January 3, 2018

سلام, salam

I channeled my inner Alma Thomas with this painting.  I discovered this amazing artist through the Art of Ed.  They have a list of 144 artists to discuss with your students.


I want to do more with female artists and my knowledge of female artists is quite limited.  Pretty much just Georgia O’Keefe and I don’t do a lesson involving her work until third grade.  So, I saw Alma Thomas, did a Google search, and fell in love with her.  She is an abstract expressionist.  I love her work because of the way she painted short strokes of uniform color over other colors.  The strokes are rhythmic, unified in how they cover the entire canvas.  Her colors are beautiful.  I have not taught my students about her yet, but I did this piece so I could play around with mixing colors.


I work in Saudi Arabia.  People say “Salaam Alaikum,” as a greeting.  It means “Peace be upon you.” In response, people say, “Wa-Alaikum-Salaam”  I also like Arabic calligraphy.  It has been a long-time-goal to learn how to write Arabic calligraphy.  Hasn’t materialized but the hope is still there.



I talked to one of our splendid Arabic language teachers here about writing peace or salaam in Arabic calligraphy.  My goal was to write salaam and surround it with all these great brushstrokes.  Then she showed me a picture on the Internet of a dove. The word salaam is written in the body of the dove.  I took her word for it.


So, I painted my dove, which is really the word peace in the middle of this warm beautiful energy of yellows and reds.  Then I surrounded the dove with individual brushstrokes of cool blues and greens, mixed up all in different ways.  No two are alike.

We all are unique.  We all embrace and surround peace.  At least I hope.  I really like the final piece.  I want to try to paint it on a t-shirt, but I haven’t had much fun in this department.  The paint always sticks to the cotton and painting on fabric is much harder than what I thought it would be.  I’ll keep trying though.


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About Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.


Personal Art Projects


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