Exhibition in Holland

The Royal Dutch Medical Association company Tweezers and Brush is currently holding its annual exhibition at the Medical Center Alkmaar (MCA), Wilhelminalaan 12.1815 JD Alkmaar from October 3 to November 28, 2015. I sent in 3 paintings and I am proud to be part of the exhibition. The most exciting part of it all is being featured in the front page of the exhibition brochure.

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You can paint too

Do you like the idea of painting but feel you can’t get round to figuring out where exactly to start? Do you want to paint? Do you ever wonder if you could paint? Do you desire to create art but think you need to be an art school graduate? Painting and creating art is not just for art school graduates. Many of us get the misconception that to be an artist...a successful one at that needs a certificate of some sort.

I feel the above notion is wrong. I believe the best way to start is by defining what painting is:

Original 18" x 22" Acrylic Impasto Knife painting of Blue Hydrangea by Nkolika Anyabolu

Original 18" x 22" Acrylic Impasto Knife painting of Blue Hydrangea by Nkolika Anyabolu

"Painting is simply the act of creating paintings."

A painting on its own is a work of art that consists of paint on a surface in the form of a picture or design. Painting is easy but yet complicated. It would not be fair giving you the impression painting is all too easy.

There’s no doubt painting has its highs and lows. Painting like anything creative which involves the use of one’s mind, fingers and sometimes one’s soul; uplifts the soul and adds purpose to one’s life. But like in all of life’s endeavors; hard work, courage and belief in oneself is the key.

You have to believe in yourself. That is probably the most important step when it comes to painting. Yeah, there are people who have got the talent. But you will be amazed at the number of people who are particularly gifted in art and possess the talent but simply cannot put their talent to the test. This tells you that having the talent for painting is one thing and having the guts and confidence to put it to the test is another thing.

I discovered I had the talent for the arts rather early in life. And thankfully I never wallowed in the fact I had the talent but went further with courage to develop it and have been pushing myself further and further in my quest to develop it.  Sometimes I feel really discouraged.    Check out these amazing books that would get you started!!

A lot of times I feel my paintings are not really worth the while. I guess if I had had some form of formal art training, I would feel a lot more confident. But the amazing thing about it all is I have gotten to that point where I have realized there’s no difference in the quality of a painting produced by a formally trained artist and one who has basically learned on the canvas. In my opinion, I feel the truly talented artists produce paintings that belong in a world of their own while most artists with a formal training tend to paint in the same way and lack individuality.

The art of painting is one area where practice clearly makes perfect and motivation also has a huge role to play. One thing that has brought me this far, aside from the grace of God is the belief I have in myself and the motivation painting gave me to succeed.

I believe I can excel in whatever it is I set my mind on. The mere fact that I have such strong belief in myself seems to release some sort of energy that keeps propelling me down the path I have chosen...to paint my heart out and to reach out to the world around me through my artworks and paintings.

Painting is not just for art school graduates

but for whoever makes up his/her mind to learn and to keep learning. If there is one statement I have heard so much it is this “I wish I could paint” or “I wish I could do what you do”. But when I say you can, I always get the reply “Oh I could never paint” or ”I could never be an artist”.

That to me is a load of negativism and so long as one has such a thought pattern, he/she would definitely not be an artist or be able to paint. For you to be able to rip the full benefits of being creative and of painting or of creating art; you simply need to believe in yourself. And to believe in yourself, you need to start by reshaping your thought patterns. You have to make up your mind you can do it.

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Learning to paint is a richly rewarding and versatile skill which once mastered, can be a source of endless pleasure and satisfaction. Everyone is a born artist. The art of painting is not reserved only for those who have been taught. It is for those who are determined to paint.

I hope you would have the courage to pick up your brush and start today. Believe me once you make up your mind, you would surely experience the beauty, peace and contentment that flows from painting or producing a work of art.

All the very best.  Always remember your limits can only be set by you.

Getting down to business

It was a very busy summer for me because I focused on getting my art out there in a more physical way. Putting up art/images online is very good but I always feel there is something different when art/paintings are seen physically. You get to see and feel the art better. Especially when the works are textured like some of mine.

