Flashlight / Snakes & Lotuses
Snakes & Lotuses 1 | Acrylics on Canvas | 12″ x 10″
Snakes & lotuses 2 | Acrylics on Canvas | 12″ x 10″
I’m excited! I have found a homogenous way to move from still lifes, to my sketches to compositions. In the last week I concentrated on still-lifes with oils/acrylics on canvas. It was liberating and intimidating to paint – I seemed to have forgotten how to even hold my brush…but I think it was all buried somewhere and has re-surfaced again.
I am working on 4 paintings simultaneously. Starting with the Flashlight Duo – I painted the first one very deliberately, adding and removing paint, correcting, erasing – all very carefully. With the second one, I worked very spontaneously. Scribbling with charcoal, layering paint thickly and just grasping the ‘real’ object. Looking at it as something that lived and spoke to me – something with real meaning. I ended up writing some free-form poetry directly onto the canvas too…this is a work-in-progress. I should have them completed this week.
With the Snakes and Lotuses Duo I think I am making the transition from just the external aspect of the object in the still-life (S&L 1) through to its symbolic meaning (S&L 2). The pink lamp head the perfect lotus, the black wire the shadowy snake. It took some time to realise what the object meant. A lot of re-working, scratching and searching before hitting upon it.
The Snakes & Lotuses theme comes from a series of sketches made in my poetry book late 2006. During this time I constantly drew images of a girl surrounded by, strangled by snakes, while lotuses rained on her. I’m not sure how I hit upon these symbols – they evolved from my mental state then. I felt strangled, choked slowly insidiously by everything and the everyday around me (snakes?). In this dark time I found in my poetry, in the act of drawing and in the everyday, small glimpses of beauty, hope and light (lotuses?). Yep I think all this was during the process of my agonisingly slow break-up with Abhi.
Snakes & Lotuses 2 is just in its very first stage. I work directly on the canvas with paint. The girl in pink – shrouded in a saree stares out at the world with her lotus eyes. Her demons (snakes) that will surround her is yet to come in. Again a work-in-progress.