Artist Tahira Ansari


Tahira repaints, redos, refinishes, restores and turns forgotten pieces of furniture into works of art; furniture to be once again admired and desired.



If I say that I was an artist right from the beginning it wouldn’t be the truth. Yes, I was into sketching and doodling right from my early childhood days, but never really got the time to nurture this interest. Student life, and then my career, kept me quite busy and it was only when my husband and I, along with my young children, moved to Bahrain that I decided that if I am to remain sane, I needed to find something that I can do from home, and save myself from becoming a victim of this lethargic lifestyle.


Luckily, during my first few months in the island, I found a friend who was experimenting with chalk painting on wooden frames, and I started studying how that worked; for a couple of months I watched videos, and read books and blogs. I then gathered enough courage to buy myself just the one tin of paint and a couple of cheap brushes, found myself a couple of old chairs, and decided to give them a makeover. Although I took one whole month to finish the job, surprisingly the project turned out great and people really liked it, enough to offer to buy it off my hands the same day it was finished. I was the happiest person on the planet that day, and had finally found my calling!


After this, I started exploring the field more and started training with some locally renowned artists within this specific field of art, and have been regularly painting furniture pieces ever since. This ongoing training and education is helping to improve and develop myself as an artist. The whole process of conceiving an idea, and then executing it into something tangible, makes me both excited and calms me at the same time. It makes me happy, gives me a sense of achievement, and fulfils my need to make my surroundings - as well as other people's - beautiful. The focus and purpose this field of art has provided me is beyond amazing, and it is the need to create and spread beauty that really motivates me. When I see an old forgotten piece of furniture with a strong character I get all pumped-up to bring it to life and make it desirable again. Anything can be a source of inspiration to me. My work tends to be colourful and Bohemian, which comes directly from the culture I was born in and then the places I have travelled to, for example you will see glimpses of Turkey and Morocco in my work, along with Pakistani Truck Art. Sometimes inspiration comes unannounced in the form of something that I read, a particular emotion that I am going through, or an image that catches my eye either in a magazine or on Pinterest. The list is endless.


I wish I could say that I am very methodical when it comes to my art, but I am not. I do think about the primary idea and finalize a colour scheme to go with it though, but tend to keep the whole creative process quite flexible. I love layering colours and adding and subtracting elements as I go along, and as the project starts shaping up, however, there have been a few times when I redid the entire piece because the end result just didn’t feel right. In my opinion every artist has a different creative process which is usually derived from their personalities. I am a generally happy person who loves colour, so you will find some of my pieces screaming with loud, vibrant colours which is quite unheard of in this region of the world, specially when it comes to furniture.

I do not plan very long-term as far as my art is concerned, as it keeps evolving and developing with time and circumstances so it is hard to plan, but broadly speaking I would like to set up a proper store in the Kingdom for hand-painted home décor items, primarily furniture, alongside with my own studio where I would like to continue experimenting, teaching and learning this area of art. This dream is what I am gradually working towards.


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Tahira Ansari
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