Things to Do During the Day When You're Alone

not all those who wander are lost

What an ambiguously strange title that is? But, that's all I could come up with that made sense for this. These last few weeks have been a colossal ball of business, art business that is. Thanks to so many orders coming through in the last few weeks (thanks ya'll!), I've been out of the studio most of the time driving around the city getting prints made, works framed, and then seeing them off to their forever homes. But like every high, there is an equal low.

I've been spending much of my time completely alone, as the mister is off working and many of my friends here only socialize on the weekends due to their own jobs. As a self-employed creative, artrepreneur, many of you can relate, most of the time is spent doing things completely alone. Usually it doesn't bother me, and it is a necessary part of my profession, painter. But with commissions to finish and orders to fulfill, my creative time has been limited. Maybe it's the time of year, I always get nostalgic around fall and just want to be close to home. Maybe it's the fact that I haven't seen my mom and siblings for 10 months. Boo frickity hoo. I don't want to throw myself a pity party, so today I thought of several fun things to do when completely alone in the day:

 

sketch

Sketching is a great way to work on creative ideas that I can't put to the canvas just yet. Lately I've been exploring figures and looking forward to incorporating them into my abstract work.

Read. The other day, I was determined to sit by the Corniche beach, get some fresh air, and catch up on some good reads. Lately, I've been reading Gone Girl (the movie was so good, I needed more), A Place of Yes (Bethenny Frankel is the real deal), and now recently Art, Inc. by Lisa Congdon. Would love to get some more recommendations, so what are you guys reading?

Listen to TED Talks. Ever notice how the time goes by when you're listening to good TED talks in procession? And then there's that added bonus of feeling like you're actually back in college and your brain is still capable of soaking up new information. Feels good. The last really good TED talk I heard was by "Pico Iyer: The art of stillness." Give it a go.

Visit unfamiliar places. I've been meaning to go to the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. It's the closest thing to a museum in the capital, and I love to learn about the ways and cultures from the past. So, looking forward to this.

Pamper yourself. Baths are great. And no one says baths can only be at night. I also like to light some essential oil blends in a diffuser and keep my apartment smelling fresh. And sometimes, you just need a trip to the mall and buy those things you've been meaning to get. Pampering is especially nice alone, so take advantage of the free time if you can!

Get your shit together. This may not be that fun, but sometimes it's nice to get some organizing done around the house. In addition to laundry and things, there are other ways I'd like to get organized. Mainly, organizing my photos and files on my Mac. Since I got this laptop in March, it's been great, almost too great. Because the moment I save or upload something here, it's off into the mysterious cloud or neverland, and I can't figure out how to see all of it at once and purge the unnecessary.

 

I really like this quote, and it's something I've deliberately adopted this year. When you treat each day like you mean to wake up, then you have a lot more control over your mood. We're all human right? We will have those days. Hoping to stay present and enjoy this moment while I can.

Peace and Blessings,

Amira

Typical Weekend in AD

The weekend finally came after a long week of painting, art classes, and general life crap. Started with dinner out at P. F. Changs.

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I love love love Asian food. Thai, Chinese, Japanese are my favorites in that order. So this was a happy start to the weekend.

Yesterday we went to go see Maleficent, which was hands down the greatest Disney movie ever.

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Angelina Jolie was absolutely stunning. Her performance, as always, blew me away. Love her movies and this one was a nice addition!

I spent the rest of the afternoon staring at the art on Nando's walls instead of finishing my food.

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This wasn't even half of the amazing art collection at the restaurant chain. Very impressed and this just inspires me to keep chasing my dream of being a full-time artist. Anything can happen!

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Finally, I did this illustration last night before bed. Every time I get henna done I'm inspired to incorporate the delicate designs into my art somehow. This illustration is called "I Bet the Bees Play in Her Hair" and marries my love for curly Afros with black and white illustration.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Any new inspirations?

Random Musings Post-Four Months in Abu Dhabi

1. I do get homesick. Often. I'm particularly missing a proper Jersey slice of pizza, orange leaves, and rain. 2. I'm living in a sandbox and yet I am not getting nearly as much sunshine as I would like. Hopefully that will change in a few more weeks.

3. It actually does get cooler here and 100+ degree weather is not a permanent form of torture. Amazing, how your body adjusts and suddenly low 90s is quite agreeable provided the humidity is in check.

4. Camel milk is actually not that bad. In fact, I think today I realized I like it better than cows milk, which never liked me anyway. Camel milk is also more nutritious.

5. My painting is going well. My sanity on the other hand, questionable. My emotions are getting the best of me lately, and being a perfectionist and self-critic doesn't help the case.

Oh and check out my latest painting at www.facebook.com/amirarahimart :))

Random Thoughts/Affirmations

"Birch Trees" - Watercolor study on paper
"Birch Trees" - Watercolor study on paper

You know, I'm realizing more and more that sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, when she said something that I know logically, but neglect to keep it in mind these days and that is that: Art is subjective.

Three words. One truth. A very simple truth. Spoken from one creative mind to another. And yet, it is so profound in these crucial days of my artist journey.

I am about to embark on a new path. A shift in thinking about my work and my goals. A dive into reality, while merging a bridge between my passion of painting and my needs as any other artist/creative.

Most prolific is my need to share the beauty I see everyday--tiny people against tall buildings, the way the light hits a collection of bell peppers from the grocery store--and attempt to capture that in my work.

This need to share can only be enhanced through discipline, endurance, and hopefully, pronounced acceptance by my viewers, old and new to come, hopefully manifesting in the form of purchases. After all, art is an expensive hobby.

So, art is subjective.

And yet I am stifled by my very normal, but very loud, fears of producing "wrong art."

After years of defining my intelligence through numbers and grades, it's hard to shift into my right brain not just on the canvas, but in my being, in my right to exist.

There is no monopoly on beauty, expression, charm. Why then do I fear there's this monopoly on art?

So, here are some affirmations. I wish I could say they were daily but life is full of inconsistencies:

  • First things first, I am a painter. I have been painting since the age of 14. Ten years later and with few classes in between, I am a very good painter. I didn't get worse. Contrary to the bad voices in my head.
  • I have an eye for good art. This helps me in evaluating my own work, often times, too critically. Bottom line: I know when something sucks. I know when something can use more work. And I know when something's genius.
  • I have a good sense of color. I love color. I dream in color.
  • I can draw like nobody's business, which translates into better, more accurate compositions when I paint.
  • I am incredibly self-effacing and I ought not to be.
  • I am a really fast learner.
  • I can do this. And dammit, I will.

I've been so worried about getting it wrong, when all along, there's more than one way to get it right.

And it's okay to be awesome.

"Friday Prayer" - Watercolor on paper (2013)
"Friday Prayer" - Watercolor on paper (2013)