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Leslie Sinclair, an American Muslim Artist, & Arab Spring

Updated on December 16, 2013

My "my take on Arab Spring" Art Show is the first series I've done solely to glorify the Creator.

That stands in contrast to my typical artwork

which addresses matters of societal and individual social contracts, spoken, written or intuitively understood from the assertions from our various religious Holy Books, and our very consciences, which command adherents to live out lives in conjunction with, rather than in opposition to, the whole scope of creation.


In this series I focus on the words

from the Qur'an, interwoven into the platform of Islamic tile patterns from antiquity and later ages. The sole challenge to the reader of the work comes in the form of affirmations to recognize our responsibilities to others and to our soul - to live lives worthy of the gifts of knowledge and capacities bestowed upon us.

The primary artwork shown is titled Arab Spring

and bears influence from the pandemonium spreading across North Africa and further East during the early Winter of 2002. See it in the photo below, to the left of the man perusing the print file. Art history students will recognize the central image from college texts.

Mounted along with others in a band that encircles the inner walls of a mosque from 13th Century Persia, the Arabic text spells out verses from the Qur'an. The inner raised painting in my artwork is surrounded by the translation painted in English.

My mom's life was waning during that period

in 2002 and the solution to a family matter of longstanding demanded my attention, but a bunch of breaks in my arm had tattered my resolve and capacity to serve them both, as my faith and wishes demanded.

Still, my desire to continue work on my carved hand-built Islamic tile panels was strong, but my limp arm simply wouldn't permit the heavy handling of the materials. That's the genesis of this series: my own life and the turmoil among peoples who had little or no experience with self determination and who were held by much of the western world as backward and unknowing, who were also often considered to be lashed to old school beliefs.

But since my conversion to Islam more than a decade earlier those old fashioned tenents had become very real and beautiful to me, as exemplified by multitudes of immigrant Muslims I encountered. Most of them had grown up under dictatorial regimes that appeared to prevent the teaching of free thought.

Implementation of the core of Islam was, and is, my concern and it was encouraging to see the masses of young people and women, and men too, who were standing up for their rights against formidable odds, and I was trying to sort out the claims on my time.

It's not complicated, the associations

between the series title and the artworks are up to the viewer, but if I'm present I'm pleased to discuss the work with them.

The first painting is Tunisia, painted on paper mounted on canvas sewn around and hanging on a stick by means of silver wire. See it over the shoulder of the same man, in the center photo, the smallest piece.

The show opened with a fundraiser

to support the FacingHomelessness initiative in Seattle. It was born of personal encounters by the developer when he approached the door to his office each day, and stopped to chat with those sleeping on his doorstep. A real connection with the men developed and he and his wife present specific needs for specific individuals on a facebook page HomelessInSeattle. Please pay them a visit and read the vivid tales of grace and giving.

You can be part of the solution by contributing to their fundraiser.

my take on Arab Spring

prints and some originals will soon be available at my web store. The email address on the site is active although the site is yet unpublished. 12/14/13

The Arab Spring painting and many of the others are all painted on Gessobord and, by clicking on the Amazon button you'll find a variety of sizes from which to choose. Since I discovered home delivery I take advantage of it at every opportunity. No more lugging a batch of boards up from the garage. It's far easier to have them handed to me by the delivery outfit.

Ampersand Gessobord 11 in. x 14 in. 1/8 in. each
Ampersand Gessobord 11 in. x 14 in. 1/8 in. each

Prior to my discovery of gessobords I used rabbit skin glue to stick fine quality smooth drawing papers to canvas or wood mounted on stretcher bars.

Gessobord is especially versatile because it handles like a piece of wood, nice and sturdy for propping at an angle, or laying flat on a tabletop, if my piece is really too small for easel work.

It also works well as a surface for collage and for adding found objects because it's easy to drill attachment holes through the surface.

 
Daniel Smith 60ml Ultimate Acrylic Paint Tube, Titanium White
Daniel Smith 60ml Ultimate Acrylic Paint Tube, Titanium White

Titanium white is the standard I use for all my work. This is the first series I've executed in acrylic.

It seemed like it would be easier to use and clean up with the wimpy wrist, and I knew I'd appreciate the quick drying, as compared to my usual use of oil paints.

 
Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World's Most Versatile Medium
Acrylic Revolution: New Tricks and Techniques for Working with the World's Most Versatile Medium

In another type of revolution, find tips to renew your use of acrylic paints. I have yet to read this book but it's easy to see that it has inspired a rating of 4.5 Stars in 138 customers.

It presents more than a hundred specific instruction sheets on techniques that create specific effects, such as transparency, thick paint, stenciling and using the paint on various unexpected surfaces.

 

See fun demonstrations right on Gessobord and try to resist becoming a fan too.

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Lebanon' © 2013 by Leslie Sinclair, acrylic on gessoboard 10" X 30". Arab Spring seriesDetail from 'Lebanon' ©2013 Leslie Sinclair'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'Lebanon' © 2013 by Leslie Sinclair, acrylic on gessoboard 10" X 30". Arab Spring series
'Lebanon' © 2013 by Leslie Sinclair, acrylic on gessoboard 10" X 30". Arab Spring series
Detail from 'Lebanon' ©2013 Leslie Sinclair
Detail from 'Lebanon' ©2013 Leslie Sinclair
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013
'my take on Arab Spring' show Opening December 13, 2013

Do you paint, or like art. What do you think of religious art - can it show the similarities between disparate beliefs?

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    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 

      4 years ago

      I love nearly all forms of art, although I much prefer drawing or graphic design over painting. Religious art can certainly display the sacredness of our beliefs and how special they are to us personally, which all who sincerely believe in a religious tradition can appreciate.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 

      4 years ago

      I think it's a gorgeous way to express something so close to your heart and beliefs. Sometimes words are just not enough.

    working

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