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The musings of a creative mind - What 2022 taught me.

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

LIFE. LAUGHTER. ARTS. CRAFTS. EVENTS. WEDDINGS & LOTS OF LEARNING


Disclaimer - All these are solely my own experiences, opinions and details


Hello! :-D

I trust that 2022 has been good to you.


What a year 2022 has been for me! It grabbed me by my feet and held me upside down for quite a bit. LOL But with the challenges came so much that I am thankful and grateful for. So while it has been quite a ride the bottom line is that I have learned so much.


Join me as I look back on the past year; the good, the bad & the fun it brought with it. As always I have my phone to thank for showing me my life in chronological order. This post is pretty lengthy so you had better be seated comfortably when you start reading. I hope that the memes and jokes will put a smile on your face and that the photos and videos of my work will spark an interest in you to reach out to talk about art/ sign up for my classes/ hire us to do your events and weddings or simply just appreciate the aesthetics. Well whatever be the case "Happy Reading".


Me stepping into 2022...be like...

Hopeful, excited and full of enthusiasm!.






JAN

For as long as I can remember I never take events on NY’s eve and prefer to stay at home. This time round I was not only home (again) but working at a steady pace to complete a painting.


Painting in watercolour of a Flamingo by Leeza A. Harris
Flamingo in Watercolour by Leeza A. Harris

Flamingo in Watercolours - Leeza A. Harris

YouTube Tutorial - https://youtu.be/NbbAR-T7YHU


That’s the culprit who stole my attention :-)

I did not stop with one good looking bird but dived into my next painting; this one was also watercolour (like the flamingo) and it was of a regal peacock.


Painting of a Peacock in Watercolour by Leeza A. Harris
Peacock in Watercolour by Leeza A> Harris

Peacock in Watercolours - Leeza A. Harris

YouTube Tutorial - https://youtu.be/ydHcd8bxi3Y


Here is a good looking guy :-)

Dad had had a surgery the previous year and he was recovering well. In addition to the Physiotherapy his determination to walk again (without assistance or a walker) was so firm. I was relieved to see and know that he was not going to give up. He is a person who loves being out and about and cannot be confined to a space :-) He also loves a good joke and I think I got his sense of humour because I continued to post jokes on my Whatsapp Status. Its been a little over 2 years of posting jokes and memes and I am happy when people write back telling me how it made them laugh. I continue my quest to bring smiles to people; here’s one of the jokes….


LOL


FEB

My love affair with Watercolours has been tumultuous

My love affair with watercolours has been tumultuous to say the least but I was not about to give up. I decided to push myself further and attempt this painting



Bun Bun in Watercolour by Leeza A. Harris

(Pre-Book to purchase)


The choice of color, the layers of paint, the technique and the correct usage of the brushes were challenges that I happily embraced. This painting is finally framed :-)


Happy with how that turned out I turned my attention to the next painting. I wanted to create a series of paintings of Birds in watercolour but I wanted to go the exotic route. I began researching birds and I came across a real beauty; it was the Secretary Bird and after taking one look at its eyelashes I knew that I had a winner.




Painting in watercolour of a Secretary Bird by Leeza A. Harris
Secretary Bird in Watercolor by Leeza A. Harris

Work was keeping me busy through all this time. I spent a good amount of time developing my website and the multiple social media account. In fact I started an Insta page for my art 7 months back.


Instagram - The Chrysalis Studio Instagram - Leeza A. Harris (The Tidy Painter)




I was also kept my YouTube channel updated with tutorials and shorts - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJvCi5iPJpzDxXGmT1ql-rA

If you are interested in Art, Events & Learning Art and Craft follow me on Instagram/Facebook/YouTube :-)

Humor as always kept me sane,



Just when I thought things were getting better for Dad he suffered a stroke and we were devastated. After successfully being able to walk again without a walker or any assistance he was now paralysed on the right side and it broke my heart to see him this way. Spending time in the Hospital caring for Dad seemed to go by in a blur. I began taking my paints to the hospital and painted while sitting by Dad’s hospital bed.

Events and Virtual Art classes kept me busy and I started juggling my time between them and dad and my home. The roller coaster ride was picking up speed.


