Welcome back :)

November 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

I am almost finished with my university, one more week to go before I get a much-needed and well deserved holiday break. I plan to get back to blogging and art making full-time during my holiday, missed it much throughout this intense academic year..phew!!
For the time being, here is a glimpse of what I have been doing to satisfy my creative instincts while juggling university, work and family life ūüôā


At last…I am back!

June 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

I am blogging after such a long time that I don’t think I will even attempt to justify it. Suffice to say that life happens and often things are out of our control. I missed blogging as it helped me ¬†put my creativity and life in perspective.

Sharing a small sketch I made on 6th of June, the day I had my exam. I also posted it on the flickr group “what I wore today/ drawings only“. Since I am off from university for few weeks, I am hoping to inject some life into my blog and blog often. ¬†:)

Zentangle to get untangled in 2011

December 31, 2010 § 6 Comments

this I made last night using Indian ink and pen

Oh boy!! I never thought I would be writing about something which begins/ends or contains the word “Zen” in it. Because I just didn’t see it in me..I am no Zen, not at all. So why is it that I want to end this year with a blog post titled “Zentangle”?? Because I want to zen-out in 2011, and turn to this beautiful art form for meditation and relaxation.

To put in simple words Zentangle¬†is like doodling, but its a bit more organized than just doodling. Doodling/ Zentangle¬†has taken the art world¬†by storm (not¬†really, but yeah. Like almost). Doodling is¬†one¬†of the essential¬†tools for surviving the psychological warfare that goes on all around us, all the¬†time.¬†Remember boring college lectures??what saved your sanity?? those tiny scribbles that you did in your note book..Those my friends were “doodles” now known as “Zentangle”. And there have been numerous other occasions, long monotonous one-sided phone calls with a friend venting her heart out (I am sure she created some doodles of her own when it was your turn to vent), a date gone wrong where you ended up drawing on the napkin instead of writing your phone number..and the list goes on.

So why do we indulge in creating small lines, shapes and other marks like these when we are stuck in a rut..what’s the relation between these lines and our emotions. Well, it is widely accepted that creating a doodle/Zentanlgle is like meditation. It is a¬†soothing activity which brings peace and calm to¬†a person. It literally makes you zen-out. The only materials you need are a piece of paper (any size would do), a pen or a pencil. Doesn’t matter if you think you are artistically challenged, aren’t we all?

So here’s wishing you all a happy new year, and I pray we all find happiness, health and a little bit of Zen in 2011.

Happy New Year

Just ended my year by making this quick one

So I got myself a new notebook ;), and I have been creating these little pieces in it since yesterday. I am stuck inside a huge creative block and Zentangling is my way out.

I got this lovely to start untangling my creativity

 I am off on a road trip for three days with my family. Get back to blogging after this break.

“When Love Comes to Town”

December 26, 2010 § 3 Comments

What can be a more appropriate title than this beautiful song “When love comes to town” by U2 and BB King to summarize how I felt when I found out that legendary rock band U2 were to rock Melbourne with their massive 360 concert tour in December. I had already missed out on their last hit concert Vertigo, so this was a must-attend-at-any-cost-event for me, and boy did I pay a hefty price for attending it!! I ended up with Laryngitis¬†afterwards and lost my voice for about a week, all because of singing my heart out with the 60,000 fans. Well, I attended the concert despite asthma and sour throat, patiently waited for four hours for U2 to grace the stage, and through an hour long opening act by Jay Z banged head like zombies (partly because of medicines and partly because I actually couldn’t hear him well, (damn you EQ). And by the time U2 hit the stage I have had two cups of coffee and two rolls of sushi (not at one time). The concert was held in Etihad stadium, which is huge because it-is-a-stadium!! Stadium gigs are not easy to pull off, but then nobody does a stadium like Bono and his boys. 360 concert tour is one of the most expensive rock concerts in history. The major attraction was obviously the gigantic Claw, but for U2 fans it was all about U2 :’)

crowd gathering around the Claw before concert

Jay Z rocks the crowd, his performance is projected on the giant screen

One by one they kept playing all their hit numbers, started out with my¬†favorite¬†“New Years Day” and then some new ones. I called my sisters in Pakistan when they played “Beautiful Day”, it was magic :’)

I love love love U2, attending their concert was one of the biggest dreams of my life and I left their concert with such intense feelings. Throughout the concert I missed my sisters and girl friends (Zainab and Saman) like crazy, my brother, and my hubby (who was babysitting our son). I missed my college days, when we were young and had dreams. Listening to Bono’s larger than life voice brought forth a surge of powerful nostalgia that I had never experienced before..I thought I was over and done with that chapter of my life, happily transformed into a sub-urban stay-at-home mother, aspiring artist, and a super-skilled home maker..sigh!!

Turns out the old me is still well intact, ready to come out and re claim her identity. Attending this concert made me realize that I haven’t still lost my love for music, a good song still holds the power to make my day..and that I don’t have to give up on my life-long dreams of travelling, studying, having a successful art practice and many others like that. It may sound naive to most but I needed a moment like that, a moment of reassurance and affirmation. The moment came to me like a sudden realization of a truth I knew all along, but wasn’t able to make sense of it.

I got myself back.

Before that I was only “trying” to recreate the me I once was..by mechanically doing things that I used to do. It has changed. And I couldn’t be much more happier, and relieved.

I left the concert venue..leaving behind Bono and his boys playing their last songs for us “I still haven’t found what I am looking for”..making sure this haunts us all till the next time when we see them rocking us all to our bones.

