As you walk around any city/town, seeing unknown faces; some happy, some sad, some worried, some tensed, some content…one doesn’t really know the internal talent and hidden traits of those unfamiliar faces. Every encounter and every meeting is unique in its own way and not to forget every person has something worth learning.
One such explore on my social media feed led me to a gifted artist- Asha Suresh. What compelled me to interview her? Some paintings talk to you, they have an attraction which moves a person to know more about the idea behind the work and the artist of course. Thus, began my quest to talk to Asha about her world of vibrant colors and her affinity towards her passion.
One lazy afternoon I visited her home which is an art reverie, she has systematically placed her pieces around her house giving a sense of personal touch to her home and expressing her love for all things arty. A dedicated art room displays her work which inspires people to explore their skills and involve themselves in something more meaningful. There are only a handful of people who believe that everyone has an artist within them. I laughed and told Asha about my interest in arts but lack of required skills and she smiled and replied, “Try it, I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself and go home with your own little piece.”
As a little girl, Asha was fascinated by sketching and bright colors. She went on to do her professional course and worked with corporates as a psychiatric counselor and also contributed to social service. While she was in Bengaluru she took painting classes and learned glass painting, oil painting, and tangible painting, she realized she had a knack for artsy things but the corporate world pulled her back and she resumed her job; until four years back when she completely gave up her corporate career and dedicated her life to what she loves and feels deeply for- Paintings!
“George Fernandes from Flora institute in Trivandrum was the one who sparked my interest back again. I took some professional courses as well, learned Kerala mural art, coffee painting and a lot more… since then it has just been painting for me. A hobby which turned into a full-time passion.” Asha happily explains.
Asha’s most cherished piece is her first glass painting of a dancing lady which she made while she was in Bengaluru, she laughs about it and calls it artistically amateur but still considers it extremely special as it was her first piece. Unfortunately, while moving countries the painting got damaged. Nevertheless, that remembrance of her work makes her nostalgic as it was her first formal piece.
Depicting the grace of women and portraying their feminine postures defines her style and passion for art. Most of her work signifies contemporary women, portraits of petite powerful lady figures, landscape and nature-inspired paintings. Asha also finds a sense of connection and peace as she tries her hand in making mandalas. She describes it by saying, “It is a very intuitive form of art, I don’t have to pre-decide, it just flows from my mind to my heart and finally to my canvas. The entire process is soothing and gratifying.”
Below is her most cherished piece of art which Asha describes as her ‘opportunities to conduct workshops for a multicultural group of art enthusiasts’. This painting is a dedication to the fact that art is universal, it doesn’t see the barriers of ethnicity and culture, it just sees a sense of ‘purpose’, people come together to satisfy their artistic inner being. Her vision to make art more of a dreamers’ independent world and less of a commercial entity made me eager to know how she plans to open her mind and doors for others who want to dive in the tranquility of artistic escapade.
‘Encouraging’, according to Asha. She considers herself poor in marketing her work but is extremely happy with the way she’s seen the art scene develop in India and UAE. “People are more appreciative and value art, they see a sense of creativity and analyze the background of the work. The art scene has become quite nurturing and there are talented people all around. There’s so much to learn and explore. I have been trained in India so my subjects are majorly influenced by Indian style. I’m trying to widen the scope of my subjects by creating more abstract and universally acceptable and understandable pieces. There is always an ongoing conflict, do you paint for yourself or your audience?” she adds.
Asha is in awe of the famous artist Raja Ravi Varma and she likes the way he portrays women in his paintings; every inch of detailing and the alluring depiction of feminine figures inspired by real women is what makes his work stand out from the rest. She has tried to replicate one of his work as well. Asha also appreciates the work of Leonid Afremov, a Russian- Israeli impressionistic artist who works mainly with palette knife and oils.
As I spoke to Asha about her inspirations, I sensed a spark in her eyes; she had a vision, a deep-rooted urge to unfold and expand her artistic capabilities and create a platform where other budding artists and beginners can express themselves through their work. As positive as her words sounded, so did her work exemplify. The impeccable blend of vibrant and eye-captivating colors carefully positioned on the canvas made my heart rejoice.
I’m always eager to know what an artist thinks once the canvas is in front of them, Is it a rush of emotions or is it planned? Asha believes in resourcefully using her time thinking about what she wants to paint and have a concept in mind well in advance. As soon as she’s in front of her canvas she exactly knows what has to be painted. She spends days, and sometimes weeks thinking about her potential piece and subject. She says, “I sometimes start painting one day and then the next day I feel it’s not what I imagined and then I start from scratch, I can’t compromise on what I feel for. Till the time my concept doesn’t reflect on my canvas I keep working on it.”
One of the most empowering and encouraging ways of spreading art for Asha has been through her workshops. She believes that every person is blessed with an innate talent to create something, and igniting that spark is what she aims to achieve through her art session. The workshop is usually for beginners where she teaches them acrylic painting. It all begins with selecting a reference picture and then teaching the students basic techniques to achieve the perfect strokes. Asha helps the fellow workshop members to complete a basic painting in one session; a platform for amateurs to discover their caliber and get in touch with their inner artist. Asha feels ecstatic to see people enjoy their session and complete the workshop feeling proud and content about their work. She says, “I feel delighted to see people leave the workshop with not just their painting, but with an oozing confidence and inner sense of achievement.”
There are times when one questions themselves about their capabilities and drawbacks which leads to lack of confidence and a negative attitude without even trying. Asha is spreading a strong message through her workshop- ‘blocks aren’t in skills they are just in the mind’.
When an artist lifts their brush it’s a different world; a world without restrictions and judgments; a world as spectacular as a dream; a world made of ideas; a world away from this chaotic world.
As I bid her a farewell, I promised myself to stir the art fanatic within me and try holding a brush to create strokes that I love. After all, we all are created to create.
Visit her website – www.aashcreations.com