I've been painting "seriously" for about 28 years now, and even after all those years there is NOTHING as exciting as The Painting Itch.  

Out of the blue the seed of an idea for a painting, design or product will pop from nowhere in my head, usually when I'm walking the dog or doing something else totally unrelated and not even thinking about painting. Then over days or weeks, it grows all by itself into a very clear image in my mind's eye. There's no rushing it though, I've found over the years that I have to let it happen by itself and not to start painting until the picture in my head has properly formed. 

That's what happened recently - a while back I'd vaguely had in mind to make some sort of design for a home Qibla (that's something to show the direction of Mecca / Makkah which Muslims face to when praying) but hadn't done anything about it. In mosques the Qibla is often an arch-shaped niche, so I wanted to incorporate that into the design but make it more modern, bright and happy too.

Then as if by magic earlier this week I knew exactly what it was going to look like and I've been BURSTING to get to work ever since. I had to take my son up to London for his pre-op assessment on Wednesday and spent the day with my hands almost tingling in anticipation of putting the idea down onto paper. So yesterday I cancelled my gym class and had The Best Day Ever.  Here's the result...

I painted it using a combination of masking fluid and watercolours in my absolute favourite colour. There's something exciting about using masking fluid - because it's almost transparent (a bit like using white wax crayon), you never know exactly what it's going to look like until after it's dry and you've applied the paint on top. So watching the image take shape is like a little bit of magic.

And then is the best bit - peeling off the masking fluid. Remember peeling the glue off your hands when you were at school? Well it's just like that but better as you're (hopefully!) left with something lovely afterwards, and the white parts turn from a slightly dirty off white to a gleaming freshness. 

So, here's the result for a new print design after some fiddling around with it in Photoshop. I've also changed it into some other colours too. Which is your favourite?

Muslim family personalised print colours - Islamic arch

Anyway, by for now!

Claire x