Monday, 28 January 2013

Day 3 : Being (A)live.

Dear Diary
Today was almost like getting up in the hostel. (Ofcourse, not entirely). I dragged myself out of (a softer) bed as late as possible, tired and groggy, and reached the studio just in time!
I really don’t know why, but after two extremely fulfilling days, I somehow didn’t enter the studio with the same enthusiasm that I had the previous days. Painting, as simple as it may seem, can be extremely draining, mentally and physically.
Well, anyway, as I entered, Alex was getting our easels ready. We were going to be painting outdoors today! A Live painting! Woah. I can’t deny I had a mix of emotions. It seemed interesting, fun but tough. And more than that, I thought, “why today? I am so not going to get this right”.
We went to a park. The aim was to learn tonal values.
To my surprise, before Caroline began, she said “if anyone of you is feeling tired, or homesick, or just not particularly happy, its normal. It usually happens on Day 3 or 4”
And so we began.

Believe it or not, but painting outdoors can be a tricky process. I guess the key lies in keeping it simple. Choosing a certain number of elements from the scene and working on it.

More than just learning about tones, I think a change in perspective came about after this day. Caroline’s program was true to its word, it actually brings out the artist in you. It’s when you start noticing not just one green, but the shades of green, the hues of yellows, the sunlight falling on the leaves lending its own charm, the beauty of the drooping lilies, and the temptation to paint all of that in one!
And that is where the beauty lies. In each one’s interpretation. In each one’s thought.

I remember when I was asked in Godrej LOUD about my passion for painting and how it all came about.. I had shared a childhood story with them wherein I actually used to come up with my best sketches and paintings when I used to be in the worst possible mood!  

I probably did it again.
I also probably figured out the reason behind it. Painting is about taking risks. (No, I am not eccentric). It is. It’s about exploring and experimenting, whether it’s with the colours, or with the brush strokes.
It’s when you take command of the brush, of each and every movement that you create, when the strokes become bold, and when everything else around you is put on hold. That is what makes a masterpiece.
And maybe, that’s what I did unconsciously that day. And I did get it right!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Day 2 - The Abstrack!

Dear Diary
Feliz Navidad!
Waking up to a Christmas morning in Spain can be quite exciting and I was really looking forward to the day. As I rushed to the studio at 10AM (yes, I took the liberty to get up late, and I missed my walk at the beach), the festivity and spirit could be felt in the air. I was surprised to see people walking down the street wishing me ‘Happy Christmas’ as well!
While it was officially a holiday, we had decided to paint till the afternoon and then head for the much awaited extravagant Christmas feast! We had planned to learn abstracts today. To be honest, I was nervous. While painting on the canvas for the first time was actually very exciting, abstract painting is very challenging.     
As a kid, I remember when my sister used to make an abstract design, I’d find it extremely hard to make a head or a tail out of it and I took my own time to start appreciating it. For most people [I realized this when I was showing my paintings to my (left brained :P) friends as well], they said “abstract art is probably not art.” “Does it serve a purpose?” “I can put any stroke on a canvas and say it’s abstract. Then what?”
So while I took on the herculean task to work on my first abstract painting, I was thinking about what I wanted to show, what colour combinations I wanted to use (bold or pastel or a mix), how I wanted to go about it. But unconsciously, throughout the process, I think it was this day when I truly learnt about ‘art’ and about ‘YOU’ being in a painting.
Abstract art, according to me, definitely has more freedom and shows a lot of passion and energy. But it’s not without rules or limits. Trust me, there is a lot of theory there too. And I got notes to read on it!
And more importantly, what’s the fun of painting what you see everyday? Real artists paint new pictures. They try to bring their artistic talent in what they do. And each of us needs a form or expression which is more than plain simple words! Are all of us artists? Well, maybe yes! We creatively express ourselves when we speak, when we write, when we tell a joke, when we decide what to wear, when we dance, when we paint.

After the enriching lesson, we went to Beckitt’s Bar and Restaurant (a favourite among Marbellans). And, quite a feast it was. I will always marvel at the amount of time people spend on a meal (and a special 4.5 hours on Christmas) and relate it to the 10 minutes deadline dinner I’ve had in the first few days of my MBA.
3 things I learnt:
(a)  English on the menu should not be taken for granted. It is rare, possibly a Christmas blessing
(b)  Vegetarian is not a word in the European dictionary
(c)  Good food plus great presentation equals half a day of eating
Now follows my exotic feast

Duck Liver Paˆte΄ with toasted Brioche, apricot and cranberry compote
Fillet of Free Range Chicken with a cream pepper sauce and spring onion potato pure΄e
Christmas pudding with brandy sauce

By the end, I was just bucket full, hoping I would reach the studio on time the next day!