Monday, May 16, 2016

Another Muse - Indian Textiles

So, it's been a bit too long since my last blog post. Spring has become busy!  I have been working steadily on pieces for my first exhibition!  It's coming to Tokyo September 30, October 1 and 2 this Fall.  I am nervous most of the time, excited some of the time and thinking "What the hell am I doing?! and wondering if I have become audacious and arrogant" all the other times.

For those of you who are not as familiar with the oil medium, once an oil painting is finished, it can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months to completely dry (depending on how many layers of oil and how thick it is) before it can be "sealed" or varnished.  This protects the painting from everyday type of damage.  So, if I have an exhibition in September, I need to be finished with a painting by June, at the latest.  Hence; Spring has been a very busy season.

It is exciting to create.  I work on multiple pieces of artwork at the same time, so I can put aside a painting for a layer to dry and easily pick up another one.  At the same time, it is scary to create.

Art - like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder.  Everyone comes to view a painting or piece of art with a different frame of reference.  These views are influenced by a person's environment, a person's past, goals, desires.  The combination of all of these factors - when put together - culminate in individuality.  So, for an artist - appealing to the "masses"?  There really is no such thing.  Something we learn to accept over time... and making it scary to create for public display.

The default becomes what the artist loves.  Creation of any artwork is an individual journey - no two artists go through the same one.  Which is why someone once said,

"When you buy something from an artist you're buying more than an object.  You're buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy.  You're not buying just one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul... a small piece of someone else's life."

My inspiration for my upcoming exhibition is rooted in my ethnic heritage.  Growing up, I always loved the designs and textiles of India.  The cotton, the silks, the unique combination of colors that would lend to festivity and joy.  In the part of India that carries my ethnic heritage, black was always considered a morbid color - and something I was always discouraged from wearing.  White was and is still considered a color of mourning.  Associated with peace and worn at memorial services/ cremations; widows also wear white.

Every other color in between is splashed across wonderful and intricate designs, yards of beautiful fabric meant to drape and adorn the Indian woman (and man).  It is within these colors and designs that I have found my inspiration for my first exhibition.  Intricate designs and embroidery are interwoven into the fabric and there is no description for it - so the only thing to do is to actually show you....  (these photos were taken from the internet)




I love the color!  Using the textile borders and appliques that are used in saris and other indian clothing I have incorporated the designs into the composition of my artwork.  I am excited as it blends three of my favorite things - the textiles, the designs and painting!  I will give you a sneak peak at a few of them!  And hope that you will be able to view my exhibition in the Fall!

Oil and Textile on Gold Leaf on Board

Appliques and Oil on Canvas

Textile, Copper Leaf and Oil on Canvas

Textile, Green Metal Leaf and Oil on Canvas

Please stay tuned for my future blog posts where I introduce you to greater detail regarding Indian Textiles and designs.  Until then!

Peace. ART. Soul.
Rajul

R. Shah Studio
rajul@rshah-studio.com