From Abstraction to Tactile Expressions: Images of my Emotions.

Magdalena Rutkowska.

“Always painting, always working” was probably the first few words she said to me during our conversation. Magdalena Rutkowska runs Ike Studio from her home in Northern Ireland. Ike is a name taken from the Hawaiian Huna philosophy, whose first principle is Ike (pronounced ee-kay), meaning “The world is what you think it is”.

 Sunny Butterfly

Sunny Butterfly.
Quilling on Canvas  50 cm x 40 cm

Viewing Magdalena’s artworks, you notice a plethora of works including paintings, crafts, home decor, Office decor and greetings cards. These works have an influence directly from nature, and visually expressed in various designs ranging from national flags all the way to various decorative patterns and abstractions. Interestingly, because of the way Magdalena perceives and executes some of the designs, she sometimes wonders if the images she creates even exists in nature.

Her greatest inspiration is nature, and that greatly influences her use of vibrant and expressive colour ranges. The depictions she works in reveals her dexterity for detail; detail which is even more astonishing when you realize that Magdalena has been totally blind from the age of 6 years. She has no retina in her eyes and though having no sight presents several immense challenges in her life, she is determined to live a life as full and as rich as is possible, exploring her other senses, especially the sense of touch and hearing, to give her this ability.

These are images of my emotions.” – Magdalena Rutkowska

 MagdalenaImage1

Tree of the Paleozoic 
White paper on black card
18 cm x 30 cm

MaMoMi: How would you describe your emotions in your artworks?

Magdalena Rutkowska: It is a bit difficult to explain how my emotions can be seen as artworks but they are a visual and tactile expression of some of the feelings i experience daily. I perceive a lot of images of flowers and trees and of other nature influences.

Back in Poland where i am originally from, i lived around beautiful forests and this early experience still continues to inspire my love for nature. This influence causes me to see various projects in my sleep, long before i get the opportunity to do anything with them. I often wake up wanting to create so many of these images and my memory and Imagination, combined with my manual skills, allows me to create various types of arts and crafts. I use my visual memory of colours, shades and shapes to put together the different ideas. For me, every letter of the word has a colour code.

I know my paintings also help a lot of people externalize and overcome their problems.” – Magdalena Rutkowska

Tulip

Tulip 
20 cm x 25 c m

MaMoMi: How do you relate a colour code to a word or shape?

M.R.: One of the projects i did some time ago was done making small pictures with four paintings of flowers, and the client then came back wanting even bigger paintings. I had to find a way to replicate that idea onto a bigger canvas space.

Every colour i intended to use in that colour palette was placed in a box. I needed to remember where each colour was and to do this, i placed each of them in particular boxes and code every box. I now have at least 20 boxes. I place bright yellow in one box, darker yellow in the next one, warmer colour in the following one, and the next one had fuchsia, and so on.

It is important to me that i remember which colours i have used, and in what order, as this helps me have control of the colour scheme or any pattern i am creating. But this also means i have to keep and maintain a huge level of concentration throughout.

MaMoMi: What is your most used technique?

M.R.: It usually take a lot of time to put together and make my artworks. My most popular technique is the Quilling paper method. By building the outlines of paper, i devise various ways of filling to form the shapes required. This helps me create decorative and 3-Dimensional designs, many of which are popular for Home and Office decor.

I use strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together, and reproduce the needed shapes by twisting and curling the paper strips with my fingers. They are then bonded on the canvas or background cardboard. I have sixteen different categories listed on my website.

Creating these artworks and crafts is also a way of showing people that blind artists can also be very creative, with very attractive and highly desirable items. But it is also my way of engaging with the sighted community and it will be great and appreciative if people can enjoy my creative talents as much as i do. I love nature and in return nature has given me a positive approach to life.

Contact:

To commission or purchase her artworks, contact Magdalena via email at magdalena@ikestudio.co.uk
Website: www.ikestudio.co.uk

Note: This blog was originally published in March 20 2014.

Tactile Valentine’s Cards

Multisensory artist and creative coach, Lynn Cox, has a new range of bespoke Tactile Valentine’s Day Cards ideal for the visually impaired. 

LynnValCard1

They are a unique way of sending messages to loved ones and you can choose to either make your own from the provided materials and instructions, or purchase a card already beautifully decorated for you!

