Monday, February 16, 2009

Frequently Asked Question

One of the questions most frequently asked of an artist is 'How long does it take you to paint something?' I am someone who needs a lot of 'incubation period'! I will think about a subject, play around with composition in my head long before I even attempt to sketch or paint it. Even then, all that planning and thinking doesn't really guarantee that my painting will look like what I imagined it to be - and I get a surprise myself! Fortunately or unfortunately lots of them don't even make it to paper. And then there are some paintings which just pour out of my brushes as if they have a life of their own! Sometimes I will take a piece out years later and work on it some more to make it just right (or ruin it completely!) So, in my case, how long does it take is anybody's guess.

Flying Fun - (22" x 30") was on hold for many years. I had barely started it in a workshop by Doug Walton. I was at loss as to how to complete it then using what I had learnt during that week and struggled with it for a long time. Once every few months I would pull it out look at it and try to resolve it. Along the way the watercolor painting was transformed to a mixed media piece as I used crayons, pastels, acrylic and gouche. Meanwhile I painted two other paintings School's Out and Fishing Eyes using parts of this composition.
I realized how much of a luxury of time I have been enjoying as I watched a video Paintbrush in hand and Nothing to loose in New York Times web site on artist Cordula Volkening. Doctors have given Cordula Volkening, a Brooklyn mother of two, three months to live because of brain cancer. She has decided to forgo one more round of treatment. Rather than lose her ability to paint in the last few months of her life, she has found solace in painting. She is painting furiously so she can sell as many as she can with the proceeds going to her children.
I know I will now be painting with a renewed sense of committment as I keep her in my prayers.


sanjeev joshi said...

both your painting and write up are very touching.Time is called as fourth dimention!! so we all are painting in 3D if we count time as one dimention!

meera said...

Thank you very much! I like your explanation that we all are painting in 3-d :)

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