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Messam, a Jamaican Artist

Messam is the name of artist who painted the pictures below. He was born November 1944 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Messam attended school where he got the nickname "artist" as he was always drawing!

He works mainly in oil putting the paint on the canvas with a palette knife. His work is much in demand and forms part of many private collections throughout the world.

Painting 1

What is the first thing that strikes you about this painting?

What do you think is happening in this painting?

Which colour is used the most in this painting? Have a look through the next few paintings is this colour used as much in the next paintings?

Painting 1 is not much of a title for this painting, what would you call this painting?

Look at how cleverly Messam has used light and shade in the painting. Look at how he has painted the skin on the arms, what effect does the use of light and shades have on the painting.

Painting 2

What would you call this painting?

Look and describe the way the sky has been painted, what has Messam used to apply the paint?

Can you work out from which direction the wind is blowing, NE, etc?

Why has Messam painted the lower section of the sky purple? Is the purple section sky?

Painting 3

What would you call this painting?

Which lady is doing all the talking, how do you know?

From which direction is the light coming from?

Messam painted everyday life as he saw it, what moments of everyday life in Broughton would you paint if you were commissioned to paint a piece of art work


Private collection: People buy artwork for their home. Only friends and family see the art work so it is said to be private as people do not pay to see it. If a person has a few original paintings this is called a collection, a private collection.

Commissioned: If you are commissioned to produce a piece of art work someone has asked you to complete a piece of art work just for them, they will pay you for the work when completed.