Both options have Braille and Large Print wording ‘My Valentine’ on the front, and an inner message which says ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, here is a tactile card, that says “I love you”.

LynnValCard2

Option 1. Decorate your own Valentine’s Day card – includes card with heart shaped holes, yarn, large eyed sewing needle, gel and crystal shapes including flowers, butterflies, diamonds, etc (shapes may vary slightly), large print instructions (Braille On Request). They cost only £4.00 each.

Option 2. Pre-Decorated Valentine’s Day Card – a beautiful heart-shaped design drawn with yarn, accompanied by gel and crystal shapes including flowers, butterflies, diamonds, etc (shapes may vary slightly). They cost only £4.00 each.

Personalised Messages can be Brailled at the cost of the label only £0.50.

To Order:

To order, please contact Lynn Cox via email at artscoachingtraining@gmail.com or telephone +44(0)7818 437651

Other products available include Birthday, Christmas, Easter and Saints Day cards, Luxury Tactile Drawing Packs & more fun art packs!

Gleamed: Adding The Sparkle To Illustration.

Next Steps
Reading about the work Kimberley does and continues to do, as a columnist, blogger, illustrator and campaigner, you would have no idea she went through a very difficult time in her early years. Kimberley was born premature in Hope Hospital, Greater Manchester and had to be kept in an incubator for some time. At the time, and surprisingly so, no tests were done to test her sight and hearing but her mum knew something was not quite right.
 
By the time the local hospital responded to her mum’s persistent concerns, she was already 4 years old and found to have sight and hearing loss. Eventually, she was referred to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital by a specialist, where she underwent several operations over the next few years to help resolve the congenital cataracts in both her eyes. She also had myringoplasty performed on both ears to close the perforations in her ear drums.
Now 26, Kimberley is registered blind (totally blind in one eye, is partially sighted in the other) and uses a hearing aid. She continues to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the doctors and nurses at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where she had spent most of her childhood and she feels she is now finally starting to live her life with her visual impairment.
 
Kimberley is a self-taught illustrator and has aspirations to study fine art at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. She was recently named “Young Illustrator of the Year” for 2014 by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), creating 6 illustrations that were published in RNIB’s Insight magazine, using themes from “Next Steps” to “Support at the time of Sight loss”. These themes were selected by Insight Magazine’s Editor and Kimberley was then able to create her illustrations around those ideas. The illustrations were created and published between December 2013 and September 2014, and you can see them listed below.    
Next Steps
Theme: “Next Steps
In this illustration, Kimberley shows her next steps for the future; from completing her braille course, training for a guide dog, continuing her campaign work, to mobility training with her long cane.
Favourite Apps and Features
Theme: “Favourite Apps and Features
Here, she depicts her iPad and her favourite apps and features, including accessibility functions like zoom, voiceover and iBooks.
 
MaMoMi initiative: How did you keep inspired through your early challenges with sight loss?
Kimberley Burrows: The support of my Mum and my family kept me motivated through the early challenges. I was never treated any differently from my brother or the other children in the house but i really felt i was treated with more compassion and respect because of everything i was going through. I was never pitied because of all the operations i had to go through in my childhood. I was praised for being so strong and brave but never had any special treatment so that really helped me adjust and feel like the other children.
 
Preparing for Adult Life
Theme: “Preparing for Adult life
This illustration was created using coloured pencils and a fine liner, portraying her as a teenager in her high school uniform, looking towards a future in adult life. 
 
MI: Was there any point where you felt you will not be able to pursue any career?
KB: Towards the end of high school, i developed a severe depression and anxiety because of the realisation that i was spending so much of my time in hospital, and it felt lie i was been robbed of the enjoyment of being a child. I found it hard to be sociable because of my visual impairment, especially when my vision began to diminish even more. After l left college, i certainly felt i would not be able to pursue a career, more because of my own insecurities than my vision impairment itself. I didn’t feel comfortable about who i was and needed time to accept myself and my disability before others could do the same.
 
Find the ability in your disability to follow your dreams” – Kimberley Burrows
 
Outdoor sports and activities
Theme: “Outdoor sports and activities
Here, she depicts her character riding a bike surrounded by an archery board, football and net, cricket bat with ball and wicket, and a racket with a tennis ball and shuttlecock.
 
