Sunday, January 15, 2006


Thinking Loud: Art

"Once Christopher's distinctive style was perfected through developmental stages of imitation, he began to move away from the relatively safe process of working from other people's art."

Source: McNiff, S pp.49 -

This is what I came across a couple of nights ago in the book I am currently reading.

Those of whom have asked me "how it all happened" for Tranquilart will have been very disappointed when I told them that I am not an artist with a list of acadamia in the field. I did not do GCSE Art, A Level Art or Art in my degree.

My experiences in arts classes were not always fruitful.. one of the reasons was because I could not understand why we had to do the boring homeworks. Why was art so limited to drawing? Is art only about drawing? What if you don't like drawing - does that mean you can never be an artist? Why did we have to 'fit in' our creative expression into what the teacher said? Surely if art is about expression - then we are entitled to our own personal one?

Thus I didn't take art any further after the age of 14 :o)

However, I knew it was something I was good at and stored it away. And then as most people do in our orthodox society - I did my GCSEs, A Levels and Degree, never stopping to think about what had been stored within me.

The last time I was "taught" art was in early summer 2004 when I attended a 2-day workshop on Art and Education in a College of Higher Education - and I did a self-portrait, pottery and a few other bits and pieces. At the same time our teacher did what my previous arts teachers did not do:

He told us to believe in ourselves and that there was nothing stopping us from becoming good artists. He gave a session on Picasso and rather than elevating him, told us how miserable his life actually was, indicating how we could all do better!

Years went by and I guess cobwebs began to veil that which had been put under lock and key. Until came one day where the need arose to pay the old guest a visit ..

And here I am today :-)

McNiff argues in his book how almost all of us have an artistic streak and how it is often lying dormant within. It is only when the conditions are correct that it manifests itself.

Returning to the original quote:
It is true, I did feel alot "safer" copying designs of calligraphy which were done centuries ago onto glass. It was an excellent ground for sowing the seeds of my creativity. Also, it made me feel good spiritually as the designs I used were all the more 'closer' to the period of Revelation in comparision.

One takes a great big risk when they start to do new things. There is the constant self-questioning of whether what one is doing is right or wrong in the Divine Scales. Furthermore I asked myself whether people would accept my work if it wasn't a-mirror to those ancient-old designs. What if I made a mistake? But I haven't done an Islamic Calligraphy course - Oh no! What will people say to me? That I am a cop-out?! That I am cheating? What about all those arty people who have been doing art since school-days? They will absolutely hate me! Such thoughts found themselves into my mind and would not let me sit still.

I have a problem with sitting in one spot for longer than x amount of time - and there came a point where I couldn't take it anymore!

"Right!" I thought. "I'm fed up of this now! I will just have to do what I can!"

And I did!
Of course the whimp I am I took loads of advise from anyone and everyone. As I said before - taking risks and doing something outside the "safe zone of imitation" is not at all easy :-)

A few years later - how do I feel?
Well, I feel that more and more of Tranquilart's work will be reflecting a journey. There is a story I am rather eager to start narrating.

InshaAllah :o)

Peace & Prayers
Bint-eh Adam x
Assalaamu alaykum Sis :P
Your smiley has a very round nose ;)
Wa salaam



Thats a caterpillar btw - I discovered it yesterday LOL

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