Archives for December 2010

“Surma girl”, Ethiopia, african artwork by Margrit

"Surma girl", Ethiopia, african artwork by Margrit

This is my new painting. I loved to paint this young Surma girl, because her mischievous

face expression captured me.

The young girls of the Surma tribe decorate their bodies with a pattern of dots inspired

 by the spotted guinea fowl. The paint is a mixture of chalk and water from the riverbank.

Their innovative face and body patterns are designed to attract the opposite sex.

This is my work in progress……

“Tuareg” woman, Niger, african artwork by Margrit

 

I’m Margrit and I love to paint african artwork in Watercolors and acrylics because I am fascinated with the beauty, strenght and vitality of the african people and their artifacts they created.

I like to show you my paintings  of various African tribes with their extraordinary rich and diverse cultural traditions .

 

I loved to paint this Tuareg woman, with her braides hair,  fair complexion and proud demeanour.

Tuareg are nomadic berber people living in the parts of Sahara that covers Algeria, Tunesia, Libya, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.Tuareg women have a fair complexion. Although they adopted Islam they still retain many of their traditional berber beliefs and customs.

Tuareg society is matriarchal, and the womwen enjoy a freedom and status unheard of the Muslim world. They go unveiled and are free both to choose their husbands and divorce them, whereas a husband is not permitted to divorce his wife.
Tuareg is a term used to identify numerous diverse groups of people who share a common language and a common history. Tuareg camel caravans played the primary role in trans-Saharan trade until the mid-20th century when European trains and trucks took over. Goods that once were brought north to the edge of the Sahara are now taken to the coast by train and then shipped to Europe and beyond. Tuareg history begins in northern Africa where their presence was recorded by Herodotus. Many groups have slowly moved southward over the last 2,000 years in response to pressures from the north and the promise of a more prosperous land in the south. Today, many Tuareg live in sedentary communities in the cities bordering the Sahara that once were the great centers of trade for western Africa. Although most Tuareg now practice some degree of Islam, they are not considered Arabic.

The most striking attribute of the Tuareg is the indigo veil, worn by the men but not the women, giving rise to the popular name “the blue men of the Sahara. 

Much Tuareg art is in the form of jewelry, leather and metal saddle decorations, and finely crafted swords.

All desert people who can afford to do so wear silver, “the pure metal” blessed by the prophet”. Traditional berner designs are clean-cut and geometric. This strong, simple style echoes the proud austerity of their existence in a hostile land.

“Wodaabe man”, Niger, african Artwork by Margrit

 

 

 

I’m Margrit and I love to paint african artwork in Watercolors and acrylics because I am fascinated

with the beauty, strenght and vitality of the african people and their artifacts they created.

I like to show you my paintings  of various African tribes with their extraordinary rich and diverse

cultural traditions .

I  loved to paint this Wodaabe man. I love the painted decorations on his face and all his jewelry.

“Wodaabe” , meaning “people of the taboo” that is, those who adhere to the traditional code of behaviour characterized by modesty, forethought and reserve.
Wodaabe nomads are beautifying themselves
in preparation for an all-male charm dance.
The women are the ones who choose the best
looking men. I love to see these reversed roles between Women and Men.
Acrylic on Canvas
20″ x 24″

Karan-Wemba Mask, Mossi, Burkina Faso

I love this mask. Among the Mossi of Burkina Faso, a wooden face mask surmounted by a female figure appears at the funerals of Mossi female elders.. The mask honors a woman whose great age, wisdom, and experience elevated her to the rank of a living ancestress. The artist has depicted a woman at the height of her physical beauty, her youthful body adorned with the scarification patterns traditionally applied after the birth of her first child..  Physical ebullience pours through her. The stylized oval face mask  resemble the masking styles of the Dogon of Mali and reflect their shared history.

African Artwork, Loniake plank mask, Tussian, burkina Faso

I love this plank mask from the Tussian tribe, Burkina Faso.

It is one of my favourites  in my selection.

It was made by the Tussian people and was worn during an initiation ceremony. The two birds on top of the mask are the clan totem.

There are two mirrored eyes which are considered powerful in West Africa.

Andre Malraux writes:”The african mask  is not the fixed representation of the human expression, but rather an apparition….In the mask, the sculptor is not lending form to the spirit that he does not know, but rather creates the spirit through its form; the mask is not effective to the degree that it resembles human shape, but rather to the degree that it does not.

This mask is a rectangular piece of hardwood, abrus seeds, kaolin and black plant fiber.

African Artwork by Margrit, Maasai Warrior

                                                                                                                             

The Maasai  named for their language they speak – Maa-, a distinct but unwritten African tongue, live much as they did thousands of years ago. These tall, proud, aristocratic in bearing and manner,  handsome people have still ancient customs.

The young warriors have their hair braided in beautiful plaits  and dyed red with ocher and fat.

They adorn their earlobes, necks and arms with beades ornaments.

I loved to paint this warrior in Watercolor, because I could show  with this technique his sensitive features

and all his ornaments very well .

Maasai Warrior

I’m Margrit and I love to paint african artwork in Watercolors and acrylics because I am fascinated with the beauty, strenght and vitality of the african people and their artifacts they created. I like to show you my paintings of various african tribes with their extraordinary rich and diverse cultural traditions.

African Artwork by Margrit, the “Sankofa” Bird

I met yesterday an old friend from Africa and I purchased from him this beautiful Brass “Sankofa” bird.Visually and symbolically “Sankofa” is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth.

The concept of Sankofa is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa.

“Sankofa” teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

It is made of brass in the Lost-Wax method. A lot of the beads I use for my necklaces are made with this method.

First the item is modeled in wax. When the artisan has finished the wax model, it is dipped into a very thin liquid clay and a thick layer of clay is then added, encasing the model. A small tube of wax is left painting through the clay, forming a hole. The clay covering, known as an “investment”, is baked hard and the wax melts and runs through the hole.

Molten metal is then poured into the hollow clay mold. When the metal has cooled, the “investment” is broken to reveal the metal object inside, which is then polished to a shine.

This is an incredibly painstaking and time consuming process of metal casting. because the clay mold is destroyed every time, each bead must be created with a new model and a new mold.