What 2021 taught me. The musings of a creative mind.



LIFE. LAUGHTER. ART. CRAFTS. EVENTS. LEARNING.


Disclaimer - These are solely my opinions, experiences and thoughts.





Hello :-)


I trust that you are seated comfortably and that you have a hot cuppa or a glass of wine next to you. This 8 minutes read may take a bit longer because of the number of photos. So you are in for a treat.


Happy Reading!


I am certain that given the time and opportunity that you would have a lot to write about your 2021 too but here is my story.


When I say that my days are swamped believe you me, they are! Raising 2 kids, running a home and a business has me stretched thin on some days but I would be lying if I did not admit how blessed I am to be able to do all that I do.


If you want to know how I will able to recall everything from last year, I have my iPhone to thank for allowing me to see my life in 2021 via my photographs :-)


January 2021

We started the year with a lot of hope and prayed that 2021 would treat us better than 2019. Work was exclusively online at this point and it served me well. Webinars, meetings, consultations and even Church were all on Zoom.


By the end of 2019 I had completed about 45 paintings in soft pastels and this painting closed out 2019.


Art speaks when words fail
A woman in a Chinese print robe looks away towards a small flame. Symbolic of looking towards hope and turning away from the world. Painting by Leeza A. Harris.
SOFT PASTELS. SIZE A4. FRAMED.

I wanted to go beyond pastels so 2021 was about venturing into other mediums. I could not resist trying acrylics as it had been a few years since my last acrylic painting.


I went about painting an image with a limited acrylic palette. The truth was that I only had those few acrylic colors with me but I wanted to see how I could use them :-)



A painting in acrylics of a soft blue door with many twigs growing across it. Pretty pink flowers bloom amidst the chaotic twigs symbolising beauty in everything. Painting by Leeza A. Harris.
ACRYLICS ON STRETCHED CANVAS. SIZE 18 X 12 IN.


Apart from painting we agreed to take on a live event because of the very limited number of guests. Keeping the team small but efficient helped us pull off an event for a high profile Client.



FLOWERS, US AND A HEN. ;-)



I clicked the pics of the flowers and the hen hoping to use them as reference images for future paintings. They are currently safe in a folder called "PIX" :-D

As is the case with the majority of events I do confidentiality is a critical aspect so I cannot show you images of the event for the guests. Our Clients are confident that they can rely on our discretion as well as our expertise.


I was doing my balancing act but at times timelines were blurred and I found myself like this..


Laughter to the rescue

Jokes aside I found it entertaining and helpful to share jokes and laughter and so began curating memes and jokes which I post every day (still going strong) on my WhatsApp status. Over time I have found that the number of people who were viewing my jokes increased and the best part was that they check in daily to have a laugh. I have had friends, Clients, and students sending me jokes they come across so that I can add them to my growing collection.


A Client who is also a friend (I am blessed to be able to say that about most of my Clients) asked me to do a webinar and I was super excited to do this because it was an opportunity to engage with students and facilitators and involve them in a creative process. My session was titled "The Roller Coaster Ride" and was all about my journey with Art.



A webinar about my journey in art that was conducted by the Corporate entity Sopra Steria. This was part of there CSR Initiative for their young scholars.
THE ROLLER COASTER RIDE - LEEZA A. HARRIS

A talk is only as good as the interaction and involvement you (as the Speaker) can generate!

Work continued and I found myself gearing up for an International Trip. Having stayed home since Feb 2020, barely venturing out a handful of times, here I was undertaking a couple of plane rides and wondering all the while if I was tempting fate. A million prayers and a couple of plane rides later I was in the Maldives. The exotic destination for an upcoming wedding was an even more exotic luxury resort and there I was on a recce.




Loads of formalities and red tape were part of this exciting adventure but the memories are wonderful.


Turning on my Work Mode avatar in one of the most gorgeous locales in the world. When it's my work, there is nothing else but that.

Still in Feb with so much to do we found ourselves taking on an order to create customised jute and silk totes for a Client. Searching for something turns on my tenacity and in this case my goals were to find exquisite fabric. A maroon and deep teal combo (seen in the pic below) and an ultramarine and cobalt combo which were both off set with pale gold were the two designs I selected.




We had the bags fabricated and delivered in record time. Along came the next project for which I had to custom wrap a few luxury 18 carat gold watches that had pearls and gem stones. These gifts were being taken to Europe for gifting so I emphasised the elegant lines in the wrapping and used delicate embellishments that matched the watches to indicate the contents of each box. In this manner my Client did not have use any gift tags whatsoever.


Choice of color and texture are important



A well deserved break was lunch at a local restaurant that made some absolutely tasty dishes; pork chops, roast chicken, mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies. Yummmm! Chris looks contented in this pic (below) to say the least.



As you can see from the pic above, we were still smiling, taking the year in our stride. Adapting and surviving but learning tremendously.


The ability to adapt is a game changer

Oil paintings occupied all of my time and the themes varied. A lot of my work was stormy skies and I absolutely enjoy painting these. I decided to try a new theme, also in oils and chose Pop Art. It was a terrific experience because of the consistency of the paint and the fact that the colors were vivid. I use Pebeo and Camlin paints in case you were wondering :-)




My daily jokes were faithfully posted and here is another one that got me laughing so hard..



No offence to the guys reading this blog. Its all about the humour!





This oil painting on linen was a delight to work on. I used a lot of color blocking on this one as I was really testing the boundaries. I even got my sister, my muse to send me images of her wearing a shawl over her head just to be able to sketch the woman in this painting.


Guess what that process triggered? My li'l Bu takes a selfie, sends it to me and asks me to paint her picture and she goes so far as to say that I should use warm tones. I was floored by this! Never in a million years did I expect my 8 year old daughter to do this. Me, being me, I rose to the challenge and I attempted to paint her portrait.



An oil portrait of my 8 year old daughter Bu
BU. OILS ON CANVAS. 18 x 24 IN.

I had not really tried to paint any portraits so far except one of my sister a year before so I knew that I was going to have to meet this challenge head-on if I hoped to complete it to my daughter's satisfaction. (Just so you know it is on display in our living room and the little one is thrilled to bits to have her portrait) The things we do for love!


Love can move mountains, oh yes it can!



We invested alot of time and effort in our in-person & online Art Workshops for many topics. Our best sellers till date are our Fluid Art and Pop Art Workshops. Pop Art workshops have been conducted exclusively via Zoom to participants around the world.