Zainab, fondly known as Kak Zai together with her artist husband Amirudin Ariffin manages Amir’s Painting Studio. Kak Zai was working in the Royal Malaysian Navy, and only took up painting after her retirement from the Navy. With guidance from her husband, Kak Zai is now the proud owner of her own paintings, she enjoys painting Malaysian flowers and landscape.
Amir’s Painting Studio offers classes for beginners, students and for anyone interested in adding a little art into their life. This Art Studio has attracted a surge in the expatriate community joining classes. Kak Zai and Amir teach their students to paint Malaysian theme art pieces, so that students can bring home a memory of Malaysia. Let’s find out more about her.
Tell us the history behind Amir’s Painting Studio?
My husband is an artist, and I help him manage his painting studio. We have been conducting classes for over 15 years. We first started conducting art classes in an old traditional Art Gallery studio bungalow located in Jalan Ritchie for ten years. Then we moved our classes to the National Art Gallery for three years. Now our studio has been located in Titiwangsa for the past four years.
What art classes are on offer? How do you start beginners on a canvas?
For beginners we offer a minimum of five classes per student. You can choose to paint with watercolours, oil painting, acrylic, pencil and many more. We also get art students who come in to improve their art portfolio. After improving on their portfolio, we can offer recommendations letters for university application. Most of our students are beginners with only basic art class training from their days at school.
How many students do you have in each class?
We have no more than seven students per session. With the overwhelming response each student can only attend one class per week. We need to give assistance and full attention to all our students, so we try to keep our classes small and manageable.
What do students learn in the art class?
Firstly, we work together with our students to establish what sort of painting they would like to achieve. We then discuss the type of art supply to use. It helps to get a similar picture of the painting they would like to make, this is important for beginners. We will then assist our students to draw, followed by techniques of mixing colour.
How many classes or how long does it take to complete a piece of artwork?
It depends on the size of the canvas. We try to start our beginners on smaller canvases. We will allow a student to have a bigger canvas if they have had some basic art training.
You have many expatriate students; do your students have interest in painting Malaysian art?
We give them the freedom to choose. But for those expats leaving the country they will usually paint something surrounding Malaysian culture to take back home as a memory of their time here. But at the same time we will introduce Malaysian culture and art techniques to our students.
Do you feel art is a form of therapy and relaxation?
Yes, of course it’s very therapeutic and calming to paint. When we sit down and are inspired to paint we forget the world, and its surrounding for a while. Art also helps to expand our creativity, and push our barriers to be more creative.
AMIR'S PAINTING STUDIO
No 64(B), Jalan Kuantan,
Off Jalan Tun Razak
53200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6016-221 9925
Amir’s Painting Studio offers adult art classes for all levels. Five classes are priced at RM350.