Sunday, October 25, 2009

What's My Style?

It's a question that, like most artists, I too have been asked. And, like most artists, I was clueless about the answer the first time Iwas asked this. Now, after so many years, I think I know how to answer it.

I would broadly categorize 'style' into 4 categories:
1) From Realism to Realism
2) From Realism to Abstraction
3) From Abstraction to Abstraction
4) From Abstraction to Realism
My personal style is the 2nd one, i.e. from realism to abstraction. I'm inspired by the Real (people and their environment) and deliver theAbstract.So, when I work, I always begin with first capturing the 'Real' and then move on to adding Abstract design structures.
In a sense, I extend this to my visual communication work as well - where let the viewer connect the dots.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My paintings: an introspection

People often ask me why I paint. I suppose every artist, regardless of medium, is, at some point, asked this. Why do you sculpt? Why do you write? Why do you act? Why do you sing? Why do you paint...?

And sure, the answers I tend to give out mirror those of my peers: because it's a way for me to express myself, capture the dynamism of beauty in one static frame, freeze the one perfect moment of everyday life... But looking deep into myself, I think it's the ability to create something that interacts with the viewer. I suppose it stems from my design background. In my professional life, each day I design communication that's geared to interact with and involve the audience.
Of course, the stuff I do at work is usually a blend of copy and graphics, which when fused together make the interaction easier, but the principles remain the same. I tend to apply these same principles to my paintings. And what are these principles? Well, the basic tenet is "Suggestion through Omission". For instance, sometimes a semi-clad body can be more erotic than a full nude. The mechanics of looking for, or mentally filling in, the missing pieces force the viewer to be an active part of the art.

Off late, I've been experimenting with this, and consciously keep myself away from the realistic form - trying, instead, to give the viewer a simple visual cue to what is depicted.

Do let me know how successful (or not) I've been.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Fish is a staple among Goans. With one entire side of the state facing the Arabian Sea, fishing continues to be as much a hobby as it is a means of livelihood for countless hundreds. While just about everyone is aware of the fishing that goes on, it's interesting to note that most have not actually seen fishermen at work!
The reason is simple: fishing happens mostly when the tide comes in, bringing with it fish from deeper waters closer to shore; and the favourable tide timings of the Arabian Sea are usually late at night or in the wee hours of the morning... when most of us are asleep. What gives the game away, however, are the artifacts that are there for all to see... canoes, boats, anchors, drying nets, ropes, oars and other odds and ends.
This behind-the-scenes culture is what I've tried to capture here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There's something about fish...

Fishing is an integral part of Goan life - being a source of livelihood for hundreds, catering to the rich local cuisine as well as a sport of pride among the men. It's the only thing that drives buyers to the market at 5.30 in the morning. The fish markets are always abuzz with activity. Men and women seated on the ground in neat rows with the morning's catch in front of them, calling out proudly to passersby; the bright clothes of the mongers with the silvers of fish sparkling as they catch the light... it's impossible not to be fascinated by it. I should know; I'm a vegetarian.

In one of my earlier attempts, I ambitiously tried to capture two women. You can tell the speed at which I was trying to work (God... what've I done to the fingers of that woman on the right?!) And the colouring? The bandana colours flowed into the woman's face. But I did like the texture of the blue of the skirt of the woman on the left... all in all, a great learning.
The 2nd one, with the solitary fisherwoman, came much later. I picked a subject and committed most of the details to memory. The pen outlines were minimal and served only as cues to paint when I got back home.

Some prefer the first... they say it's got more character and movement. The detail freaks like the second. Which do You prefer?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Design a Painting I

Very early in my career, I learnt Painting is not just throwing objects or filling the background with details. It's about careful planning which creates a well composed picture leaving the viewer satisfied and with the desire to unravel the mysteries behind the works of art.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rough (?) Sketches

Coming from the design background, most of the times I like to do scribbles, just to get the right composition and right tonal values. But it happens sometimes that your scribbles turn out much better than your final artwork!
Here are some of them…

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Landscapes, NO...Arrangements

My landscapes are not realistic but thy do resemble reality. They are more of arrangements than a landscape. Arrangement of form, colour, texture, contrast, space…