I had never taken part in Art fairs or Art markets and since these are very good ways of getting my art out there I decided to take the plunge and try it.

Living in the South of England has its pecks and the rich art culture is one of them. There are so many art based activities that take place in the summer in and around Dorset. As a newbie I did not know which ones were worth trying; thus I decided it was best to start with one close by and work my way up.

Stitch Craft Create

I signed up for the Dorset Home Crafters Art and Craft fair which is held at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne. It is a small fair and was a perfect place to start as I knew I had/have a lot to learn. There I have met lots of lovely people who make wonderful things with their hands. It was nice meeting up with fellow creative people and exchange ideas. You can check out Dorset Home Crafters Facebook Page for more inspiring pictures.

While at Allendale I heard about the Sherborne Market ran by Danny of Arkadia Mags. For that I had to take along a gazebo and luckily I had bought one already from Rock Awnings. It is a heavy duty 3m x 3m gazebo which I bought specifically to keep my art and paintings on the ground on windy days. I had heard a lot about what happens to stuff in light gazebos when the weather turns. Thus I went prepared with all sorts of tent pegs and a few sand bags.

This was in June and it was going to be the very first time I was going to use a gazebo and the first time I was travelling so far away for my art. Having accumulated quite a bit since I went to Allendale and after doing a lot of research on things needed for craft fairs; I had a fair bit to carry.

Stuff for Art and Craft Fair by Nkolika Anyabolu

Experience wise it was good because from setting up the tent and hanging my works up I was able to recognize what worked and what did not work. And I was also able to make a proper analysis with regards to what I really needed to take with me and what I did not need.

Trade wise it was not good. It rained the whole day and there was just no footfall through there. There were just a few people that came to the market and of course all the traders were extremely disappointed.

I for one had made the 1 hour journey with my family. The only consolation really was that my stand was opposite a hog roast stand and there was a Purbeck Ice cream lady beside me. And of course we made the best of the situation by enjoying some hog roast and Ice cream.

Putting the disappointment of Sherborne behind me, I went to the Christchurch Art Market which is organized by the Southern Market Traders. It was a nice atmosphere but yet again it was raining. Lots of people came through and I made it a point of duty to give out lots of business cards. This time I was a lot more organized and displayed my work out well and better.

My large painting of a wave at Sandbanks continued to generate a lot of interest. I particularly loved the fact that people would change their direction when walking on the opposite side of the road and head straight towards the painting, staring at it as they walked.


I also signed up to trade at the Winchester Art and Antique Market and my experience there was by far the best. It was a beautiful, sunny day and there were lots and lots of tourists. Again my wave painting caused a lot of stir as lots of people kept debating amongst themselves if it was a photograph or a painting. Many were disappointed I did not have prints or greeting cards of the painting.

I particularly loved taking part in this year's Mudeford Arts Festival . It was family themed and was held at the Mudeford Quay in Christchurch. There was a wide variety of artists and works on display and the weather was brilliant. I shared my gazebo with Linda who makes the most amazing purses and handbags. While I manned my space my kids kept themselves busy crab fishing and taking part in one of the very numerous activities lined up for kids.

The experience so far has been very interesting. I can now confidently say I know what it feels like to try and sell ones art in fairs and markets. I believe I can also confidently say I have experienced what it means to take part in fairs. What I love about these outings is the fact that I got to meet lots of people who either have something to say about my art or don't. I have learned a lot about being an artist and how much hardwork is required to sell art. Yet again I really do not have to do all this but I have enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing more in the near future.

Have you taken part in fairs or have you tried selling your craft in markets? Let me know what you took away from the experience.



Art Storage: Studio Ideas

It is very important to store art away nicely to prevent damage to the artwork. I do not know about you but for me every piece of art is precious. I treasure every painting I produce and I have never disposed of any painting since I started painting. After labouring and pouring your heart and frustrations out on the canvas, there is often a huge problem with how to store them away nicely.

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No justice, No peace

With the news of numerous ruthless and senseless killing of young black men in America which goes unpurnished most of the time. It is good to see someone have the guts to go contrary to what is the norm.

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