While I was painting this, Rock-man and the Ship, Oil on Canvas, I was not more than a curious student of the art of painting. But after cleaning my hands on almost a dozen of such landscapes, I had found that I had befriended the colours. The hues of blue and red had started talking with me about their characteristics. Now I can say that I can paint with ease and the blank canvass does not send me into shivers as it used to be in past.
After executing twenty or so landscapes like this one, I had learnt the meaning of the word ‘spontaneity’. I had learnt a bit about how an individual colour would respond to its adjoining colours and how a chiaroscuro would be created. By practice we learn how to exploit a particular attribute, the inherent characteristic, of a colour.
However every dog, or every cat, has his or her days. Mine also came. It was surprise for all of my family members when one of my teachers found me painting landscapes with coloured pencils. She saw my work on drawing papers. She liked it, and she licked it into my family circles. That was the first recognition as a possible artist. This incident gave relief to my mother, as she had stopped worrying about my unaccounted hours. My father was uncommitted as usual. But I found one change: my pocket money was doubled. It enabled me to pay the costs of colours and drawings paper.
I tell you this because such could be the story of many of the budding artists. Some of them might be unfortunate to get any opportunity to excel or a have pat on their backs. In college day I went through two major happenings. One was to award me a life long unhappiness, the life long mortgage of my freedom. And another showered upon me a life long happiness: I met my future wife in college days; and for happiness I thank my college library that helped me meeting the writings of great artists.
I went through the big volumes of art books containing the experiences these artists went through. I read about all the techniques they used while using the colours, I went through the minute details about how these artists handled their paint brushes and how passionately they stood before the canvases, for days and months together. I read all these materials, stroke by stroke, dash by dash, drop by drop; I was a ‘round-the-clock’ reader in those days.
My Art Lessons: The first phase of my learning the oil painting was well below the expected level. The reasons were not far; they were within me, the artist in hurry. My hurried grasp of the brushes, my splashing of the colours as my impulse told me, and my carelessness in learning the art of painting step-by-step contributed to my initial failures in getting some recognition from other fellow artists. I should have used out several dozens of pencils and a score of watercolour tubes, had I decided to enter the realm of oil painting seriously.
But I took no time to learn many things attached with oil paintings. The first rejection from a local gallery was sufficient to teach me the things I needed to learn. When I looked at my paintings I found the crowded details that had made my paintings ‘nicely clogged’, generating the smiling displeasure in the viewers’ minds. But when I looked at the faces of my friends, and the fellow artists who looked at my paintings with expectations in their eyes, I felt need for renouncing my approach of a ‘casual artist’. The ‘Art’ descends in you only when you make it a case of life and death: that was what I learned in those days.
The above painting is the first painting, Indian Landscape, I had painted after learning some basic concepts attached with the art of painting in general and the art of oil painting in particular. I had painted this 36” X 24” sized frame on self-made canvass in 1995. All of the above paintings, size 36" x 24", "Oil on Canvas" were painted in 1995. This paintings were also exhibited in two of my exhibitions.