MI: How did you get involved in art and what would you like to share with the world that can inspire another person with a disability?
KB: I have loved art all of my life. I remember the first thing i did when entering the first year of primary school was going straight to the easel and painting a vase of flowers! That was one of my earliest memories. Since then, it has always been a creative outlet for me to draw my emotions and my experiences, and then translate that into colourful imagery. When i had my operations at Great Ormond street Children’s hospital in London, a city far away from home, the only thing that would stop me from feeling home sick was when i would draw.
 
I want to inspire and encourage anyone with a disability to “find the ability in your disability to follow your dreams!” Get the inspiration to keep doing what you love to do, even when you are experiencing difficulty at the time! That is how your dreams will come to reality.
Support at the time of sight loss
Theme: “Support at the time of sight loss
This illustration was a reference to the support she received from friends and family, her doctors and other medical officers and information she received online and via the internet. This was done using black fineliner and colouring pencils.
MI: What are your favourite pieces?
KB: My favourite paintings and illustrations are my Carousel GCSE piece, the Christmas card for Henshaws, the illustrated Guide Dog for the Get Active! supplement in conjunction with the Scouts magazine, the Paddington Bear illustration, and the John Lewis birthday composition.
My achievements in the past year
Theme: “My achievements in the past year
This includes Kimberley’s interview with Grenada Reports, her interview with Manchester Evening News, her artwork for John Lewis, and her planned visit to the European Parliament in November.
In addition to her achievements in the past year, Kimberley has recently been matched to her Guide dog, Tami, which will give her a greater sense of independence. Once her training with the Guide dog is completed, she plans to further her education and achieve more qualifications.
 Get the inspiration to keep doing what you love to do.” – Kimberley Burrows
What we find really remarkable about Kimberley’s illustrations is the tenacity she has to get through the artworks; due to the strain the drawings place on her seeing eye (she is completely blind in one eye and can only focus for a few minutes at a time with the other), she can only work on the her pieces for around 20 minutes at a time. This means some of her illustrations can take up to one month to finish!
Kimberley’s dreams of turning her creative passion into a career may well be realized very soon as she has been commissioned to create a special drawing of Paddington bear for the creator, Michael Bond.
Well done Kimberley, continue to add the sparkle to illustration!
Special appreciation: We want to take this opportunity to thank Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Hope Hospital, RNIB, Insight Magazine, and Henshaws.
Contact:
To contact Kimberley, email her at gleamed@hellokitty.com. You can also visit her blog page at Gleamed ✿ Kimberley’s Blog
GLEAMED: Kimberley’s blog
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The Forgiveness!

Julie Imus recently started a series of paintings and one of them particularly caught my attention; it showed the image of the Twin towers on fire! I got in touch and asked her to share a bit more on this painting. She called it “LET GO OF THE BITTERNESS” as she had been listening to a series of sermons about forgiveness. She had been talking about how a lot of people were holding on to bitterness, and that is how she came up with the title.
I felt the imagery was outstanding and that using an image of strength, the eagle, to share a message on forgiveness explains that we are truly empowered when we forgive, when we let go, when we love!
 
MaMoMi initiative: Did you ever feel doing a series on forgiveness would not be a popular topic to visualize?
Julie Imus: I am happy that you see this painting as forgiveness. When i finished the first painting, I sent a photograph of it to my nephew and he thought it was “amazingly outstanding!”. He also said it brought a tear to his eyes. When you saw the painting and asked me if i could do a series on forgiveness, i thought “Paintings on forgiveness – that is such a brilliant idea!”. I then decided to do some more studying on the topic and even listened to Pastor Zamora’s teachings on “Letting Go” again.
 

M.I: Tell us about the subject behind this series.

J.I: Forgiveness—that is a powerful word, because to tell someone you forgive them can release them from strain and worry, while to not forgive can make them weak and fearful. When Andrew asked me to do a series of paintings on “forgiveness,” I had to really put my thought to work. Saying and acting it out can be hard enough, but trying to put it on canvas…what a challenge that may be for me, and wow, this one was a huge challenge!
 