MAR

Orders for Creative packing from my discerning clients required patience and thought and I enjoyed to challenge of transforming the outside of packages to match the beauty that was on the inside.



I began sending out my link for Google Reviews and Clients began responding with reviews and ratings



Those who don’t know me may be surprised to find out that I am fascinated by Trees, twigs and clouds. Over the years I have always tried to incorporate them into my work and that is not just in my art. This time round my focus rested on trees and twigs and I wanted to create a showstopper for an exclusive event. I turned to my sketch book and tried putting down different ideas. I knew that inspiration will strike but I prayed that it would do so soon as I needed to present met concept to my Client.

From the pages of my sketchbook to reality are my success stories

In the midst of all of this I wanted to donate pre loved clothes and I wanted to be sure that I could give it to an organisation that was genuine. I made a request in a Whatsapp group that I belonged to and I was directed to a person who has since then become a friend. This person is Asha Kaiyan who runs Karunyam Home for Children. I made the 30+ kilometre trip with the clothes in tow and got to not only meet Asha but the children at Karunyam.

Karunyam Home


APR

The concept of trees and twigs finally took shape and I was so excited to commence with the production. The feeling of elation, to see my design come off the pages of my sketchbook and start take shape in reality, is unbeatable. #grateful to my Client for having the trust in me to create this Showstopper.


A large metal tree art installation with fairy lights created by Leeza A. Harris
Memory Tree by Leeza A. Harris

Memory Tree by Leeza A. Harris


A former student of mine, Niharika Kavuri got in touch with a request that was not only challenging but time bound. She was getting married and wanted to gift her soon-to-be husband a sketch of the two of them. Considering the fact that she lived on the other side of the globe did not deter her from connecting with me via Zoom. I guided her and taught her techniques that gave shape to her request. She worked hard on completing the sketch and was very happy once it was completed. My challenge lay in teaching her how to draw and color the image within a limited period of time.


The happy newly weds Raja & Niharika

Moving home was then on the cards and I was also setting up Office (post Covid). I could not wait to set up everything in place so that I could get on with work and my life.


If you know, you know :-D



My watercolour romance continued and I was enjoying it. I found myself easing into the style and went so far as to actually experiment a bit.

watercolour painting by Leeza A. Harris
Chaos in watercolour by Leeza A. Harris

Chaos in Watercolor by Leeza A. Harris


One of my Art students at this time was working tirelessly on a complicated painting of lilies bye a waterfront. I could not help compare the difference in techniques and styles as she was being taught acrylics by me while I was dabbling in watercolor.


MAY

This month brought with it work that was creative and I dived into it. I began prepping for two events that were just a month apart.


On the art front my watercolour paintings moved to fish and eventually came home to the human form.

3rd May painting

4th May painting



Artists are moody and temperamental or so they say ;-) well this does apply to me from time to time. Here’s why…. I did an about turn and ran back to my new love Oils. I wanted to stay true to my passion for surrealism and so I began creating a painting with a theme of the ocean and a human face. You will get to see this painting later on in this blog (it took a while to complete)


Laughter as always kept my spirits high ;-)


I was very happy to meet up with Shiv & Jothi, both of whom are friends and supporters of my work. Jothi was the winner of An Eye a Day a Contest that she won in the latter part of 2021. This was my opportunity to finally meet her and hand over the sketch of her that I had completed which was her prize.



Life was as busy as I wanted it to be and boy do I love being busy. Staying active, mentally engaged gives me a sense of being, living and I need that. Do you?


My new Oil painting was with a limited palette and a tough one. I call this one Repentance.


An oil painting called Repentance by Leeza A. Harris
Repentance in Oils by Leeza A. Harris

Dad was making progress with Physio but he could not stand yet without assistance. My fervent prayer was for my Heabenlu Father to heal my earthly dad. It is still the prayer I carry in my heart.


Life can be hard at times and sometimes it can be harder because we don’t want to accept reality. My mantra is beautifully presented in these words (not mine but they certainly echo my feelings)



A trip out of town for a series of recess brought with it the joy of meeting dear friends and getting my nails done :-). Yeah you read right. I have never been too hung up on how my hands looked or whether I took care of them. I wanted to make a start and a little Nail Saloon was the perfect place to start.


