Travels with my Art

Paintings and Photographs inspired by Travels Around the World

Three New Paintings – Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, sometimes even two

I have been doing a lot of sitting down this week – and no, it’s not because I’m lazy, but for three reasons; because firstly I sprained my ankle and can’t walk and secondly I have been working on three paintings to enter for a competition, and thirdly, I was really hooked onto the 5d diamond painting kits that I’d bought off of the internet last week.

What I have learned from this week is that when competing in the school sports day mum’s race, remember to wear sensible shoes and try not to set off thinking you are 14 and not 44. I set off like a bullet from a gun (ok, maybe not that fast, but as fast as a 44 year-old slightly overweight rather unfit woman, wearing a floral dress, could go) after about 60 metres I went arse-over-tit, rolled and sprang back up to standing, ready to go again, but then as my foot felt like it had turned to rubber and gave way underneath me completely, I realised I had properly sprained my ankle, and I collapsed on the floor in a heap.

I recall, that when the sports day compere was calling the mums up to race, she had said: “Make your children proud of you and join in the race”. So, when I asked my three children, who are all attend the school, if they were embarrassed that their mum had fallen over in front of all their friends and teachers, Leon, my son, said ‘No’. He said: “At first everyone said ‘hey your mum’s fast’ then another kid said ‘she even did two somersaults’!” My seven- year old daughter Frida then added: “Don’t worry mum, at least you’re good at art”, and Lottie, my eldest daughter, said rather thoughtfully: “Whatever you do, I’ll always be proud of you.” Although she later admitted laughing when I fell.
So I guess, I should be really pleased at how my children responded and I guess my husband and I have instilled compassion and empathy in our children.

So, every cloud has a silver lining.

I had a deadline looming and wasn’t sure how I would finish my paintings on time, but now that I could do little else but sit, meant I could continue with my artwork. And although I am in a great deal of pain, I guess this is the second reason why this week, I had to admit that every cloud has a silver lining. Display My Art can help the school my kids attend to raise some money.

The paintings are three market scenes painted in acrylic, all on 40cm x 60cm canvas and all trying to capture the bright and colourful life of East Africa. Two of the three I have already painted before, but in smaller scale and different media.

I thought as I was taking a step-by-step approach to my week, due to my ankle, I would include a step-by-step guide to how I build up my paintings and share this on my blog, via the following slide show.

My paintings step-by-step

My finished paintings

Dadas at Kivokoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Dadas at Kivokoni Fish Market


Market scene in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Market scene in Dar Es Salaam


Selling bananas in Kisii

Selling bananas in Kisii

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  1. Adnama72Blog September 28, 2017

    Beautiful words and artwork.

  2. J Thomas Photography September 28, 2017

    Your art is beautiful and your story was charming. Made me smile as I had a similar experience once! Thx for sharing!

  3. Esther September 28, 2017

    Beautiful paintings and wonderful story

  4. laurenedwards20 September 28, 2017

    Your paintings are so nice and I love the colors! I like how you showed us before and after!

  5. Thedreamgirlwrites September 29, 2017

    Take care!! The paintings are a beauty!!!

  6. thewonderer86 September 29, 2017

    I love your paintings. You’re right – every cloud has a silver lining – the beauty is being able to see it.

  7. U.S.S.Co of NZ Sydney R.S.A. October 3, 2017

    Swapping pain for the paint brush is a good idea Ali! Get well soon.

  8. RhapsodyBoheme October 22, 2017

    Beautiful ❤️

  9. Leya October 23, 2017

    You live in a colourful place – and you are brilliant at catching it. Loved the story as well!

  10. nerithenomad October 27, 2017

    I love the happy colors in your paintings. 🙂 Thanks for posting them!

  11. Travelquartz November 2, 2017

    Lovely painting and the description, the colors are vibrant and charming.

  12. Taryn November 2, 2017

    Totally cool. Love your inspiration and wish you good luck in the competition as well as a speedy recovery!

  13. Medha November 2, 2017

    I’m not much into art but your paintings are beautiful ! I especially love how colourful they are. I tried learning how to paint as a child but it just wasn’t something I could do. You’ve done magic with colours, great job !

    • Ali Dunnell November 3, 2017

      Thanks Medha – the colours here in East Africa are so bright and bold and they transcend well to canvas. Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  14. Travelin' Marilyn November 2, 2017

    Wow! Your paintings are just beautiful! I love the colors and details. It’s wonderful! Sure wish I could paint… Good luck on the competition!

  15. emma November 3, 2017

    You are a really talented artist. I absolutely love these. You really should consider selling them.

  16. Alexander Popkov November 3, 2017

    Your paintings are absolutely lovely! I display my work in photography. I always look on paintings to get inspiration and to train my eye for good color palettes. I really loved your work.

    • Ali Dunnell November 3, 2017

      Thank you so much – in fact I just commented on your ghost photos piece… I really like your work too. And also really like the work by photographer Alexey Titarenko – definitely an artist I need to research 🙂

  17. Dan November 3, 2017

    Love your paintings. I’ve always wanted to learn how to paint with acrylics!!!!

    • Ali Dunnell November 3, 2017

      It’s really easy, then I guess we all say that when we can do something. My advice is to buy some paints and just have a go… if it goes a bit wrong, you can always call it abstract!

  18. Monica November 3, 2017

    Oh Ali so sorry to hear you sprained your ankle, but loved your story and your optimism.

  19. Mind The Travel November 3, 2017

    I think my favorite painting is the one with banana ladies 🙂 wishing you a speedy recovery!

  20. Jim November 3, 2017

    These paintings are amazing! It’s great to see that you remain optimistic and in good spirits. Hope your ankle heals quickly <3

  21. theupbeatpath November 3, 2017

    Absolutely love the detail and colors in these paintings! I’m glad to see that besides all of the nonsense going on with your ankle, that you were able to stay optimistic and get the work done. Hope you heal quickly <3

  22. apackedlife November 3, 2017

    Wow! Your sense of colour is perfect: such complementary tones and full of the vibrancy of Africa. And you have motion and movement in the lines – I’m deeply in awe. I hope your ankle heals fast, although I have to confess that your account of your tumbling skills did make me smile.

    • Ali Dunnell November 4, 2017

      Don’t worry about laughing… I did too, even though it hurt like mad! Thanks for the positive feedback on my art, it is really appreciated 🙂

  23. Jas November 4, 2017

    Wow! You really have an amazing talent!!!!! Love how you shared the before and after too. It’s always fascinating to see the process of a painting.

  24. lexieanimetravel November 11, 2017

    Wow, these are beautiful candid art pieces, I’d like to to know more about your works. Can I feauture them in my ig account. You have a great talent, you should be thinking of selling your works.

    • Ali Dunnell November 13, 2017

      Thank you so much – I have sold work in the past but an now in the process of doing it a bit more seriously. You can see my most up today stuff here on my blog – and as I become more established I will add more to my shop section 🙂

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