M.I: Did you ever have any challenges completing this series?
J.I: When i started the series, i had thought it would take about 1 and half weeks to complete it. I had to think about the topic very seriously and the question i asked myself was, “how can a person show the ultimate forgiveness?” I had thought of other things for a subject, like abortion or even a difficult one like murder, then it hit me; Jesus forgave the soldier that actually nailed him to the cross! Now that is a message!
But i found that i had to be very patient with the process, and i was also hoping Andrew would be patient enough with me to find a way to put my thoughts on canvas. At one point it felt like someone or something was fighting me every step of the way with this painting holding me back, delaying me, maybe even denying me. But i really had to be resilient, press on and believe in the reasons for doing this series. 
I remember saying “the enemy is fighting me every step of the way with this painting that I am doing on forgiveness but I WILL WIN!” I did expect to have it done within the time i had planned but when that did not happen i was ready to give up on it until an exterminator showed up at our door. Interestingly, he was not even a Christian, but when he saw the painting as I had left it, he said that he totally understood it and said that it makes a “powerful statement”. That he was influenced by the painting gave me the renewed motive to finish it; so i say “Thank you Lord for sending that man to my door”. The paintings got finished a week later.
 
Lord, if my brother keeps sinning against me, how many times do i have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven.” – The Bible, Matthew 18: 21-22
 
Let go of the Bitterness 2014
(16” X 20”) Oil on canvas.
The subject of the Twin Towers was suggested to me by my Nephew that went to Afghanistan. He suggested the composition should have an angry eagle flying over the Twin Towers, but I could not do it the way he suggested. I truly agree we should remember the 9/11 incident but holding on to the anger and bitterness is not what God wants us to do. Holding on to the anger will only allow the enemy to win, so i decided to have the eagle perched back in remembrance of that day as if to say “let it go!” Forgiveness also needs to be unlimited, be charitable and promote love. We can all restore love by practicing forgiveness.
I feel that this is the most powerful of the three paintings, not just because of the visual composition but also because the enemy tried really hard to stop me from painting this; when i started painting, for some time i was not getting the colors right, and the canvas oddly falling off the easel!
 
15 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.” – The Bible,  Acts 26: 15-18
 
Forgiving Daisy 2014
(11” x 14”) Oil on canvas.
This particular painting was easy to do. Daisy is our dog of 5 years now and for the first year that we had her she would steal my shoes and chew them up, and I would find them usually in the back yard. It is pretty easy to forgive the pup with big guilty looking-eyes. She doesn’t steal my shoes anymore though but she is still a goofy character.
Two works of mercy set a man free: forgive and you will be forgiven, and give and you will receive.” – Augustine of Hippo.
He Forgave him anyway 2014
(16” x 20”) Oil on canvas.
The scripture i quoted earlier from Acts 26: 15-18 reminds me about this painting  i did of a Roman soldier. In the scripture, Jesus was speaking to Paul when he called him to preach to the Gentiles. I do personally get excited when talking about Salvation and i pray that more people understand how much God loves them. We only need to ask for forgiveness and believe Jesus has the authority to redeem us. Oh my, what the grace of the Lord does for us, it is so Awesome!
M.I: We want to take this opportunity to thank you for opening up your heart on the issue discussed here. Forgiveness is such a difficult issue to discuss or talk about, as many feel that to forgive and forget someone who offends them means lessons may not be learnt from the experience. 
J.I: Painting the Forgiveness series really has been an amazing journey and has also shown me that there were somethings from my past that i needed to resolve. I truly feel blessed by this. Thank you!
M.I: We also appreciate that not everyone is a christian or practices a faith, but we also know that everyone will at some point have to deal with an issue involving unforgiveness. The beauty though is that when we decide to forgive and forget, it means we have taken the decision not to hold on to the sin of the offence, therefore allowing us to be healed from the pain of the sin but also making sure we do not forget the lessons learnt from our act of forgiveness! Forgiveness will therefore empowers us over sin!
 
