Leaning into the 30in30: Week 1 Recap

It's January 7th. Which means, if you've started the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, you're probably catching up to completed 7 paintings in this past week. Pretty serious, even for a compulsive obsessive painter like myself.

"By The Beach (1&2), 16x16" mixed media on canvas,  Available

"By The Beach (1&2), 16x16" mixed media on canvas, Available

I remember when it was the same time last year and how I felt, and although I was able to see it through the end of the challenge, it was anything but easy. I probably had one or two small panic attacks, and my poor hubby ate lots of takeout. I'm surprised that fast-forward a year later, the resistance is still very real, even though I know how important these creative disciplines can be.

So, just to give you a glimpse into what it's like, the first day or two passes without a hunch. By the 3rd day however, I start to feel tied to my studio, and looking for reasons to get out of painting that day. By day 6 (i.e. yesterday), that all too familiar feeling of "why did I agree to do this and announce it to the world" starts to show up again. 

Today in the studio, I was listening to a recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts "Being Boss" and the co-host Kathleen Shannon, talked about this concept of creating without the drama. I'd like to think that's exactly what the 30in30 challenge is all about. Just showing up, painting, and getting it done. No drama, no over-thinking, no what-ifs, and no more damn excuses. 

So, this is what I've done so far. If you're doing 30 in 30 this year also, I'd love to connect. Please share a link to your blog or paintings in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading.

Amira xx

 

30 in 30: Day 22 Original Portrait Painting

"Tracee" acrylics on 16.5x23.7 heavy paper, Available Oh, don't you love when inspiration just bite you in the bum and next thing you know you're off! That was me today. I'm pacing (racing, rather) trying to catch up in the 30 in 30 challenge. I refuse to drop out and being the overachiever, I actually want to do 30 paintings before this weekend ends.

This painting was inspired by today's muse, the gorgeous Tracee Ellis Ross. Some of you may remember her from "Girlfriends"? Her character Joan was my icon. I would watch that show and get an idea of what a "real" lawyer's life looked like (back when I was hell-bent on being an attorney). Friends, relationships, aging, all of it. I miss that show.

She has such a great energy about her and I snapped several of photos from her Instagram gallery for inspiration. Thanks for viewing!

30 in 30: Day 17 Abstract Figurative Painting

"Souk Dwellers at Dawn" 12x16" acrylic on canvas, Available It's me again! Today I finished up this painting that I started last week. I was pulling from several different images and ideas, and just worked through them intuitively. I love this series! The yellow glow reminded me of sunrise so I decided to include dawn in the title somehow.

I'm still two days behind on the 30 in 30 challenge, so I will be trying to post two paintings each day. Fortunately, I have had no shortage of inspiration this month so the ideas are literally more than the canvas available.

Thanks for viewing!

30 in 30: Day 16 "Zoey" Pet Portrait + Process Photos

pet portrait commissioned painting by amira rahim Hey guys! Today it rained in Abu Dhabi and stormed with hail in other parts. It's been a gray, cloudy day, and I'm not complaining. I decided to spend my day indoors and get to some of the commissions ahead of me. This is of a sweet dog named Zoey who passed away recently. She was a joy to paint. I loved capturing her coat and sweet nature. I had many photos to choose from, but thought this captured her in a simple, but pretty light.

I decided to capture the process and share it with you, so here it goes:

This was the reference photo. After a few sketches and composition options, I decided the zoomed in crop of her face and collar would be best.

After working out the drawing in pencil, I then went over it in black gresso, bringing in the basic shapes and shadows that would define the painting.

Since the owner wanted a fairly realistic rendition of Zoey, I knew I wouldn't be using much color in this piece. So, I decided to tone the canvas in magenta. It makes for a nice graphic effect against black and white, and it is feminine, which can reflect the dog's sex.

I used Paynes grey, titanium white, raw umber, and indian red for most of the fur and features. I also decided to lift some of the highlighted areas with a little cerulean blue.

Propped my iPad up on the easel for most of the painting. As you can see, I painted from the photograph without any editing or fiddling. Just dove right in. I really need to invest in an iPad stand since I use my iPad so much in the studio!

I'm happy with how well the portrait came out. I don't typically paint dogs or cats, but some are just adorable and this girl was no exception. The final portrait moved the original owner to tears, so I can say, my job here is done. All on a rainy day's work!

30 in 30: Day 15 Abstract Figurative Painting

"Tahajjud" 12x24" acrylic on canvas, Available This is the companion piece to my previous painting. This was also painted intuitively, no sketching, no references, just imagination. I really struggled to find the faces and people in this one, but slowly it came together. I wanted this one to be a little lighter in the background, and the white motif in the upper right corner gives an illusion of light and space. As the figures began to emerge in the piece, it formed somewhat of a crowd. There appears to be smaller figures on the floor, possibly children, or women resting. And then the three standing figures in the center are facing away.

As I finished this piece, I landed on the perfect title. It reminded me of a scene in a mosque because they appear to be in prayer. "Tahajjud" is the night prayer that is prayed by devout muslims, especially during the month of Ramadan. The ghost like quality of the women is offset by burst of colors to lift the energy.

Here are the pair. I think they really complement each other and could be hung side by side.

"Sisters" and "Tahajjud" 24x24" acrylics on canvas

What do you see?