Saturday, 3 May 2014

Confessions of a half baked artist

As I have evolved with age so has my relationship with art. What started off as something of an enchantment and a yearning to emulate the way my mother discerningly moved her magical fingers shaping wispy lines into a dainty bird or endearing creatures matured into something more intrinsic. It was as a child that art gave me utmost joy as I drew and painted with a careless abandon on all my ruled notebooks meant for numbers and alphabets. There was a time when my mother could no longer make me color within lines. I have a flickering recollection of us awake one night practicing how to make a parrot for a competition. We were to draw a pet. The next day after I got back from the competition my mother found that the color green was still new and unused. Instead it was brown crayon which seemed to have endured a violent assault and was half its size. I had made a horse. I did not have a real pet and an imaginary pet horse stirred me more than a parrot.

As I grew older and became acquainted with the finer nuances of painting I perceived I may not have mastered the perfect wrist movement for smooth line work or have the intuitive ability to pick just the right colour. I have always reprimanded myself for using an ochre instead of an olive or 'that blue on neighbors door' instead of cerulean. I considered colorwheel to be good only  in theory (only to be proved otherwise by an erudite teacher thankfully). There were some artist whose works I admired like a child who takes a fancy to size 10 shoe than her own. The more I sought their work the more it stimulated my senses. But beyond a point my senses could soak in only that much without blinding me to everything else. All this made me contemplate if I was doing the right thing. Maybe I was squandering my time on something I had no talent for. Do I always religiously stick to the basics( like having squeezed tubes of black and white in your kit is to scoff at watercolors) or unlearn all so that I can paint like a child again. The self doubt had crept in and made its its presence weightier than my impish strokes. This was a call for introspection. I observed myself as someone outside of me and then I observed myself from within the depths of my being. And over the years here is what I established about what art means to me and my life though it is constantly evolving.

I have discovered that art for me is not an end in itself. It is a means to something. Recently I had refreshed my Reiki attunment. Something that my Reiki master tried to elucidate struck a chord somewhere. She annotated that the universe has ushered art into my life so that I could heal myself as I needed tremendous healing after my mothers death. I discovered painting for me is not just a contrivance to create a work of art but a therapy too. All this while I was oblivious of the fact that I was healing myself through art. It was working like a silent prayer the efficacy of which leaves its presence like a tenuous fragrance. I feel I am waking up to it now and it has percolated into my work bringing with it a vehement sense of  gratitude for the universe. It has helped unravel the love for the creator who always knows better than me. I started noticing his divine creation which is the universe, the sublime colours which do not even have classified names, the sounds that brings everything else to a stillness. In my view all the artists whether they know it or not are venerating the universe in their own wondrous ways. Whether it is some famous rock star or a folk artist hidden in the obscurity of a wonted life. It humbles me to be a part of them.

Art for me is not a comparison or a competition. Universe accommodates all. I honour my art because it encompasses the paraphernalia for me to know the universe and connect with it. And in the process I become more aware of myself because I am part of the universe too. I want all the artists whose works I have poured over for hours to know that I love their work and I love my work too. Art has made my journey(metaphorical, literal and figurative) more vibrant. I love it when an art work turns out to be the way I had visualized. However I love it even when it flows out of my hand and takes it own shape. When I start a new work that I feel the anticipation of a new journey and curiosity for new avenues I will be lead to. When I reach the end of a work of art I know its not termination of my journey but a diversion to something new.

Recently for the first time I had displayed my painting in a group exhibition. I was apprehensive because I was doing something new at an age where most artists would have done a dozen shows. However I wanted to share with the world the end result of a process that continues to heal me and fill my life with light. I hope it would emanate the same to others. I got a very encouraging and benign response and I feel I am ready to share my work with the world. I cannot explicate each and every element in my work because for me its worship and an act of faith. I am just a medium just as art is a medium for me. Meaning will and should be interpreted differently by all according to what the universe wants them to know. So I would suggest never go by what artist tells you because his interpretation is prudently different from yours. If nothing else just enjoy the aesthetics of it.

Here is my art work which was displayed.

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