Note: If the issues shared in the article impacts you (our readers) or anyone else in any way and you feel the need to discuss this further, please feel free to get in touch with us via our email at mamomi.initiative@yahoo.com
All the paintings are available for purchase. Contact us direct for more information or message Julie via redindianstorm@yahoo.com
Thank you!
Andrew Mashigo

LLOYD: Colour THROUGH the Darkness!

image (5)
Beautiful Calm
I met Lloyd McCullough in October 2013 at the Feel the Force event in Peterborough, an event organised by my friend and associate, JJ Lucia-Wright. JJ and his team do an excellent job of enabling access to the world of entertainment and popular culture for the visually impaired and disabled. Among the many things that stands out with Lloyd is his relaxed demeanor and his colorful paintings. A lot of his paintings are influenced by comic and action film characters, and his artwork shows a real appreciation of strength and muscular tones. There is a maturity about Lloyd’s depictions that are really captivating.
Lloyd was born deaf with Users syndrome, a condition that causes his sight to deteriorate over time. But in-spite of this immense challenge, Lloyd continued to show and develop an interest in drawing at an early age. His story is inspiring.
MaMoMi Initiative:  What are your Inspirations?
Lloyd McCullough: Having been born deaf and losing my sight gradually over the years, I have a very different experience and perspective on life than what other people usually have.  As a child growing up I had a fascination with comic books and comic character heroes. I particularly loved Spider-Man, Conan the Barbarian and the Incredible Hulk!  I loved experimenting with drawings and did used a lot of my own heroes, God-like characters. DarkGuard was a favorite comic collection of mine.  I also loved Japanese Art and Yoji Shinkawa is an absolute favorite of mine. His work is a real inspiration and I love his depictions of strong characters. I also love the work of American fantasy and science fiction artist Frank Frazetta.
I grew up loving a lot of the dark lord fantasy fiction kind of art and when i was young many of my paintings were dark and scary. Now as I’ve grown and matured and my my outlook on life has changed somewhat. Previously, I was perhaps shut off from society as the impact of losing my sight gradually began to erode my confidence. This was a particular dark time in my life and I concentrated on many dark characters. But now i have strength of character and a more positive outlook on life, both of this largely because I have developed a strong faith. Now my art is peaceful, serene and embraces a feeling of hope and salvation; a paradise future in and with a beautiful Garden. The thought of beautiful trees, a beautiful earth and happy people. That is my future and this is what now inspires my paintings. I am concentrating at the moment on a collection of Fantasy Angels and paradise-like gardens, and also some bible characters.
We can do anything we dream of.” – Lloyd McCullough
image (4)
Seahorse

 

image (2)
The Forest Keeper

 

MI: What drives your determination to help and support others?

LM: I have been through a lot in my life because of my deafness and blindness. I have learnt to cope with my feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and fear. In the past, i felt let down by Doctors and health professionals and this left me feeling very disappointed and alone. I have learned to change this into a positive influence in my life. I am no longer scared or frightened of my future and want to use my experience to inspire others to change their outlook on life. We can do anything we dream of. I have so many dreams and fantasy stores in my mind that I want to put down on paper and share with others to make them happy. I want to be able to show people that thinking positively can have a positive influence in your life. This drives me as I know many people suffer every day and I want to be able to show and help them be positive.

image (3)
Little Garden

 

image (1)
Pirate Lord
                                                                                                                   
MI: What do you hope to achieve with your art career?
LM: My hopes for the future is to produce my own collection of story books for children. I have written one story book already and currently working three others. I would love to be able to visit the work place and schools to give inspirational talks about my life. I have currently visited two schools, one in Norwich and one in Peterborough. These have both been an amazing experience as both Schools had hearing, deaf and deaf blind pupils. I have met some wonderful children and they have been so happy to meet me. They have been confident to use haptic sign language and have therefore no social barriers. Deaf adults are sometimes embarrassed or nervous to talk to me but these deaf children were so confident and it was like we were all the same. It was a truly wonderful experience. Also the hearing children and school teachers were amazed and inspired.  This made me really happy too.
I would love to encourage people to be unafraid of their disabilities.” – Lloyd McCullough
Jamie-Jay
Lloyd meeting Jay at a school in Norwich
Lloyd met Jay at his school in Norwich. Jay contracted Meningitis that left him both deaf and blind.
Lloyd’s earlier paintings were done using Oils and water colour but has found the computer age very kind to his practice. He now uses Corel painter programme, where he uses customizable brushes and pen to draw freehand on the screen to produce the paintings he wants, getting more or less any effect he wants to produce.
He  would like to sell more paintings but making money has never been his goal or ambition. Attaining immense wealth and fame is not one of Lloyd’s driving force as he prefers to remain grounded and down-to-earth. He admits It would be nice to make enough money to be able to design and build his own house one day; a dream i personally believe he deserves to aspire to. His more immediate concern is to raise money to support children’s charities, something he continues to pursue.
MI: Your hope is to Inspire and reach people regardless of disabilities, social backgrounds or impairments.  What else Inspires you?

