Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Welcome- year 2013"

May 2013, this blog will complete five years of its existence. While I was going through all the previous 32 posts, I enjoyed following the journey of a 'self-taught' artist. What does the phrase 'self-taught' really imply? Is it possible to distinguish between the teacher and the learner in a situation where the learner is the teacher and vice versa? Through a series of trial and error one acquires the ability to transform a blank canvas into a work of art. I suppose all artists, whether they have received formal education or not, go through this process. The outcome becomes a work of art only if the artist is satisfied with his or her creation. Every artist, big or small enjoys this ability to create something the way he or she wishes to see it and this success helps him or her to move on.
I returned to UK from India on 5th January and have been indoors most of the time. After spending almost 18 years in Singapore, it wasn't easy to cope with being all by myself from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm in this gloomy, wet, cold UK weather in the absence of natural light. It would have surely caused depression if I did not have my best companion and my passion to keep me active throughout the day. In fact, this weather has compelled me to read, think and explore and I am really delighted to spend so many hours in educating myself. Would like to make the best of it before the weather changes. I must give a little account of how I spend my days.
I borrowed a few art books from the library and would like to discuss a few points I found worth noting down. I am a person who doesn't like to follow so many do's and don'ts when it comes to art. It spoils my spontaneity and I lose interest in my work. I have been lucky to find 3 books written by 3 water colour artist from UK and each one has broken away from traditional water colour instructions. These are:
Atmospheric water colours by Jean Haines, Breaking the rules of water colour by Shirley Trevena and
Paint with freedom,expression and vitality by Gerald Green. They have distinctly different and unique styles. One could visit their websites to view it. ; ;

It is always interesting to read each artist's perspective, interpretation and technique. One thing they all have in common, is the ability to drive out fear while dealing with water colour. It is a difficult medium to work with but real fun if one can conquer it.

I have also been watching some interesting TV programmes on art. The society of all artists, SAA along with the Painting and drawing channel conduct TV shows where artists demonstrate there techniques and conduct lessons for viewers. UK is a gold mine for someone wanting to pursue water colour. It has quite a few water colour societies and the standard of the work of water-colour artists is high although most artists adhere to traditional water colour methods.

I have also been reading the blogs of other artists.

I have done a few works after returning from India. In this past six months, I have allowed myself to play and explore and have produced plenty of water colours and a few acrylic works. I need to be mentally more settled and stable in order to focus on any particular theme or style. Perhaps, I need to take out the juice from all the knowledge I have gathered from various resources in these few months and cook something really appetising.

BTW, I usually cook in the evening because that activity does not require daylight and I try to take out one hour daily for yoga practise. On the whole, I have a busy schedule and an interesting one too.

The following works were done between 5th Jan and mid February. I was practising my water-colour skills.
Kerala fisherman-water colour on paper 
Play -water colour on paper

Chikoo- water colour on paper

The following works were done to brighten up our living room and remembering the bright and colourful Singapore days. The title 'flow' indicates flow of life and time's play on our mind. My work was driven by the ability of our mind to travel between space and time without any hindrance and allow us to recollect memories we treasure. It helps in a situation where the present is not particularly pleasing.
Flow- acrylic on canvas each measuring 16" x 30"
Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away on 11th Dec. 2012. I was watching his BBC interview on the TV. In this work, I have tried to capture his expression at a moment when he was describing the combined feelings of pain and pleasure experienced by him when he composed his music during his performance. 
Pt.Ravi Shankar- charcoal and water colour
on paper measuring 18" x 22"

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