Manhattan, Manhattan

Mix-media, 70 x 100cm

 I am really grateful for all the encouragement from family and friends when I started painting early part of this year. A good friend asked me to paint the iconic Manhattan skyline for her and she wanted it in an abstract style. After trying to do a few pieces of abstract art, I realize it is a lot more than simply throwing blobs of paint onto a canvas and asking my kids to roll over the canvas in their underwear.

I did a lot of research to get an accurate placement of the skyscrapers (some old stock photos online still show the old WTC), and looked at other artists’ interpretation of this famous city. I redid this piece so many times and stood infront of my canvas feeling frustrated and defeated, wondering why the colors look dull, the buildings look lopsided and… what if my friend hates it?

I attended an art workshop last Saturday with the talented and lovely Iranian artist, Roshi, and made friends with 5 other wonderful ladies. We all came from different countries and cultures, juggling work, kids and family life in Switzerland. This art workshop was an outlet for us to de-stress, express our creativity and drink lots and lots of champagne. At the end of the day, we had a canvas of our own work, and a tummy bloated with champagne and sushi to show.

I learnt a few salient technical tips from Roshi that I never considered before. Something as simple as the type of brush bristles, using a palette knife, choice of colors and media etc could make such a big difference to one’s work. Having no prior art training, every nugget of artistic wisdom I can get is precious to me.

I went home and looked at ‘Manhattan’ with a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes and started reworking it one last time.

I can finally say ‘It is finished!’

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