LM: So as I have said I would love to have a collection of story books for children. I want to promote my artwork and maybe have my artworks shown at different venues, at art shows, galleries or Museums, or even a market stall in a different place every week. I would like to work in making and producing films, something I currently enjoy as  a hobby. I would love to encourage people to be unafraid of their disabilities; to not be afraid to use hands-on sign language. Our community needs to treat everyone as equal. I am concentrating on living life to the full and make things happen for me. I want to inspire people to do the same.
photo 3
Lloyd McCullough
Contact Lloyd via the links below.
Website: THOGUS ART 
Facebook: Thogus Art
Email: thogusart@btinternet.com

We also want to acknowledge the support of Emma Jayne Burrows, DeafBlind BSL Communicator Guide, for transcribing this interview with Lloyd.

For details of the Feel the Force Day 2014 on the 18th of October in Peterborough, please click on this link FEEL THE FORCE DAY 2014

Article written by Andrew Mashigo, for MaMoMi Initiative.

www.mamomiinitiative.com

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From Abstraction to Tactile Expressions: Images of my Emotions.

Image
 Tree of the Paleozoic.
White paper on black card
“Always painting, always working” was probably the first few words she said to me during our conversation. Magdalena runs Ike Studio from her home in Northern Ireland. Ike is a name taken from the Hawaiian Huna philosophy, whose first principle is Ike (pronounced ee-kay), meaning “The world is what you think it is”.
Viewing Magdalena’s artworks, you notice a plethora of works including paintings, crafts, home decor, Office decor and greetings cards. These works have an influence directly from nature, and visually expressed in various designs ranging from national flags all the way to various Abstractions. But because of the way Magdalena perceives and executes some of the designs, she sometimes wonders if the images she creates or works on even exists in nature.
Her greatest inspiration is the natural world, and the use of a vibrant and expressive set of colour ranges. The depictions she works in reveals her dexterity for detail. Detail which is even more astonishing when you realize that Magdalena has been totally blind from the age of 6 years. She has no retina in her eyes and though having no sight presents several immense challenges in her life, she is determined to live a life as full and as rich as is possible, exploring her other senses, especially the sense of touch and hearing, to give her this ability.
These are images of my emotions.” – Magdalena Rutkowska
Image
MaMoMi: How would you describe your emotions in your artworks?
M.R.: It is a bit difficult to explain how my emotions can be seen as artworks but they are a visual and tactile expression of some of the feelings i experience daily. I perceive a lot of images of flowers and trees and of other nature influences.
Back in Poland where i am originally from, i lived around beautiful forests, and this early experience still continues to inspire my love for nature. This influence causes me to see various projects in my sleep, long before i get the opportunity to do anything with it. I often wake up wanting to create so many of these images. My memory and Imagination, combined with my manual skills, allows me to create various types of arts and crafts. I use my visual memory of colours, shades and shapes to put together the different ideas. For me, every letter of the word has a colour code.
I know my paintings also help a lot of people externalize and overcome their problems.” – Magdalena Rutkowska
MaMoMi: How do you relate a colour code to a word or shape?
M.R.: One of the projects i did some months ago was done making small pictures with 4 paintings of flowers, and the client then came back wanting even bigger paintings. I had to find a way to replicate that idea to a bigger canvas space.
Every colour i intended to use in that colour palette was placed in a box. I needed to remember where each colour was and to do this, i placed each of them in particular boxes and coded every box. I now have at least 20 boxes. I placed bright yellow in one box, darker yellow in the next one, warmer colour in the following one, and the next one had fuchsia, and so on. It is important to me that i remember which colours i have used, and in what order, as this helps me have control of the colour scheme or any pattern i am creating. But this also means i have to keep and maintain a huge level of concentration.
ImageSunny Butterfly.
Colour paper On Canvas
MaMoMi: What is your most used technique?
M.R.: It usually take a lot of time to put together and make my artworks. My most popular technique is the Quilling paper method. By building the outlines of paper, i devise various ways of filling to form the shapes required. This helps me create decorative and 3-Dimensional designs, many of which are popular for Home and Office decor.
I use strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together, and reproduce the needed shapes by twisting and curling the paper strips with my fingers. They are then bonded on the canvas or background cardboard. I have 16 different categories listed on my website.
Creating these artworks and crafts is also a way of showing people that blind artists can also be very creative, with very attractive and highly desirable items. But it is also my way of engaging with the sighted community and it will be great and i will appreciate it if people can enjoy my creative talents as much as i do. I love nature and in return nature has given me a positive approach to life.
MagdalenaImage4
Fish.
Decorative art
Image
 Magdalena working in her studio.
View Magdalena’s website at http://www.ikestudio.co.uk/index.html
For enquiries or to make purchase of her artworks, contact Magdalena by writing her at  magdalena@ikestudio.co.uk

