Finding Myself

My fascination towards art forms started at a very early age, I could sing and dance, but I never thought I’d be able to draw, let alone paint. As I became older, I was able to appreciate paintings, different artists, their styles, but I never picked up a pencil or a paintbrush to try and paint. Growing older, i developed a keen interest in admiring paintings. Of all the artists who I came across, Gustav Klimt’s paintings always drew me to them. My favourite painting of Klimt is The Maiden. When I started teaching in Kindergarten, I realised I was able to draw cartoons and what not for the children at school, but I never tried to do anything beyond that.

My daughter loves to paint, and in the summer of 2017, I enrolled her for an art workshop held by a wonderful artist, Ms Asha Suresh. I saw her paintings and was instantly drawn to them. A year later,  when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to attend one of her workshops, and to my utter disbelief, I found that I could paint well. It was then that my journey with art started. Since the lockdown, I have been taking regular lessons with Asha, going through the different stages of painting. Initially it was just a tool for me to pass time, to overcome the boredom I felt being cooped up at home. During the initial days I struggled a bit, but soon I found myself looking for more ideas and I started painting whenever I got the chance. I started painting even when we didn’t have classes. I channeled all my anxiety and depression into painting. When I felt a depressive episode coming on, I picked up my drawing tools, arranged my paint brushes, paints, and sat and painted.

During the moments that I am painting, I am oblivious to my surroundings, completely immersed in my art. I have realised that for me, art is not just about painting, but also a form of therapy. When I am painting, I feel most calm and level headed. Art to me is like meditation. It helps me to shut off the noise in my head and focus on my breathing, making my mind and body totally relaxed.

I haven’t reached the stage where I can draw or paint using my own imagination, so I look at various paintings on Pinterest for inspiration, bringing some sort of change into them, be it in colour or background, trying to develop my own style. As an amateur artist, femininity, be it form or energy fascinates me the most, and I have realised that such works of art call out to me. One of the modern artists whose work I admire a lot is the French artist Ines Longevial. I love the way she expresses her emotions and her self as a bold woman with nothing holding her back, through her works of art.

Till date , I still continue my lessons with Asha. She is not just an amazing teacher, but also a wonderful therapist, and her presence has helped me develop my skills and passion for painting. As for me, I do not know how long I will continue my relationship with art, but I do hope it’s a long term one.

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