Painting Inspiration from African Artists

Painting Inspiration from African Artists

Every time an artist decides to paint a subject, they have their own source of inspiration for that subject. It’s a realistic inspiration from a memory or abstract things that they depict completely via their imagination.


What an artist paints is influence by their surroundings. The artist’s mind is expresse through paint and brushstrokes. Some attempt to represent a political scenario in an abstract manner. Others try to imagine a sensation, a person, or an object by painting realistically what they observe in nature. But what they perceive in their topics inspires them all. The impression of whatever it is creating a picture in their minds is subsequently recorded in creative form.

Consider the work of two African artists, Elisha Ongere and Wycliffe Ndwiga, who paint abstractly and realistically, respectively.

Elisha Ongere 

Ongere, a Kenyan in his 40s, was dissatisfie with the country’s recent political upheaval following the 2007 presidential elections. For a brief but horrible period, his country was torn apart by murders and instability. Due to tribalism’s separating bias, tribes battled each other, and scepticism of formerly trusted friends grew. Elisha Ongere’s artwork “Kenyans After Elections” depicts the reality. The artist encountered in his beloved nation with four bald headed faces of various tribes that touch and look at each other in blank, sceptical attitudes.

Ongere’s contrast derives from the fact that these faces are usually smiling with each other in camaraderie rather than misgiving. On a political issue, he painted abstractly. Thankfully, the issue was temporarily rectified by the UN, but Ongere may have reason to paint his sorrow once more if Kenyans rise up in violence against one other in the next election of a precarious Presidential post.

Kenyan artists

Ndwiga, on the other hand, chooses to portray the tranquilly and beauty he discovers in the fauna of his nation. Wycliffe Ndwiga, a Kenyan native and one of the country’s top wildlife painters, frequently retreats far from the city and tribes to witness animals in their natural habitat, fresh and uncut.

Rather than painting a representation of a sentiment or circumstance, Wycliffe Ndwiga focuses on catching animals in their natural habitats: feeding, resting, watching, and hunting. Consider a leopard stalking its prey while walking lightly through a creek. In a realistic painting, Ndwiga masterfully portrays this moment. Or imagine a leopard lounging in a tree, perhaps after a kill, with all of its limbs dangling from the thick branches. Take, for example, a herd of three elephants moving through the parched savannah, with dust trailing behind them and Mt. Kilimanjaro even further behind. They’re looking for a large water hole where they may quench their daily thirst. Wyclife Ndwiga depicts not only the environment but also the people that live in it.

These Kenyan artists take a lot of inspiration from their surroundings, whether it’s nature or a political scenario that has engulfed the city.

African paintings

But what distinguishes one source of inspiration from another? When an artist is passionate about their subject, true inspiration shines through. The intensity of one’s enthusiasm for art influences the desire and drive to create a work of art. There are individuals who do art as a hobby and do it secondary, and then there are those who do art as their primary source of income and devote their entire being into their work.

A few online sources are displaying African paintings in a worldwide media while properly crediting their underlying inspiration.

Many African artists in Kenya not have able to sell their African art paintings or demonstrate their culture’s inspiration overseas if they hadn’t been featured on such a large scale. Their subjects can now comprehended outside of their own country’s culture. This presence outside of their own country serves as a twofold source of inspiration for its African artists, who are now feeling compelled to create new works for them, with their minds set on a global scale.

So, that’s about Painting Inspiration from African Artists

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