Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey: A Visit to the Coast of Ghana

Meet the artist whose captivating watercolor paintings depict the coasts of Ghana

By Nubuke Foundation

"I grew up in the southern part of Ghana, and all my life activities have been along the coast. I find the coastal life coming to me so naturally that I needed to document them with my water color practice."
- Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey

The Return, James Town by Jonathan Kwegir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

''This is a painting of James Town. James Town is one of the oldest fishing communities in the Greater Accra Region. This painting is based on a photo that I took during an afternoon visit. When I am painting an afternoon scenery, I try to depict the smoke and the atmospheric effect. They help me to connect the focal point to the things in the background.''

James Town Fishing I by Jonathan Kwegir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

"As an artist, you have a duty. You can decide to stick closely to a photo reference. But as an artist, you need to free yourself. You need to free your mind. Not necessarily restricting yourself to a photo which is more stiff and static. You have the liberty, your artistic license to take and add so in order to free my imagination, my own is to interpret the subject that I have gone out to get, whether through taking photos or sketches."

Happiness by Jonathan Kwegyir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

"With my painting process, I start with the wet-in-wet technique. After that, I build the forms and features in the work. My finishing is usually a dry brush stroke."

At Rest by Jonathan Kwegyir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

"I start with the sky wet-in-wet. After that, I start to define the sea. I move down to define the things in the background. When you are painting things in the background, you do not need to waste so much time because this is water colour. The more you waste time to depict everything in the background, the more the picture becomes boring and lose its freshness."

"Basically, it is to suggest what is in the background and that makes it more interesting when painting with water colour. I use the figures to lead the viewers' eye into the painting and to create activities around when painting."

Dust at Elmina by Jonathan Kwegir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

Business Day II by Jonathan Kwegir AggreyOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

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