Mr. Bono thank you for a beautiful memory.

amazing display of lights, and video projection

U2 performing "beautiful day"

My favourite video projection and lights sequence of the Claw

My ever-moving studio-space

November 12, 2010 § 8 Comments

Creative people often need a place where they can create their projects away from the hassle bustle that is life. Some art forms require a specific, state of the art setup (like ceramics, photography, printmaking etc.), while others simply need a few tables, chairs, and plenty of light.
I live in a three bedroom old-fashioned house. We are renting and there is not much we can do with the house. If I had my way I would have painted the walls, put in new kitchen, ripped out old mismatched tiles etc. BUT the reality is that I can’t do any of that and still have to make this house my home..I am still in the process of doing that in bits and pieces. So, out of three bedrooms..one is our bedroom, one is my son’s room, and the third and the largest one which was once a shared study-cum-studio space for me and my husband is now his home office.
When we initially moved into this house last year in April, I made the meals area my studio. All of my materials and canvases were conveniently jumbled up on each other¬†on my dining table. That for me was the best space to continue to work because the meals area is adjacent to our lounge and kitchen, and as a stay-at-home mother and artist I thought I was so strategically placed between lounge (hub of my son’s activities) and kitchen (hub of domestic activities). Unfortunately my husband thought otherwise, as he viewed my art materials as a “mess”.
Eventually I moved into¬†his study and immediately the level of my productivity went down..I went from doing¬†one to two¬†detailed studies a day to hardly any work done in a week’s time. The reason was my son was too young and he wanted to play and stay in the lounge with all his toys and TV, and he didn’t approve my “moving out”. The only time I could concentrate on work was when my husband was home to take care of the little one. But even that arrangement didn’t last for long as my husband needed a home office to deal with increasing number of clients (and friends). So the study-cum-studio became his home office and I ended up in my son’s room. I got myself a table from Ikea, a few boxes to keep my nicknacks¬†and an old chair from my bedroom which my husband painted in white for me. I love the fact that my table is next to a window from where I can see the two lemon trees in our front yard, have a good view of street, and basically enjoy some sunlight while having my morning cuppa ūüôā I am slowly beginning to work there, even though it is a very small area but I am managing so far..lets hope I get to make a lot of art in this space of mine ūüôā

my meals area studio..my first study of flowers in 6 years


All my art materials and of course flowers on my dinning table


sharing studio space with my hubby, and son ūüôā


someone is having a great time

peek-a-boo, where are you mama?

I understand that not all artists have a dedicated studio space and they are still able to produce beautiful art works from their home. Stephanie Levy is one such artist who lives in Munich and creates beautiful collages. Recently Etsy did her interview and documented her studio space for their blog. What a treat for me, to be able to peek inside the studio of my favourite artist ūüôā What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that Stephanie (who is also a dedicated mother, blogger, and accomplished baker and cook) doesn’t have a dedicated studio space, in fact her lounge is her studio..which she shares with her girls and hubby. Have a look at her studio and tell me if it inspires you ūüôā

I¬†know that I can’t pursue printmaking from home unless I have a press and other essentials, but it doesn’t mean I stop being an artist..thus the need to pick up the brush and paint. As long as I keep working..I am happy.

de cluttering your dreams

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I had many dreams. Many of them are not relevant anymore…

I only hold onto the realistic dreams..the crazy dreams are gone…sigh!

But it is not bad at all..it is rather more of a process of de cluttering and creating a more clear head space..for thoughts and ideas which are accessible/doable and thus prompt me into action rather than spending an infinite time weighing pros and cons, dos and donts etc.

I am happier than ever before, more clear about my goals, more action-oriented ūüôā

De clutter your mind and hold onto the ideas that really matter to you. And then make the most of what you are left with.

Volunteering??..yes, please!

October 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

So last night I attended my first training session at a local AMES¬†centre, which provides all kinds of services to newly arrived immigrants and refugees in Australia. Since February¬†I have been applying to offer my services as a volunteer for a number of projects which I thought were perfect for me (local art gallery, community art centre etc.) BUT the only place to call me back for an interview was AMES because apparently that’s the biggest issue of concern for the people living in my community..teaching English to refugees.¬†Well, actually it is not so much of¬†a concern¬†of the people in the community..it is more of an issue of integration and inclusion on behalf of the local government. All the people with the refugee background that I know not only don’t want to learn English..in fact they more than often vocal their concerns that in Australia their children will only speak English and not their mother tongue. I understand and sympathize with them..but I also believe that in order to function independently in the society one must¬†have at least functional¬†level of proficiency to speak/read/understand English. One should at least be able to make an emergency phone call to a nurse/doctor/police etc.

I met a lot of interesting people at the training session, very lovely and enthusiastic. We all have one thing in common..we all want to contribute to our local community and help others. During the session I came across some interesting statistics¬†like 75% of refugees who can’t understand English at all are females. This is quite understandable because refugees generally come from countries which promote and propagate gender discrimination.. hence women are not allowed to pursue education. Most of these refugee women had very little schooling in their home country. I also found out that 50% volunteers in Australia¬†are between¬†the age of 25-50. And 50% of volunteers have fulltime employment.

I am looking forward to my next training session, and then eventually volunteering to teach English to a refugee woman in my community..hopefully empowering her to live a more independent life in Australia.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the happy notes category at Amna Art Studio.

%d bloggers like this: