Saturday, 26 February 2011

Celebration of the human form

I sat on my chair with my easel in front of me, the nude model standing in the middle of the class... The card on my easel blocked out the model partially... or purposely...
I was in a situation where I didn't know where to look. Too ashamed to look at a completely nude woman (my culture and upbringing being very conservative), I was embarrassed...

My aunt, who is a fashion designer and professor at NIFT in India, had taught me how to draw a basic figure of a mannequin when I was little.... and not looking at the model standing in front of  me, that is what I was drawing... a tall, slim figure of a mannequin, not the beauty in front of me.

"Amber! Regarde la modele devant toi... regarde sa forme! qu'est qu'elle est belle!!" said Francoise, my professor/director of my school. She was asking me to 'look' at the model, appreciate her form, and find beauty in nudity, something that was the complete opposite of what I was taught in my culture, where the beauty of a woman is protected, cherished and nurtured, not displayed for all to see.

But this was a change I had to accept. I was in Art school. This was a subject I had to take. And eventually, I did start to appreciate the beauty of the human form.... And now I can say with surety - We truly are Allah's most beautiful creations. Whether fat or thin, dark or fair, freckled or smooth alabaster, I have seen and learned to find and appreciate physical beauty in spite of all its flaws and learned to praise our Creator even more.

(Paintings have been removed)

Painting in black and white acrylic on brown paper was interesting and painting in monochrome has always been my favorite style. To be able to deliver the effect of smooth skin in monochrome is challenging, but the results are very good.

Toulouse Lautrec, a French painter from the early 1900's was known for painting crowds and scenes of exciting Parisian night life. The 'Can- can' dancers from the Moulin Rouge were his favorite ladies and our model that day was dressed like one - a long white 'jupon', a black corset, fishnet stockings, gloves, aa feather boa and flaming red hair! She was an absolute pleasure to paint!

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This work by Ambereena Razvi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ya Ali

"Oh, I desire a cup of wine from the Beloved's own hands.

In whom can I confide this secret?

Where am I to take my grief?

I have yearned a lifetime to see the Beloved's face;

I am a frenzied moth circling a flame,

A wild rue seed pod roasting in the fire.

See my stained cloak and this prayer-rug of hypocrisy;

Can I , one day, tear them to shreds at the tavern door? "

- Imam Khomeini

Ya Ali

Ya Ali (detail)

Ya Ali (detail)
I painted this 3 years ago, my mind saturated with words and sayings of Imam Ali from the Nahjul Balagha...My heart fluttered..... like a happy bird that flutters its little wings after a much awaited rain shower. 
This painting can be viewed in portrait or landscape...Viewed in portrait, you will read 'Ya Ali'. Viewed horizontally, you will read 'Allah'.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ambereena Razvi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.