Usually the first thing people say when they see my art is, “I’ve never seen anything like it!” Often, they will reach out to touch, to feel the texture of the rough surface, drawn by the bursting colors. Then, they might put their face right up close to the canvas to examine the intricate details, exclaiming at the effort, time, and dedication it must take to complete a painting. 

        I love to show my art to people. The energy in the room increases. There is a growing sense of excitement, sometimes joy, and the viewer begins to speak about what they see in the piece, where they are finding meaning. Sometimes, there is silence, a quiet introspection, and perhaps even tears when the viewer has been moved by my work. Those are the moments I love best.

        Truthfully, my art is much more effective and affective when seen in person.  The size, texture, vibrancy, sense of movement and energy—these are things that are impossible to convey through a screen. Here, the viewer only gets a glimpse, a small hint. A fraction of the true experience, but a taste nonetheless. I’m so glad you’re here. 

        Let’s start at the beginning. When I first began to paint, I honestly had no idea what I was doing, no idea of what I wanted to say, or how to say it.

A moment of inspiration with Sage the owl in Kinross, Scotland
Early artist portrait, by Hamid Attie

        I experimented with color quite a bit since I did not know anything of color theory, wasting many tubes of paint in the process. I grew frustrated. Nothing looked right, and my earliest splotches certainly did not resemble art. I decided instead to stop trying so hard to make “real” art, and just have a bit of fun instead.

        It was ultimately the memory of my grandmother’s fabulous vintage  two-piece leopard print bathing suit that led me to develop my unique painting technique. One of the earliest paintings I did was merely a canvas painted with dozens of leopard spots against a bright red background, created on a day where I was missing my grandmother from the world.

        Gram. I have so many memories of her suntanning on the shores of her lake cottage in that fabulous bathing suit, a bottle of baby oil by her side and wet teabags on her eyes, her frosted blonde hair tucked up in a terrycloth turban.

        Gram was perpetually tan and brown. She loved the sun, and trips to Florida. Gram always smelled of suntan oil in the summer. She wore several gold chains, with her blouse unbuttoned and tied at the waist, and small denim shorts. She drove a big white big white Chrysler New Yorker, and would pick the wild strawberries in the forest behind her lake cottage to make jam for her grandchildren. Her garden at home ran riot with colorful flowers, and she grew a huge vegetable garden where we would pick sun-warmed tomatoes and cucumbers. Gram was the mainstay of my happiest childhood memories, and I thought of her often. She had only been gone a couple of years when I began to paint.

        The painting of the leopard spots was a modest piece, but it was a major turning point in the development of my technique of using individually painted units of color to create a painting. It is a painstaking and time-consuming process, to paint like this. As my work becomes more detailed, a painting can take months of long days to finish. Truly, a labor of love. Still, I find this method of painting to be deeply meditative and quietly satisfying.  And after such an arduous process, it is always exhilarating to step back from a finished canvas, and to say, finally, “finished”.

gram in florida
Ancient skull in Kinross graveyard

         As it stands now, I group my work into three separate series, based upon where I was at the time, what I was doing, or the things that inspired and affected me. The first series, “The Vancouver Adventures of Candybox-Scented Muse” , was created during my early years in Vancouver. Based upon the female figure, an obvious yet classical choice for a budding painter, there is a whimsical, pop culture flair to many of the pieces from this period.

        In the second series, “Koolaid-Colored Violence and Memento Mori”, I revisit the earlier themes, but begin to explore a more aggressive and powerful femininity. The first skulls also make an appearance, after I was inspired by the beautiful Día de Muertos art and figurines I saw during a trip I took to Austin, TX to participate in an art show.

        My third and current series, “Bones, Botany, and Broken Hearts”, is a series inspired by my time spent in England and Scotland. It is, in my humble opinion, the most gorgeous and dark one yet. During a trip to Scotland it seemed as if depictions of skulls were all around me—carved into ornate Gothic doorways, etched into tombstones in ancient mossy graveyards, and once, staring out from a flag of the Jolly Roger pinned up in a window above the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh. “Follow us”, they seemed to be saying, “this is where you must look.” And so, I am. The wild and verdant beauty of the Scottish countryside, and the classic prettiness of an English cottage garden, are also rich sources of inspiration for this series. I am also enjoying learning about the quaint antiquity of the “Victorian language of flowers” and weaving these silent messages of meaning into my work.

Bee and botany in an English country garden Chatsworth House
The lush green beauty of the Scottish countryside inspires Near Glencoe

This comes easily to me now, this creating. Each painting that I have done from the beginning has taught me a different lesson. Each one. Oftentimes it feels as if the painting takes on a life of its own as I am creating it; there is an exchange of energy, and sometimes I don’t know if I am the creator or the conduit. My mind and sketchbook overflow with ideas, and it can be challenging at times to focus on one idea long enough to flesh out a rough sketch. I will never do all the paintings that I have inside of me, not at this point. A lifetime sometimes isn’t enough time, once we have made up our mind. But I will do my very best to do all of those that are the most meaningful to me, the ones that demand to come forth.

        All I want to do is create something beautiful. I’m very grateful for this strange journey. I’m most grateful to my fans and those who love me, whose appreciation for my work and kind words of praise fortify me as I continue to walk this path. Keep watching me. I have so much more to show you.