Cornfield with cypress trees by Vincent van Gogh
I was waiting in front of MMB for my friend, when it was evident to me that he would be late(but in fact the moron wasn't even coming). I decided on passing my time at the adjacent Jahangir Arts Gallery at Kala Ghoda. I had been there before ofcourse, on two occassions to be precise... once back in 4th grade when my my close relative, Mr. Harish Raut (one of the most prominent Indian painters) had exhibited his paintings, and later in 10th grade when, soon after his heavenbound departure, all my close relatives decided to auction off his remaining master peices. But in those times, I was a mere guest, and not really interested in any arts. But now, for the first time, I entered the gallery of my own free will, although not expecting much. After entering the right sided gallery(I can't recall the name of the hall).
I witnessed massive painting of nude village women clad in translucent silky cloth along contemporary Indian countryside. The paintings were quiet large, such that the painted women were looking twice my size. It was quiet an enthralling scene, and no wonder the price tag was exceeding 70 grand. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't excited by virtue of the naked ladies or the obscenity, but the minute details which the artist had emphasised on, along with the huge shape of the more than life sized drawings. It was by no means pornography, and you'll agree with me if you see them yourself. I later managed to get myself out of the hall (reluctantly ofcourse, because I thought I'd be looking like a pervert, staring at the breasts) and I went on to the left sided gallery.
I never seen anything like it before. The paintings here were much smaller, and again of contemporart Indian era, but the colours actually seemed as if exploding out of the frame, everytime you put your eyes on the paintings. I guess it was the combination of strokes that must have done it, but the subject was quite simple, and the meaning of the scene could be clearly understood by reading the titles of each painting. There were forty or such in the gallery, and even several of them were water coloured. I then knew, why men spend millions of dollars on such paintings, as they are priceless. If I had the money, I would have definately bought one then and there(I swear I am going to make it my indulgence one day).
Shashikant Bane's works on display at Jahangir art Gallery
It sparked a whole new interest in me and I approached the artist, Mr. Shashikant Bane, who was standing at the centre of the gallery. I told him, after looking at his paintings, I wished to paint my own. I guessed it would be difficult ofcourse, since I was never much of a painter in my teens, having never appeared for those 'Elementary' and 'Intermediate' exams in my schools. But he said it wasn't necessary, and that I could start working on painting from scratch, at any age as I pleased to do. He told me to begin with pencil sketching first and then on canvas with oil paints. The advantage of using oil paints on canvas is that you can always, make amendments to your drawing within 24 hours, and even correct mistakes, especially while you are working on faces. Water colours make it more difficult as you can't make major changes.
So I have decided, I'll be working on my very first painting from november, now that I am through with sketching and shading already. I'll be painting my favourite scene, i.e a naked girl in bed... just awake, with hair disheveled, and narrowly revealing her breasts from the matress. The face I guess will be the the most difficult part, as even a tiny bit of mistake changes the entire personality, so I will procrastinate the task till the end. And I will also add a tattoo... though where exactly and what kind of tatoo, I haven't yet decided. But I am definately into painting now. It would have been better perhaps if I were to get someone to pose for me, but I shouldn't be too optimistic about it...
A Painting by John Fischer