Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year End Post

Finally 2013 comes to an end. Its been an eventful year of art for me. And before saying bye to 2013 I thought I must share some experience with you, which you may find useful.
"Instead of trying to paint things using watercolor try to paint a watercolor using things".

I see many people trying to paint 'things' using watercolor. The thing may be a landscape, portrait, still life or any representational form or art. I also tend to do the same many times. But what experience has taught me is not to get into this trap of painting 'things' with watercolor. Instead it has taught me to paint a watercolor using the 'thing'. Guess its a little confusing. So let me explain.

Watercolor unlike other mediums has a mind of its own and it does like to do its own things on paper. Watercolor has a lifetime during which it moves freely on paper before drying (dying) and settling down on paper. Since its an alive medium trying to control it fully does not really lead to a fruitful relationship between the artist and the medium. It must be allowed to do its own things on paper. And if it is not allowed to do so then the painting does loose that watercolor charm. 

When people try to represent 'thing' using watercolor often they try to control it too much. Because they want the 'thing' on paper to look like the 'thing' in reality. But as soon as one thinks of creating a watercolor, where paint is allowed to do its own things there is a paradigm shift. The 'thing' is being used only as a reference and the artist is only creating a watercolor. Thought process is no more in terms of trees, branches, flowers, hills. It is now in terms of positive and negative shapes, tones, temperature, strokes, dry brush, wet in wet and things like that. Everything falls into place just because there is a change in approach.

Well this is what my experience has taught me. Further experience may teach me that all this is crap. But thats how life and art are. Everyday we are learning and I hope you find these learning useful.

Wish you all a very happy new year with this little snippet from Upanishad.

असतोमा सद्गमय। तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमया। 
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय॥ ॐ शांति शांति शांति - बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद्

Asato mā sad gamaya 
Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya 
Mṛtyormā amṛtam gamaya 
Aum śānti śānti śāntiḥ

meaning of which is - 

From ignorance, lead me to truth; 
From darkness, lead me to light; 
From death, lead me to immortality 
Aum peace, peace, peace

Coonoor - III
18 x 24 inches


Pat said...

Happy New Year, Prabal.
Your words ring true to me - wish you a fruitful year, with many more beautiful artworks xx

Studio at the Farm said...

Truly, we are all learning, all the time. :)
Happiest of New Years, Prabal!!!

_Frankb10 said...

Some wise words there Prabal.
I love your painting, such a lively and colourful work filled with light and dark, bravo!