I've been painting all my life. It was always something special that I did, that separated me from the rest of the kids at school in that I was always the best in class when it came to making pictures, or crafts of any sort. It came out of the fact that I practised more.. that and perhaps a mixture of genes and upbringing environment.
I had no formal training. I was sent to some arts private lessons when I was around ten years old.. but that went awry because the teacher wouldn't let me listen to music while I painted. So that endeavour was soon abandoned. I realise now that what I know currently is nothing that could have been taught to me. No amount of theorising about the colour wheel could have made its real value click, until I saw it myself in my mind's eye, and until I was mature enough to capture this knowledge and use it.
I don't know how I came to paint in the style. I have so many inspirations - tonnes of artists I admire, crossing time (I love Giotto, Botticelli, Rennie macintosh, Taroop, Balthus) and space (Hokusai, old indian art). I think my most powerful influence in Balthus, because I always wish to create the silence and mystery he himself depicted so successfully.
I think therefore I paint. I believe that my real reason for creating art is that it is simply a way of expressing my ideas. I have a lot to say - I want to tease, to complain, to reflect, to create mystery, to make jokes, to express sorrow and longing, pain and joy - this I bring about in the mini-narratives or captured moments I create. For me, the idea comes first - then composition, colour, style - those are things which come later and which time and practise have caused to come naturally to me.
I always say that my art is not complete without people looking at it. Without observers, it is like that noise in the forest with no one to hear it - I feel that when people look away, when nobody's looking, its meaning and therefore, its very self, disappears. So my art needs other people to work - for this reason, I am ever exhibiting my paintings. To me, the wonder is the moment when other people see it - I feel intense satisfaction. In this respect, for me painting is truly a method of communication.
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