Walls- Do you like them bare or do you like putting up a thing or two- a piece of your story up where you and everybody else can see it?
All those who know me, know how I love personalizing my walls. A photograph of a trip here, a painting there, a wall quote, a souvenir… anything that’s a reminder of our journey and that fits in with the rest of the decor and does not seem like clutter. I find blank walls dreary. I always have. Yet, the wall in my living room’s been lying empty since we moved in 10 months ago.
The wall behind the sofa provided so much space and was such an essential part of the room, that I had to be careful with what I put up. It took me 10 long months to decide and get everybody else at home on board. So, after much ado, we came to a consensus that I would paint a picture for that wall. A canvas 4 feet by 3 feet was agreed upon. Fortunately the artist was given the freedom to decide the kind of painting. I had always wanted to do a knife painting; so knife it was. The remaining members of the family were given the job of selecting the picture from the many available on the net. They all agreed on a painting called ‘People Walking in Rain.’ It was unanimously voted as the ‘chosen one.’
Honestly I got cold feet when I saw the picture but after having invested in the canvas and the paints, there was no chickening out. I had to do it. Under the guidance of my art teacher ofcourse as I have never done this art form before.
So I sent it to my art teacher who thankfully, had more confidence in me than I had in myself. Or maybe, it was the confidence she had in herself. I can only say I am fortunate to have found her in big Mumbai. A true inspiration. She is passionate about what she does, generous in sharing information and is a good teacher. She gets the best out of her students by refusing to touch their work. There were times though her refusal to help me fix my work got me agitated and made my ears red ( that’s just something that happens to me when I’m frustrated and its beyond my control sadly).
‘Draw the picture on your canvas,’ she said
I looked at my picture. There was nothing to draw except an outline of the road; which I did. I looked up at her helplessly.
‘Shade the colors you see on your picture, on the canvas’
Using acrylic paint I covered the canvas with the colors I saw on the picture – a blob of blue, a blob of green, then yellow. It was easy and I was happy with the canvas covered.
Then came the knife.
‘1 knife, same stroke, fill up the sky with the colors you see,’ came the teacher’s instruction.
Class 3, 4, 5 all I did was paint the sky. Take the knife, take paint, put it on the canvas. Take some more paint and again make a stroke. A slow process. And after class 3, 4 and 5 I still had no idea what was happening. Well, I got so tired of it that I did not go to class for a week after that. It felt like I was painting Pangaea (the earth before it split up). Somewhere in between, I realized that I had painted blue even in the road area and I couldn’t go on without fixing it but the teacher said I had to complete the sky first. I bunked.
And when I returned after a week, I told the teacher, I had to do the road because I was so sick of the sky. Thankfully, she had forgotten about the sky and said I could.
‘You need to use another knife and keep taking the paint and using it like you’d apply the frosting on a cake.’
So I started again, feeling so much better on the ground than when I was up in the sky (Another reason, why I know I’m a grounded person 😉 Don’t tell me its a poor joke. I know!) Anyways, painting browns felt better than random blues, yellows, reds and green.
9 hours of painting on the 8th class, the canvas started making sense and the picture started coming alive. This painting tested my patience and I don’t think I fared well. But 6 hours later, this was the result.
And here, it is framed and up on the wall
The painting took me 15 hours to do. I loved the result so much that I did one more later for my daughter’s room.
I’m tempted to stick to knife painting. I love the depth and enjoy the process of dabbing the paint on the canvas. What do you’ll think of it? Are you tempted to try or have you tried already? Looking forward to hearing from you.
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