A watercolour Masterclass with my dearest friend’s beau was a cool experience.



I got to catch up with my soul sister and her amazing hospitality as always had me floored. Thank you Mrs. K


With Sheila Kumar - Author, Journalist, Soul Sister & Friend. I fondly call her Mrs. K :-)


An avid reader as I would like to call myself, I had actually not been doing much reading so a trip to my local library was planned in order for me to not only stock up but also may some serious effort to read. That meant that Netflix, Prime and HotStar had to be cast aside. Alas I have to say I tried…oh how hard I tried. LOL



A year ago around this time I was in the Maldives for a Wedding Reece and I have to thank Facebook for reminding me about it.

A year ago around this time I was on the Maldives for a Wedding Reece and I have to thank Facebook for reminding me about it.


Me in Maldives



Jinx & me My fantastic bro-in-law Adam Rahman with Jinx


The littlest one in this pic is my sister Shereen Harris (a.k.a. Jinx) and I know that I would need to devote an entire blog post or rather a series if I had to tell you all about how amazing she is. She is kind, helpful, generous, encouraging and all the while doing all of the above in style and with class. Not kidding coz its true. Having her spend time with us was fantastic. Lots of love Jin.


In the next pic you see my awesome bro-in-law, Adam Raham with Jinx. These two have big hearts and are great together. Adam Rahman is not only a DJ but a Music Producer. Check out his music on Sound Cloud, Beat Port, Instagram to name a few. He is after all the King of Techno.


I have been a list person and if you are too you had better say so in the comments :-) Truth be told its alarms, to do lists and a whole lot of self motivation that keep me going. I used to write my lists in a little book with my Rotring calligraphy pent I have traded them in for Notes on my phone. Yup had to do so coz it was efficient and effective to do so.

Scorpios speak their mind

Scorpios in the house raise your hands. Yes we don’t take prisoners and our passion is extreme and we are fiercely loyal but we will not tolerate any BS.


JUN


June brought with it a new friend, Anjale Stephanos and I am happy to say we are great friends even today. She came to me as a student but we get on so well that I am happy to know her and call her my friend..


Anjale Staphanos


Corporate events kept taking place. Crazy timing for production and prep did not deter me from keeping at it. Have I told you how much I love my job? Swell I do and if I ever had to do life all over again I would not choose anything else.


8 years ago today I had posted this pic.Thank you, again, Facebook. Love her smile.


That’s my little one, for whom I went to the ends. Would do not again in a heartbeat.


Wedding prep for an event is serious work especially if that wedding is taking place out of town.



These handcrafted packs for gifts we made by me. I wanted to bring in a touch of tradition and chose the sari fabric border to complement the metallic gold board.



An elegant and classy home wedding for my dearest friend, Kelly Kumar was an honour to do. I am so happy for Anand, her husband and her and wish them both the very best of everything.


I got a call from a school mate asking if I could take classes for her daughter while they were in town and I am so glad I said ok. This little 8 year old was full of life and it was a delight to have her in my class.






HEHHEHEHEHEHE



A Jungle theme party preceded a big event and though I was feeling under the weather I knew that I had to give it 500%. We had a wonderful event and engaged our audience.




The next day I was suffering from sever pharyngitis and prayed that I would recover. A nasty mojito was the culprit but I did not realise how bad I would feel. Visits to two docs, a 1000 mg anti everyday finally gave me some relief.


JUL

I decided to break out of my shell and make a series of videos about Dating. (These are yet to see the light of day HEHHEHEHEHEHE) My bestest friend Ken and I had a blast writing the scripts and making them. Maybe 2023 will be the year I release them on Social media.

It was time for the next wedding and there was a ton of prep required. Here’s how it went down. So happy for my friend whom I call “little one” who was getting married. I was happy to see her happy.





I was drawn back to watercolours and I painted Sirrah. Thanks to my bud Shaun D’Sa for this name. Its my surname Harris spelt backwards. This painting is special because it shows you the turmoil all around while I try to remain calm and look ahead.



Sirrah in Watercolour by Leeza A. Harris



Pushing the limits for me is something I like to do. In this case I was challenging myself to paint something very difficult. Patience is a virtue they say and I don’t have any! LOL. Having to be patient as I went through layer after layer of this painting was a challenge in itself. I managed to persevere and that lead to “End of the Road” being painted.



