Before I became a full time abstract artist, I dabbled in other art forms such as photography, but I’ve found the most peace while painting. Translating nature onto canvas has become a way of translating my lived experience as a woman and as a human being.
After I quit my job in 2016, I used painting as an escape. It has slowly become a way of journaling.
I applied for the Africalia grant because COVID-19 has made life harder for everyone, but more so artists. We are now more worried about paying bills than creating art.
I want to explore other mediums other than acrylic paint
While applying for the grant, I wanted to create seven paintings for the collection “Colors Within.” I ended up creating nine artworks because I wanted to explore the blue color in two extra paintings.
During this residency, I experimented with different mediums such as colored pencils, soft pastels, and oil pastels. I worked alone, in my home studio, but I shared parts of the process and progress on social media.
Colors Within is covering the topic “Here and Now”. The idea behind this collection of artworks was to draw inspiration from the present, where the COVID-19 crisis has complicated the basics of everyday life, particularly travel, social life, and work. I think that appreciating our immediate environment makes us more present and prepares us for the future.
I felt good and motivated to create during the residency. The grant money helped me offset the art supplies I needed to create the collection, and I used the other part of it to offset other bills.
As individual pieces and as a collection, the art pieces I created during this residency made me strive to do more and better. I consider the collection a major milestone in my growth as an artist, because in addition to winning the Africalia grant, it gave me more courage to continue sharing my work beyond my social circles.