Amira Dvorah's Canvas Painting
Learn about Amira Dvorah's oil painting, with YaKenda McGahee.
Amira Dvorah's Canvas Painting
Speaker: Lotuses are Amira’s favorite subject to paint. Apart from being an expert in thiese gorgeous blooms, she also paints sublime mystical things on musical instruments. Over the years Amira has even been commission to create the covers of several books. Amira’s art emerges from the need to celebrate and report the magnificence of all creation.
YaKenda McGahee: How are you today?
Amira Dvorah: I’m fine, nice to be here with you.
YaKenda McGahee: If you can tell me as someone who doesn’t know a lot about painting what is canvas painting?
Amira Dvorah: Well, it’s a very old method of ground up pigments mixed with oil and since very early times they primed canvas and painted on canvas with oil paints.
YaKenda McGahee: Absolutely, so you used oil to paints, that’s what we’re seeing here today.
Amira Dvorah: Yeah.
YaKenda McGahee: Why flowers?
Amira Dvorah: Well it’s not -- I paint a lot of things. I paint portraits and different animals and nature scenes but especially lotuses I have something, a very special feeling about lotus flowers because they’re so mystical, they’re so deep, they’re so incredible and there’s so many legends about lotuses.
YaKenda McGahee: That’s very interesting because as you said that I picture all these different places that I’d love to travel that I’ve looked into like Bali and Thailand and think of their temples and always and their hot springs or their pools that are by the temples, they have got these flowers.
Amira Dvorah: Basically the meaning of lotus means to be in it but not of it which means like all of us I mean we can live in the earth and in the world and just like the lotus grows in the mud but it remains pure and nothing touches it. Any mud that goes on the petals just falls right off.
YaKenda McGahee: Wow!
Amira Dvorah: So there’s a certain purity and beauty in the general nature of the lotus flower and it needs the mud to live but the mud never touches it either.
YaKenda McGahee: When you’re painting do you remain in it but not of it.
Amira Dvorah: I think so. I’m probably a little more in it than I would admit but when it’s a lotus I like to be of it too.
YaKenda McGahee: Do you always say a prayer before?
Amira Dvorah: I always do.
YaKenda McGahee: Yeah, why?
Amira Dvorah: Because I like to remember the positioning of who I am and what it is. Who I am is very small and what it is, is quite vast.
YaKenda McGahee: Unlike many other canvas painters, Amira doesn’t have the need to start off penciling or outlining her subject on canvas. The second her brush meets the paint, the image in her head translates itself miraculously onto the canvas.
YaKenda McGahee: Okay. So, Amira just showed with me the finished product and I’m going to tell you it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Amira Dvorah: Oh. Thank you.
YaKenda McGahee: It’s like floating on clouds the lotus and I really love it. I think your finished product is more beautiful than the original.
Amira Dvorah: I do. I just added so much to it, so much color and beauty.
YaKenda McGahee: Your art in general is very spiritual to your life.
Amira Dvorah: I started when I was three years old painting and I felt at one with nature when I used to pain even at three. I would paint leaves and birds and just keep going on going and it just reminds me of the Great Creator, but the Great Creator did everything, did us, the paints, the table to the cameras that I see here and it’s like -- to remember that is really inspiring. It makes me very happy.
YaKenda McGahee: Amira says that it’s possible to paint anything as long as it’s taken in sizeable bits. She gave me my own canvas to replicate what she has done. I was nervous and doubtful but she encouraged me.
All right I’m here in front of the canvas where do we begin?
Amira Dvorah: We begin -- you say a little inner prayer to yourself removing all obstacles and all uncertainty and you are a painter and you are going to paint something magnificent.
YaKenda McGahee: I’m going to let my creative magnificence come forth.
Amira Dvorah: That’s right.
YaKenda McGahee: You know I need this prayer because I -- just a warning to you.
Amira Dvorah: Okay.
YaKenda McGahee: I’m probably the most challenged visual artist you’ll ever meet.
Amira Dvorah: The key is first you look at what you’re going to, you can look at what I just did. You can kind of dissect the picture that you’re seeing in a more mathematical and scientific way than just pure art.
YaKenda McGahee: How is that mathematics? What do you mean by that?
Amira Dvorah: Okay count on many petals or how many paint petals are in there.
YaKenda McGahee: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight paint petals.
Amira Dvorah: Right, there’s eight paint petals and then there’s a little greenish yellow one on the back and one greenish yellow --
YaKenda McGahee: Yes, there and one in the middle.
Amira Dvorah: Okay so we’re going to that in numbers. Paint by numbers in a whole other way.
YaKenda McGahee: Paint my numbers, okay. All right guys.
Amira Dvorah: So start with the big petal on the left.
YaKenda McGahee: Oh goodness gracious okay.
Amira Dvorah: And they’re just like little elongated ovals. A little pointy ends, there you go. See? Good. Okay then do the next one that’s in your foreground.
YaKenda McGahee: This one?
Amira Dvorah: Yeah. There you go, fantastic. Okay.
YaKenda McGahee: Yeah, this is looking less and less like a flower the more we move on, okay.
Amira Dvorah: We can now try that next one.
YaKenda McGahee: Okay.
Amira Dvorah: It’s gorgeous. She got all the same frequencies as the lotus she’s copying.
YaKenda McGahee: Looks like a banana split to me but I like my banana split lotus
Amira Dvorah's Canvas Painting
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