End of the Road in Watercolor by Leeza A. Harris


AUG

My next Client wanted a Summer themed birthday party for her daughter’s 1st birthday but she did nit want any stereotyping with colors (pink for girls and blue for boys) nonsense and that mirrored my sentiments. I conceptualised and produced a birthday party that was pretty, colourful and happy.

Pics of Vira’s party




We 3 Kings; my dear friends Uma & Murali aat the HiQ Weddings Stallt the Luxury Expo . This stall design was mine and the incredible photos on display were by the Master Photographer himself, Murali Raju



Me staying true to telling stories via my work



I had been wanting to paint a dog for a long time and I wanted it to be different so I painted this one called Bob in a Tux. A cutie pie Dachshund in a tux :-)


Bob in a tux in Oils by Leeza A. Harris


By now my research and concept creation for Halloween had begun. I looked forward to this because I wanted to create a showstopper. This time I wanted to get nearly 70% handcrafted so that we could showcase customised work that could not be bought off the shelf or Amazon.



SEPT

I decided that with so much handcrafting happening at work that I needed to up style a couple of my chairs. I got out the sandpaper and went o work scrapping off the old paint. I then proceeded to apply a soft metallic gold paint. I had a friend join me and while I worked on my chairs she worked on a pair of metal planters.

Things that make me go heheheheheehehehehehe




This month was all about crafting and a bit of art thrown in for good measure and an i

I got to be part of my Alumni Association’s Management Committee. I was told that I received the max votes and I did not believe it till I read the Minutes of the AGM. I am happy to serve and hope to be productive across the next two years of my tenure.

One of crafting challenges was to create an Edwardian Hat for a powerhouse performer who had to wear it on stage for an Annual Musical Production. Using available materials and a hat worth 299 from Amazon I set out to create this showstopper.


Edwardian Hat hand crafted by Leeza A. Harris


OCT

These boys made an appearance in my office to give me some Halloween Inspo. :-) My modest book collection serves as a daily reminder that knowledge is power.




Me in silver getting my attire sorted for the shows this month


This month was intense with events every week and the days in between devoted to prep and production. All handcrafted items were being prepped in addition to all this. Time was of essence and boiy were we on a tight schedule.


The new event concept that was a success in 2022 was the Sip & Paint Party that I conceptualised, produced and managed




Here is what Halloween 2022 by The Chrysalis Studio looked like.



Let the pics do the talking



NOV

In addition to events I continued crafting as Christmas was around the corner.

Concepts had to jump off my sketch book. Production plans were critical and I was keen to try something different.

This month was the month for Paint Parties and we had the pleasure of doing them for a Birthday and for a Corporate.



Happy Fox Corporate Paint Party



Sangita Santhosham's Birthday Paint Party



Foreign delegation Visit


Through all this my art classes continued both in house and virtual because my students are fabulous and I could not let them down. Kudos you guys for sticking with me for so long.


My art students are super talented and I am so proud of their efforts and commitment to learn.

I was happy to be invited to meet my dear friend Gayathri Mohan who heads CSR for an MNC. I was welcomed into the event for kids that she was organising.


I was furiously crafting since there was so much to do!


24 hours are never enough!


DEC

I began the year with an event that kickstarted the Season for me.



Our Christmas Catalogue of decor and gifting items that were handcrafted went out on social. Here are a few of my personal faves.


The artwork and coasters by Bu are available for sale so get in touch if you are interested. You will be making aan enterprising 10 year old girl very happy if you purchase her handiwork.



In the midst of the hectic schedule Kel and I did a mini get away to celebrate my birthday. No, no. I am not a Sagi but a trust Scorpio. This celebration was delayed. So grateful for Ken who made this trip to spend time with me. Despite #Mandous we stuck to our plan, hit the road and had a blast.


Kelly, me and Goli Soda :-)


My take on angels for 2022 :-)





Christmas Decor by The Chrysalis Studio



Christmas Decor for Corporates by The Chrysalis Studio



In the midst of all this we got to do a Kids Christmas Carnival a day before Christmas :-)


Here we are all set to go.