Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saadio's Studio

Recently, I had the pleasure to visit Saadio's studio located in the Ouakam area of Dakar, Senegal with a group of ladies with the Dakar Women's Group Art Committee.
I have been familiar with Saadio's work from a couple of local exhibition as well has his participation with the Dakar Women's Group Art Show in the past.  One of members, Adrienne, arranged the visit for our committee and helped to translate his French.
While looking at the paintings in his studio Saadio shared a little information about his background and influences.  Saadio is a Pular name for the child born after twins. He had an eight year apprenticeship studying with artists trained by the former president, Senghor, who was famous for his support for the arts.
His work is influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat and the musician Tupac. Saadio identifies with the street smart influence of these artists.  His paintings are brightly colored, have a pop art feel but a conscious message about the situation of people of Senegal.  The layers of images, style and variety of languages are intentionally reminiscent of the layers of graffiti and posters found on walls and buildings and languages heard on the street.  Saadio believes the purpose of art is to commentate on society and raise awareness and so his art is political. Sadio creates sculpture with these goals.
He often works on Goree island to escape the heat of Dakar.
He has exhibited in Dakar, Europe and the United States.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day of the Dead Art

I am participating again with a Spoonflower contest.  The theme of this contest is Ghosts and so I have submitted a design based on the Day of the Dead celebration from Mexico called Day of the Dead Dancing Ghosts.  This celebration is a rememberance of the ancestors who have died.  The dead are considered to be partying with the living during this festival.  Please consider voting in the contest.
At the bottom are two ATCs which are my interpretation of sugar skulls. Sugar skulls are used to represent the deceased.  Smaller skulls represent children and larger adults. You can learn how to make real sugar skulls here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

And What Better Time For Fairies?

The Fairy Market: Bartering with the Apple of Time by Penney Hughes, 2013, all rights reserved
With the lunar eclipse tomorrow and Halloween just around the corner, this painting seems to fit the season.  I painted this in September at the same time at the Tree ATC series.  As in the tree series the background has a metallic sheen. The imagery in this painting is a mixture of my middle child's description of his dreams and my own imagination.  In his dream he visits a fairy market.  The white suit is his disguise to allow him to walk freely.  While he is in the fairy market he trades for luck which he says is the same as gambling.    It is strongly inspired by one of my one my favorite artists, Remedios Varo.  You can get a sense of her work at this site.
This is only the second painting I have done for at least ten years. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ATCs: We Three Trees

This small series is painted on watercolor paper.  I prepped the background with orange fabric dye and gold fabric paint. I then used the Peobe Moon Fantasy paints to create shiny and textured tree trunks and landscape.  The leaves and sky are finished with acrylic paints.  The small series evokes a brooding feeling for me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Inspired by Remedios Varo

The Lantern by Penney Hughes 2013
This small painting (22.8 x 15.1cm, 9 x 6in), painted for a swap on Swap-bot is directly inspired by the work of Remedios Varo. In this painting figures break through the layers of a living wall.  What you can not see is the slight metallic sheen peeking through the paint.  Many of Remedios paintings feature persons breeching a many layered openings.  Her style is considered mystical surreal.  I love the delicacy of the textures in her work and the mysterious, dream-like quality. 

Portrait of Dr. Ignacio Chávez by Remedios Varo 1957