My tryst with painters
August 11, 2012
at 11.30pm – way past my bed-time.
After meeting two painters – my dear friend Archana and Sheena (whom I got
introduced to only a couple of hours earlier and have added on to my friends’ list) my
inner palette is blushing in different hues.
I realised how little I knew of a divine art form. Today I learnt painting jargon (got
many more to comprehend) and understood that one need not start by copying
pictures to paint; that brushes are not the only tool used (how naive of me); why oil
on canvas is considered superior, among several other colourful facts?
The shades of ignorance in me began cloaking itself the moment I strolled into Blu’s
(Archana’s) venue… A whiff of serenity settled in. A calmness that tested my beliefs.
One that challenged the spirit.
I thought it was the ambience until I stood close to the canvases. From atop tall stands stood nature’s untouched beauty and pink skies to the sluggish marshes, love peonies and the mysterious yellow river. There was even a flying horse. Each one spoke to me. In each one I saw a world unto itself.
That’s when the bearded man bared his soul. Something in him tugged at me. And Blu
explained how he took life. That was coffee powder on canvas! Wow! If I was jolted
wild on learning coffee could be a medium, too, then I was awed at the minute details
my artist friend captured. I noticed a tiny little button on his shirt which I felt secured
inside his deep feelings of hurt, the reasons for his dishevelled crop of hair and
unkempt beard. From the contours of his jaws I heard him scream a thousand silent
words. I wondered what he ached to share…
Two-and-a-half hours later as I walked out of the venue, I couldn’t help but look at
him once again – this time from a distance. And lo! my coffee man appeared to smile
I stand humbled beneath the magical canopy that painters create!
From there I went to meet Sheena whose portraits jumped with life. If Sheikh Zayed
exuded royalty, then the simple act of a mother applying henna on her grown-up
daughter’s hair oozed maternal love. And the two kids whose naughtiness and
innocence sparkled through their eyes made me ask her questions to the techniques
It was in stark contrast to that of Blu’s. And it had to be so, I soon realised because
Blu is a self-confessed non-conformist, and Sheena abides by guidelines. But the
difference ended there. For the simple reason that their arena encourages only free
Only those who garner courage to tear themselves off from the mundane hooks, and
desperately wander in ether yearning to conceive concepts that they passionately nurture to full term until they relieve themselves on canvases, can be called painters.
Only they are artists!
PS: Archana’s exhibition is on at Raddison Blu, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, for another week. Don’t miss an enriching experience.