeting cards with stain glass pcs on them and even did an exhibition at lums once, i really enjoy how quick and beautiful it is and iv been doing glass painting sessions more recently with hamzas nieces and nephews. Btw your glass work is best of what ive ever seen! You should do another exhibition soon. I need a soveigner from ur work too, choose and keep aside, will remember to take it from you whenever we meet next.
    Thanks tam, yes it was good fun doing the course.

  5. Will definitely do something for you when im back with it in full swing!and thanks for the compliment!!!