Some experiences are truly life changing. They are a breath of fresh air, sometimes exactly what you need at that very point of time. They leave you with a fresh perspective, new ideas and a different view towards life altogether.
As proud as I may sound, I am sure I have been lucky enough to experience one of them. Starting from the day I penned down my dream, I was in love with it. I had never imagined that my post graduation could give me an opportunity to actually discover myself! (Till then, it was just Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for me). And to be very honest, however composed I was at the crust, a part of me was waiting so impatiently for the results of the first round to be declared. And of course I was ecstatic, unaware of the exhilaration and a strange sense of satisfaction that I would be experiencing in a few months time.
And that’s that.
It has been an inexplicable journey.
A lot of people have asked me why I chose Spain. (Especially my mum, I think her happiest moment was when my flight landed at Delhi). To be very honest, I think till now, I was never able to give her a convincing answer. Her argument “if you want to learn art, you can do it here as well” seemed logical even then. For me, Spain had a structured painting holiday, which seemed nearly perfect coupled with a rich art history. A new place, new people: something that I had been yearning for.
And maybe it was perfect.
Spain was more than what I could have asked for. Sometimes, the very small things in life end up being really big. And it is these small instances which leave an indelible mark. So right from simply talking to my group mates, lending a perspective to each painting and adding my own views to being a part of the process of making a painting (whether it was mine, or somebody else’s), to simply standing back and appreciating art in silence. It may seem trivial, but it wasn’t. At all.
I think it was important for me to do this. To just take the plunge. To go to a new country and not worry about how it would work out. To just say ‘yes’ to each day and take it as it comes.
And I am glad I did it.
And the best part? The change.
Each day, even as I walk around my campus, it seems entirely different. Not the way I used to look at it earlier. It’s about noticing the trees along the road, especially the ones without leaves with their intertwined branches, standing upright merrily against the dark sky. It’s about those pink flowers in the pot along the circle, against the sunlight. It’s about the path, leading to the ‘Top of the World’. There are paintings waiting to happen, waiting to be made.
And that is what lends a fresh perspective. Discovering my surroundings and my space. To being mesmerized by the simplest of things. To thinking beyond the humdrum of my daily routine and lending some time for just being myself. And yes Mom, I don’t need to go to a different continent for that. I just need to be me. And Spain was for me to realize that :)
As I look back, each thing Caroline said makes perfect sense. One of them, that I explicitly remember is, “I am not here to teach you painting, I am here to make you a painter”.
I am happy to have learnt acrylics, the techniques and the strokes. I am happy to have learnt about composition and structure. But more than that, I am ecstatic to have learnt about things that she truly wanted me to understand, which can’t be taught. Things which bring me closer to being a painter.