28 October 2021

Welcome to my new Painter in Residence, Sabah

My newest PIR will be the fabulously bold, colour confident, and jaw-droppingly prolific Sabah Bardhan of Just Restore. Sabah is based in the UAE and has only been painting furniture for two years!

“I wanted to try something new creatively and canvas just didn’t cut it for me anymore. So, I painted some old stools which were lying around the house and the furniture painting obsession took over! I started painting any furniture in sight and to my surprise, after I posted the stools I painted on social media, people wanted to buy them. Surprisingly, it was my husband who discovered Chalk Paint® for me. I was using any paint medium I had at home to paint furniture when I started out when he chanced upon the Chalk Paint stockist, Artistique, here in Dubai. He asked some questions to the lady at the shop and came rushing home to tell me he had found paint specifically for furniture. I drove up there immediately and bought my first few pots and that was my first date with Chalk Paint. There was no looking back after that.”

I first discovered Sabah on Instagram when I saw a wardrobe she painted in the traditional Indian Madhubani style of Art (pictured above). The background of Chalk Paint® in Amsterdam Green makes a luxurious and dramatic statement against which her portraits shine. This piece was informed by Sabah’s childhood in Mumbai, which she frequently looks to for inspiration).

“I was a cabin crew for 12 years and was fortunate to travel around the world. I take most of my inspiration from the beautiful memories and photographs that I took when I visited so many cities. I found the by lanes, restaurants, flowers and foliage, souvenirs, traditional costumes, landscapes, etc all fascinating and captured those wonderful moments, which I now revisit every now and then when I want to draw on inspiration”.

Like myself, Saban seeks inspiration from the art world, too. She named Gustav Klimt in particular because of “his use of gold in his paintings, which I am partial to”.

“I find the work of Diane Hill absolutely hypnotic when it comes to Chinoiserie. There is so much to learn from her. I could watch her paint for hours Closer home, I have to mention my father. He is the one person I have learned all I know from, and he is an exceptional artist. He taught me how to be patient when I paint so that I never miss any attention to detail. He always pushes me to add more detail, an extra feather here, another stroke there, a deeper shadow in one corner, the list goes on”

“I most enjoy painting birds, especially the Japanese cranes. They are extremely majestic, graceful and have such beautiful movements.”

For me, Sabah is an artist and through. Her medium may be furniture rather than canvas, but as these pieces attest, she has a rare talent. For her PIR pieces, she’ll be providing step-by-steps, helping you to unlock your inner artist too and to be bolder and more creative with your work. I’ll leave you with these inspiring words from Sabah on her painting philosophy…

“ The best thing about art is that there is no wrong or right. The artist decides what meaning a particular piece of work has to it. Sometimes, the first try looks the best and sometimes the tenth. What is important to remember is that what may work for you may not work for the other and vice versa. Not everyone needs to have a steady hand to try painting an artwork, there are so many different types of art and mediums available to create what you want and that is what I have explored in my pieces as Painter in Residence. You can paint as proportionately as you like, or exaggerate any aspect, like I did for the features of the Indian couple. I’d love for everyone reading the step by step to enjoy the process and see how it evolves, try more colour or less, make it darker or lighter, do what makes you feel happy!”

Be sure to follow Sabah’s journey on social media and check my Inspiration Page for the step-by-steps.


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  9. This story is such a delightful journey of creative exploration and unexpected success. It's fascinating to see how your artistic drive led you to repurpose old stools, and how this eventually blossomed into a passion for furniture painting. It's also heartwarming to hear about your husband's support and how he played a pivotal role in introducing you to Chalk Paint, which seems to have been a game-changer for your artistic endeavors. Your enthusiasm and determination shine through, and it's clear that your first encounter with Chalk Paint marked a turning point in your artistic journey, propelling you into a world of endless possibilities. What a wonderful tale of artistic discovery and transformation! And if you ever decide to share your journey in a written form, you can always buy essays to help you express your experiences even more eloquently.