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Why do I Paint

Why do I paint
Vandana, Artist @ Vivaart


What do I see in a painting? Frankly speaking I have no readymade answer to that question. But I will try to answer that question with the hope that I can find answers to the other questions that keep bothering me.

Why do I want to paint?
What do I want to paint?
As I observe the painting of the temple at Goa I can feel the stillness of the time and space that surrounded the temple at that moment when rain stopped after having drenched the earth with vigour for quite a while. I can see that in the reflections of the temple and its earthly hues in the puddles of water that held to the earth. I can see the reflections in the moist air that pervaded the space at that moment. I can very well feel and perceive the sounds of the water droplets as they drip from the branches into the puddles below. I can also see the marks left by the chiseling of the painter in the brush strokes that lead the eyes to the depths that the painter has created in that flat surfaced canvas.


Did I think of all that when I was painting?
I see similar brush strokes and the reflection in the Venice painting as well.


The objects in the Venice painting vary substantially from the ones in the Temple of Goa. And yet I see a commonality between the two. What is common to both the paintings is the loneliness that pervades every artiste’s heart. What can be found in common to both paintings is that urge to get connected to the larger world in order to get over the loneliness. There is that urge to express the presence of radiance of light and colour from amidst the darkness. Hope of life and the attempt to show the presence of God in the form of light and colours are common features of both the paintings.
Did I have all that in my mind as I was painting them?
It would be sheer hypocrisy to say that I had all this in my mind as I was painting them. It is far, far from the truth. I never have anything in my mind as I start my painting. I start with a subject in mind and start adding depth and colour to the painting. I am surrounded by life. You can see my brother and mother walking around the temple while my children and nieces were playing their little games all around bustling with energy.


In the midst of this I go on adding brush strokes the way Almighty goes on chiseling us humans before He is satisfied of the final form of US.
On the other hand it would be unnatural to say that I have started painting without anything in my mind. It may not be there in my mind but certainly there is a lot that got etched on my heart and those etchings and stirrings of the heart are the ones that found their way on to the canvas in the form of all those brush strokes.
It is better they say something. It is better they show something to the eye of the beholder. I wish I could have said something more. But that is all I have to say though I know that is not enough. I also know that the ones that remain unexpressed are what the observer sees in the painting, in the endless nooks and corners that a painting holds. I leave it to the people to discover some more. Is that not the purpose of Art ?


Both paintings in this article were bought by noted film actress and animal welfare activist Amala Akkineni ( when she visited the exhibition they were displayed at. Can you spot the Venice painting just behind us. We have passed it and come to my painting on Tambisurla

Amala Akkineni at Art exhibtion, April 2011
Film actress and Animal rights activist Amala Akkineni at Art exhibtion, April 2011