Who am I? The creative conundrum
I keep asking myself this question? Who am I and what is my purpose? What do I love to draw? I guess we all have maybe at some point in time asked ourselves this question. On one hand I am fortunate to have re-discovered my childhood passion of painting. On the other end there is this incessant restlessness to figure out what do I want to paint? What expresses my attitude my creative vision? What style reflects who I am? Who am I?
I am influenced by artists and their style. I admire the old masters, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael for their realistic and also pure portrayal of a vision. I love the departure with impressionism, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, Degas and the neo-impressionists, Seurat and Signac. Then there is the massive rift.....I am also fascinated by Picasso and Braque's cubism, I am in awe of Warhol's printmaking or Matisse's simplification of a theme. I love the works of Hockney and while I don't truly understand abstract art entirely, I could stare at Ritcher's work for a long time.
Its not wrong to be influenced. The world has had thousands of famous painters. But a definitive place in history was marked for the people mentioned above who challenged convention and who defied protocol the first time. That does not undermine the work of those who followed in their footstep but it marks the importance of what these masters accomplished. Even the artists above started by imitation. You have to know your past in art to make way for the future as it is such with any field. It did not just come to all of them in a flash, it involved hard work, meticulous planning and execution. The "dance class" of Degas, one of my favorite pieces was not painted in the room. In fact each character was individually painted and perfected and merely placed on the canvas at the right spot, scale and perspective to create the scene titled "dance class". However his mastery of light and shadow, ability to capture the view and emotion makes this a masterpiece. Such is the case with Seurat's "sunday afternoon".
I am painting today through sheer will, but my emotions are torn and art is really a dump of emotions. I am not hoping to be the next Picasso or Cezanne. I just want to find my comfort zone. That means it is merely a matter of patience or so is my conclusion. In todays world of instant messaging and instant gratification, patience is a tall order. Furthermore there remains yet another dilemma. Every artists in his time used the best tool available at his disposal. It made art evolve faster. That said is the use of tools such as computers valid? I definitely do not think so. There is something very human about art and the creative process and I would like to keep that within the brain. But until I find my comfort zone within this vast artistic realm I am stuck in limbo experimenting with styles, with mediums and with colors, trying to figure out what I want to do.
What do you think? let me know your comments or thoughts below.
Here it is, a very impressionist style blend of colors to create this autumn pathway. Playing with the light and the foliage was both challenging and fun and of course I am falling in love with soft pastels. It is amazing!!!. This is a 12" x 16" painting done on Canson pastel paper. The painting was done with an initial pastel and alcohol underpainting over charcoal drawing. This was followed by the actual painting with Rembrandt and Mongyo soft pastels. Enjoy and share your comments :)
For those of you planning on painting with/experimenting with soft pastels there are tons of you tube videos and lessons of different aspects on painting. However, I came across this link http://landscapesinpastel.blogspot.com/ where the author Deborah Secor has graciously shared her entire pastel book on landscape painting for free. For those beginning with soft or even oil pastels the techniques and idea apply. There are 35 chapters to take you from the beginning to the end. I have studies different chapters of this book in detail and her style of explaining art is clear and easy to grasp. Her work on each topic, illustrated with pictures speak for themselves and I think this is a fantastic reference and resource whether you are a beginner or advance painter. Do check it out.
My blog is not just for sharing my new paintings but to also share such painting resources, reviews of products I use, my inspirations and so on. I'll try and keep it interesting for the masses cause at the end of the day art just makes for an interesting read.
Here it is my first tryst with soft pastels. I chose a scene that I took in Flagstaff on a clear day. It was a field of Amur maple flowers that bloom on a beautiful spring day with Mt. Elden in the background. Using this medium was a very different experience and I see myself working a lot with this medium. It is very soft and delicate so must be applied very carefully but patience is a virtue. Enjoy and Share !!!
New paintings added
The store has some new paintings added, oil pastels and acrylics and on the new paintings I have added a framed or unframed option of purchase. Pastels are harder to ship unframed but I've figured a way out for the interested ones you can do the framing on your own. If you are however interested in the framed version you will get the best professional framing through the website. Check it out and feel free to contact me with any questions you have. Thank you all for your continued support!!!
A medium that dates back to the 15th century during which it gained prominence, pastels are almost pure art pigment held together with small quantities of binder. This is very different from chalk. The pigments here are the actual chemical pigments used in water colors, oil paints and therefore the medium is regarded as one of the purest forms of color. Of course pastels from different vendors vary in pigment/binder ratio which naturally dictates the hardness and vibrancy of the pastel colors. When I started painting I did not even know there were different types of pastels. As a kid I associated pastels to a richer pigment loaded form of crayon. Later I realized that those constituted the class of oil pastels one of the late mediums in the timeline of paint mediums. The legacy of pastels begins with the french/soft pastels used by the likes of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and or course one of my favorites, Edgar Degas.
Tooth in your paper or canvas becomes a very important criteria with the soft pastels. Because they are almost pure pigment with no sort of gel or wax medium that enables application, the medium itself relies heavily on the grip (tooth) the paper can provide to hold on to the pigments. Therefore most people use sand paper or use a mix of acrylic gesso and pumice powder applied to another surface. One must of course keep in mind to watch your finger when you blend cause one could get carried away and before you know you are left with bleeding figures. Since I traditionally use Uart sanded paper for a lot of my oil paintings I was covered on that ground. Now for the pastels themselves.
There are a whole range of pastels when you start to shop. Some of the famous brands include Unison, Sennelier, Rembrant, Mongyo, Schmincke and so on. Keep in mind just like with mediums such as acrylics, oils and so on this medium relies on layering. Therefore one needs to put down the hard pastels first before you move on to the softer ones. For my work I use conte crayons and charcoal for the initial sketching, Rembrant pastels are my mediums and I selected Mungyo artists soft handmade pastels for my softs. I chose Mungyo based on several reviews stating that these have tremendous quality come close the Unison (widely regarded as the best pastels) but on a budget. Being new to the medium I did not want to spend a fortune but I also did not want to get cheaper quality run of the mill $20 box of pastels. I learn this lesson the hard way with oil pastels. In the picture you can see the Conte crayons and Rembrant pastels.
At Wanderlust Brewing Co.
Last year, May 2013, I had a chance to exhibit my paintings at the Wanderlust Brewing Co. The brewery is a fantastic place to hand out with an exquisite collection of craft beers and make for a great venue to exhibit art. Nathan the owner and brewmaster at Wanderlust had also taken the time to come up with a poster for the friday art walk featuring me and a fellow artist. ntroducing us. Just FYI I am Kumar in America :).
Flagstaff artists coalition
I had a chance to exhibit some of my paintings during the first friday art walk April 2013 at the flagstaff artists coalition gallery. It was pretty exciting meeting people visiting the art scene and talking to art collectors. Thats me standing in from of two of my paintings, "Splash" and "Rushing by". I hope to plan and exhibit more of my art this year !
"Lady in the city"
Here is my next piece, Lady in the city. I am now getting color into my cubist palette. Of course for this work I chose a challenging medium. Charcoal and oil pastels is like painting with the wrong side of a brush. Everything sticks to your hand and color goes everywhere. It becomes a challenge to avoid contamination. This is again a 9" x 12" piece done on charcoal paper.
"Madames" the next cubist work
Madames is my new cubist painting playing with the perspectives of a woman. This is a 9" x 12" charcoal painting done on acid free charcoal paper. Enjoy and all comments are welcome.
I am a self taught artist working with oil pastels, charcoal and acrylics. In my blog I share what inspires me and my work.