Mediums: Acrylic and oil
Style: Abstract, semi abstract and figurative
I am an artist with Indian origin, residing in Africa for almost two decades. Currently I am staying in Ghana, West Africa along with my husband and two daughters.
My medium of work is acrylic and oil. The important element of my work is vivid colors. Though I do not limit myself to a particular style, my strength however lies in abstracts which portray my visions through color, form and depth. My background in Engineering helps me with composition and shapes. I believe that the earthy colors that I use in some of my paintings, not only connect me to my Indian origin but also depicts the warmness of the African continent.
First experience creating art.
I remember a painting I did when I was in college. Original was a painting of the legendary artist from India, Raja Ravi Verma. I had reproduced a copy of that without any guidance. The painting came out so well and was praised by everyone who saw it.
How long have you looked at yourself an artist?
Drawing and painting has been my hobby during my school and college life. I do not have any formal qualification in arts. It was in one of the holidays while I was doing my Engineering that I realized that I can really paint well. But I was never so serious about painting until I came to Africa along with my husband and first born. Since then I have been learning through internet to draw and paint . And it is only last 5/6 years that I have started seeing myself as a professional artist.
What message are you hoping to convey through your art?
I do not convey any message to my viewers. Instead I want them to get that joy and happiness that I feel while creating a piece. I feel proud and honored when people buy my art to be a part of their house.
Would you like to explain your creative process?
I don’t stick to a particular style. I try to experiment different techniques of painting. But lately I have created some pieces and would like to work in depth on this technique and bring the best out of me. I have started these artworks by pouring of the color on canvas and then I try to control the flow of color, forming various shapes and forms and then fill them with chosen colors.
What inspires you?
I take inspiration from everywhere. Anything and everything in this universe inspires me. I usually try to take snaps whenever I am travelling and if sometimes I am short of inspiration, I go through these photos.
I had one last year in Ghana and one coming up in March in New York. Also a few more are coming on the way this and next year. I think these two exhibitions are enough to boost my confidence and strengthen my belief in myself.
Do you sell artworks?
Yes I have sold many of my artworks. I have sold some through exhibitions and some privately.
Facebook, blog, emails.
After coming to Africa, I started pursuing my hobby of painting. But then it was very difficult for me to get access to the art materials. There was no one who could guide me. I had lack of exposure to galleries and other art related things and so was left to the Internet through which I learned so many things.
On the way there were so many artists who influenced me that it is hard to pick any one or two names. I admire the works of Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, and artists like M.F. Hussain , S.H. Raza from India
Can you recommend another artist you like?
There are so many artists whose works I admire that it is difficult to pick any one name.
Interesting Art Experience
It never was nor is easy for me, staying in a foreign land, to promote my art locally. Though I was creating really good pieces and also selling a few through generous friends but I didn’t know how to bring my art out in public. And then an incident happened which changed my world as an artist. A senior local artist happened to pass by our house. He saw one of my paintings hanging in the porch and entered the house thinking of us as an art buyer. He was taken to surprise when he saw my other paintings and offered me a golden chance to exhibit along with him. That was how I entered the local art market.
Has anyone ever said anything annoying about your art?
I don’t really get annoyed as I keep myself open to all the comments and criticism.
I believe criticism helps you learn to do your best.
Do you have any regrets in your artistic life?
Only regret in my life as an artist is I spent most of my life time doing other stuff whereas I should have taken art seriously much more earlier. I am happy that now that I am on the path that I love.
I want my art to be recognized globally. I still have not entered the art world of my own country, India. In future I want my art to be exhibited in all the Metros of India.
Advice for Emerging Artists
As an emerging artist myself, I believe there will be many hurdles coming your way but don’t loose faith in yourself. Keep painting and enjoy the process of bringing the best out of you. Promote your art online. Being an artist, creating good pieces only is not enough, marketing your art is also important.
Manisha Vedpathak - An Unending Adventure in Arts
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