Bay Area, CA, USA
Mediums: Oil paintings
Style: Abstract, Semi Abstract, Abstract Realism
I was born in India and currently reside in the Bay Area, California since the last 16 years.
With an MBA in finance and MA in economics I have worked in various corporate positions. However, since the last couple of years, I have been pursuing my true passion and switched careers to being a full time artist.
Being largely self taught, I love the lack of rules in art and feel that is reflected in my work, which is bold, colorful and vibrant. I have worked in many mediums like oils, watercolors, charcoal, pastels, with my current emphasis being on oil paintings and I absolutely love the freedom of big, bold, tactile strokes and multi-layering that oil painting. My painting style is a mix of abstract and semi abstract portrayals in rich, lush colors.
Please tell us your first time creating art:
I grew up in India and was always surrounded by wonderful folk and traditional art and vibrant colors. My earliest art memory is of helping my mother make an Indian Rangoli design during one of our festivals, Diwali, using colored rice and colored dry flour. When I was about 9, my mom enrolled me in a local art class and I discovered the joy and wonder of painting in its full manifestation. I got exposed to different mediums and loved working with charcoal and oil paints the best.
How long have you been an artist?
I have always loved doodling, drawing, coloring and painting and have been doing that since I was a kid, both in school and at a local hobby class. As I got older, I continued painting and learning even when I worked in the corporate sector. But since the switch to a full time career, the difference is that now I am getting paid to do what I love the most.
What message are you trying to imply through your art?
My art comes from a happy and positive place. My work in the realm of Abstract Realism, with a fresh, modern rendering, of something familiar, and known, yet abstract enough for modern sensibilities, is my way of interpreting, communicating and sharing my experiences, and my world with everyone else. I hope my art can initiate a sense of commonness and shared experiences and at the same time entice nostalgia and dreaminess.
Please tell us about your artistic process
I usually start any painting with just an idea, a memory of a place, or a feeling that I want to recreate. I may close my eyes and to assimilate those memories or go through pictures of the place to revive some of those moments or feelings that I want to paint. I never sketch, just let the paint and the strokes guide me to accomplish my vision and portray that on canvas. I let my observations and encounters act as a point of departure for abstracting, and rather than focus on traditional realism, I sidestep that for a more representational and modern composition. This translation of an idea onto the canvas makes the whole process from inception to completion very exciting, spontaneous and fresh for me.
What inspires you to make art?
First and foremost, inspiration is intrinsic and personal and is the amalgamation of my happy childhood in my native country of India, my various international travels, and my life now in beautiful California with my husband and son.
The colors and styling of my pieces evoke my sense of gratitude, joy, amazement, and wonderment that I feel everyday and aspire to share with the viewer.
The subject matter in my current body of work is largely inspired by nature; this could be the boundless horizons or the wide uninterrupted landscapes, the beauty of the changing seasons, coastal towns, rolling hills, wildflowers blooming proudly by the side of a busy road, and many such wonderful, special encounters that I have on a daily basis and get to translate onto canvas. I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot and now living in beautiful California, keeps me inspired always. I also love going through travel and Photography magazines to get a flavor of the different cultures and colors of the world. And I make sure to revisit all the places I have travelled to, through the zillion photos taken on trips.
· Portfolio featured in the curated and artistic Still Point Arts Quarterly, December 2012 issue.
· Selected as a ‘Gallery Artist’, May 2012 by Still Point Art Gallery. Selected work is currently on exhibit from May 2012 to July 2013
· Work selected for a Juried Group Exhibition, Feb 2012 “Hidden Treasures - Local Talent” from February 2012, at Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Fremont, CA.
Have you been selling your art?
I have been able to sell relatively well through my website, various other online sites, and online gallery representation. I have been quite active on the social media to get my art and my style out there for people to see and hopefully buy. I have been very fortunate to make sales through commissioned pieces as well.
How do you promote your art online?
The Internet is the best thing that could have happened for artists. It provides a wonderful medium to reach a vast, global audience and I am totally using this to promote my art. I have tried to be part of various online art sites and art galleries and have become active on social media sites like Twitter and Pinterest. I also try to take part in online art competitions, both to challenge myself and get better and also to build my art resume and presence.
I admire and get inspired by various artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Wolf Kahn, Richard Diebenkom Mark English, to name a few and also appreciate the works of many Indian contemporary artists like M.F. Hussain, V.S. Gaitonde, and Anish Kapoor.
Please recommend another artist to us
That’s a hard question to answer. I love the work of all artists that I have seen so far and and each one is truly so talented and wonderful with their own distinct styles and stories that it really would be hard to pick a few names.
Tell us some interesting events in your life
Every year in spring, I love to celebrate Holi, the Indian “Festival of Colors’, with my family and friends. We celebrate the festival , in either someone’s home or a communal place, by smearing each other with paint, and throwing colored powder and dye with not just family and friends but even strangers gathered there, all in good humor. And which artist can resist or not love something that has to do with color ;)
On the career front, I recently started showing at an online art gallery and apparently broke a record there when four out of my five art pieces displayed, sold in less than 24 hours of being shown on that site.
Has anyone said anything about your art which you would consider annoying?
Since Art is so subjective, I don’t get annoyed by comments that may be different that what I hoped to hear. I try to be open to constructive criticism or comments.
Do you have regrets in your artistic life?
Absolutely none. I love the fact that I am finally following my heart and doing something that truly keeps me motivated, curious, and happy. And I feel truly blessed and honored when people make a purchase and let my work be a part of their homes and their lives.
Any plans for the Future?
I want to keep on working and do some bigger and bolder pieces. I have a few grand ideas that I want to translate onto canvas and hopefully be able to execute them well. I want to keep on painting, working and pushing the envelope, without changing who I am as an artist.
Advice for emerging artists
I am an emerging artist myself and one thing that I feel is important is to keep on working and creating to find our own unique voice and style. There will be work that may not be great or feel right, but it only through these mistakes that you will get better. Enjoy the process of expressing yourself through your art, keep on learning and sharing. Also spend time online to promote your work as much as you can.