Accepting No limitations! 3rd September, 2013

I have been following and supporting Michael A. Williams work online for over a year and recently had the opportunity to talk to him about his paintings, inspirations, challenges and aspirations.

Image

Three Swans by Michael A. Williams. Image used by permission 2013.

Michael is a genuine inspiration, not just because he is prepared to excel in an industry that is prevalently visual even though he is visually impaired (sight-impaired, as Michael refers to it), but especially because of his “Can do” attitude.

Michael was born with the condition called Stargardt’s disease, which stabilises when you are around 20 years old. He has peripheral vision but any focal vision he has is very blurry. He is a self-taught artist who was encouraged by his mum who is also a self-taught artist. Michael continually teaches himself new techniques and improvises in order to continue his painting interests. For example, he uses CCTV technology to help determine colours.

When you say “No”, i am going to do “Yes!” – Michael A. Williams

Early inspiration.

But his early interests were in aviation, and architecture. Michael recalls that when he sees huge airplanes  like the Boeing 747, his eyes literally pops out and a big smile would run across his face! There was something about spatial awareness that really attracted him to the big planes, but he also had an interest in architecture, probably because he enjoyed working in environments that represent 3-Dimensional facets. But he found art a lot easier and he explored themes like landscapes, cityscapes, street scenes and automobiles.

Michael’s colour palette usually has blues, greens and yellows and he learnt how to improvise with the colours so that he would achieve the results you currently see in his paintings. Many people would initially just look at and enjoy his paintings but when they find he is visually impaired, they would then go on to question or interrogate his work and the idea that he can produce such visually aesthetic paintings even though he is visually impaired. As he says “I am able to work with my impairment, and what i cannot see, i improvise.”

 

His Paintings.

One of his paintings, Evening Tow, was started in Little Rock Arkansas in 2005 and took nearly 3 years to complete due to various situations. He submitted it to the 2009 Insight Art competition for Blind and visually impaired artists, in which he came 3rd place. This recognition inspired Michael to carry on with his painting project but he says his original inspiration is God. He says “no one does it better than God!”

He admires the colours in the sky and is also inspired by nature because “the Sky comes with different shades of blue, green and yellow”.  As he progressed with his artworks, he had an even greater appreciation of nature and would often use photographs to capture some of the details he had observed in nature.

All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue it. – Walt Disney

All Michael’s paintings are originals, some done using Oil and some in Acrylic. He also makes limited edition prints and posters.

Reaching out.

Interestingly, Michael’s work is not all about himself as he recently set-up a the International Association for Sight Impaired artists (IASIA-Global) in Memphis, Tennessee. This non-profit organisation has a mission to educate, encourage and support the sight-impaired community worldwide to become involved in the visual arts. Check the website at www.iasia-global.org for more details.

Michael continues to reach out to other sight-impaired individuals and encourages anyone in this group who is willing  to take the opportunity to explore their creativity, to come up and become a part of IASIA-Global. With the possibilities of Art Workshops, Art competitions, public Art projects and so much more, this project is an opportunity to let the public see that the visually impaired community has something to contribute to the world. As Michael says it, “it is about bringing your Treasure to the world.”

No one does it better than God, despite how we as artists try our best to capture nature in color and on canvas, he is the ultimate creator and best artist ever! – Michael A. Williams

To see more of Michael’s paintings, check his website at www.uniquewanders.com

Contact.

The best way for individuals to reach Michael A. Williams, Founder/CEO IASIA, will by email at info@iasia-global.org. His telephone is 901-270-0723 (Memphis, Tennessee).

The website also has a contact form at http://www.iasia-global.org.