Artist relieves lockdown boredom by painting on her furniture after she runs out of canvases

When a Saudi artist ran out of canvases to paint on during the COVID-19 lockdown, she turned to an unconventional, but convenient, alternative: her furniture.

Nahla Al-Ghafaili, an artist in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, decided to paint her boredom away while under lockdown. When she ran out of canvases to paint on, she continued painting on everyday objects found in her home — including her furniture.

For many artists, the lockdown has been difficult and restricting. In Al-Ghafaili’s case, the quarantine gave the artist enough time to “try and find the best ways” to color the furniture in a unique and creative way.

Al-Ghafaili said that her will to “produce something different was stronger than any challenges” she faced when painting the furniture. For her, painting is a form of therapy that allows her creative instincts to take over.

The artist also owns a coffee shop, Eleven Art and Gallery Cafe, that follows the same principle of healing and escape as her art. She describes the gallery as an open space for artists to feel unconstrained by rules and regulations.

“I wanted to combine my art with something else, so I chose coffee as it is a perfect medium for social gatherings,” Al-Ghafaili told Arab News. “The cafe is open for everyone, including new artists and experienced painters.”

She hopes that her cafe and gallery will inspire similar ones to open throughout Saudi Arabia, sending a message that boundaries should never define art.