from yesterday to today, one thing leads to another

How’s this for a chain reaction: two nights ago I invited some friends over to watch the Iceland vs. France match with me. That night one of those people, my dear friend Lubna, returned my ring after generously getting it all polished and new for me. The next day, yesterday, I felt it imperative that I photograph that ring for Instagram (of course!). But (of course again) I needed a complementary backdrop, so I started a watercolor just for it.

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This is my ring: ‘Ghain’ by architect and calligrapher Fareed Abdal. It’s the letter my name starts with in Arabic. I left the painting abstract because I liked it the way it was and started another.

I finished that painting this morning. It was a pained process (sometimes things have a way of not working out) but I eventually found my way around it.

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I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it until this morning.

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Four eyes.

Throughout this painting, which you may have noticed is quite labored, my mind was reeling with self-doubt. There’s a potential group exhibition coming up and I’ve been teamed with some pretty edgy, young, exciting Kuwaiti artists. I couldn’t help feeling that I may not be able to step up to the plate, that I am not edgy enough, young enough, exciting enough, Kuwaiti enough. I’m not fishing here, this part is important to the next part of this chain of events. In a nutshell, I lost a tremendous amount of confidence in myself. And my close friends know that when I’m frustrated or when I hit a wall, I paint on myself. So I did.

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Hand and face.

Sidenote: this potential show I mentioned above centers around Kuwaiti folkloric creatures, and I chose the Bodriya, a siren-like sea monster that is half-woman, half-fish. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with something, both conceptually and creatively. Anyway…

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Invariably, the hand art lead to a selfie. This one was [unintentionally] rude so I took another.

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And I thought: this is the creative end to this. I’ll wash my hand and get on with other business.

But as my process will have it, just an hour or so ago I decided to create a video.

As I worked on it, the video became more and more evocative of a mythological creature at sea. And here I am now with a renewed sense of excitement and confidence (sometimes things have a way of working out like that).

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