In the quest of developing style, we often look back in history. We often look at what the masters have done.
The last few weeks have been creatively fulfilling for me. Before this, I was making videos, I was writing blog posts. I was living life, experiencing all sorts of emotions. And then suddenly, there was this shift. This Holi (Mar 2019), in Mu Sigma they held this event where we were given paints and papers to have fun and paint something. While I was in the cafeteria that day, toying with acrylic colors, I realized how much I loved colors. How much I liked manipulating colors into forms and shapes. And thus was unleashed a new course of creativity.
I started making paintings. My experience with the camera had taught me that I needed to observe the world lot more than I was doing. That underscored the need to paint. When you paint, you need to pay closer attention to the game of light and shadows; to how colors blend into each other; to the lines, shapes and forms of the natural world.
As I am working to make my paintings better, I am focusing on researching about the art movements of the past. I have been watching videos on Impressionism, Van Gogh, Matisse. Today, I watched a documentary on Picasso. Frankly speaking, I had known Picasso only for his jarring modern art, and until I watched this video, I used to think of the art he created as grotesque, and gibberish which a child could do. My general understanding of modern art, until the last few weeks, was that people who could not paint realistic painting just sought resort in modern art. I did not understand modern art. In fact, a lot us don’t understand modern art.
My notions have been changing as I have been learning more about the art movements. But I think it became clearer as I learnt about Picasso today. He was perfectly capable of drawing realistic traditional art as early as 16 years of age. When you look from his perspective, of flattening things out, bringing multiple perspectives in 2D plane, you realize that it must not have been easy to do that. It’s not about painting a deformed nose that a child could also paint. It is about painting the nose that way while being aware why it fits the genre, the style of the painting. It was deliberate, and it was ground-breaking. Finding a genre is not easy. Inspiring generations of artists is not easy.
And hence, in my journey of finding style, I am getting to meet the masters who found their style through hard work, meticulous deliberation and extreme experimentation. Maybe, I’ll find my voice too. But before that happens, I gotta put in those hours.