This is one of my original signature series of abstract portraits that I am working on. Usually created in a deep meditative state, with headphones on … just connected to my soul.
Charlie is that part of us that has taken a hardship and converted it into a stepping stone. He’s the part of us that has let go of anger, and embraced compassion. Charlie is that intensity within us that makes us go after our dreams. Charlie is that silent strength within us who knows nothing is impossible. Charlie is the deep wisdom that is pulsating through our DNA.
I used charcoal to create this abstract portrait on paper.
The original artwork & high resolution digital downloads of the artwork are available on Etsy.
This painting of Sophia is very close to my heart. I have always run away from sketching or painting faces. I would find every single excuse under the sun not to paint a face. But I guess Sophia was determined to come alive.
When I started this painting, I have to admit not a single feature was appealing or remotely even close to normal. Sophia pushed me to draw faces, to find my style, I started using charcoal to sketch faces, but keeping true to my abstract style. And so I sketched face after face. I threw 70% into the bin, but the rest 30% came alive. I had a mentor who really showed me the ropes, and he was as determined as Sophia that I get over this insane fear of faces.
I left Sophia’s painting alone for over 4 weeks. When I came back to her, I was a lot more confident in my space. And within 6 hours of working, Sophia was alive.
Across all scriptures, Sophia represents wisdom. To me, Sophia represents triumph over fear. The step towards leaving behind self imposed creativity shackles and moving towards true inner creative freedom. Now that I look back, I wonder why the hell was I even scared? I guess it’s now time to do a realistic portrait of a person 🙂
When I started painting this, I wasn’t sure of my confidence in Art. I hadn’t painted properly in a while (lets say close to 2 years), and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. The fact that I chose 2 canvases, with sizes 100 cm w x 80 cm h each, also scared me.
Trying to decipher what this painting needed consumed me. But it burnt a quiet fire that I thought had been extinguished. Very similar to a person meditating, this painting took me to a deeper level of peace and serenity, and made me tap back into my skills very subtly.
Soon, I was doing other paintings alongside this one. I kept completing the other paintings as I kept re-discovering myself through this painting. And this one kept going on :). I used to ask it … ‘hey are you ever gonna get done?’ It would respond back ‘soon darling soon. Just enjoy the journey’. And I did.
I used palette knives to build the texture, with real beach sand to build the bark of the tree. It took 5 buildups to get the effect I wanted. Each buildup took 48 hours to dry, and sometimes even more, thanks to our Dubai humid summer!
I stayed close to sunset fiery colors by using cadmium yellow, deep and light cadmium oranges, buff titanium, brown, burnt umber, brown oxide, pale gold, copper to create the shades. I haven’t used white nor reds … but yet the painting exudes the un-used shades and colors. It took 4 to 5 layers of paint before it emerged the way I knew it would. And it would demand that I paint both canvases together, layer by layer, otherwise the painting would get stubborn on me!
A friend said that it has the energy of a samurai … so she ended up naming it. But it made me realize that within each one of us is a Samurai, waiting to emerge, waiting to fight what we are meant to do, but not with violence – but with peace and serenity.
When I researched it, I found out that a Samurai followed a set of rules or a way of life known as Bushidō. Loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry, and it originates from the samurai moral values. Bushido was also influenced by Shinto and Zen Buddhism, allowing the violent existence of the samurai to be tempered by wisdom and serenity.
I guess my Samurai emerged when he needed to, brought change into my world in a form that I understood – my art. My art that brings me peace, serenity and most importantly – JOY!