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Why I do what I do

This website will give you a glimpse into my work as an artist,  community builder and activist. I have been negotiating the world through the lens of a creative entrepreneur for the last two decades. It's been a wonderful journey with a lot of learning and collaborating with people I deeply respect.
In the coming years, I believe that creative thinkers will be crucial to document, stitch, hold and present the world. We are at the very edge of collapse on one side, and of a future that can spin out into unimaginable wonders on the other. I believe we can get to the happier side by working together!

Three | Wall : Work-in-Progress

March 5th, 2008

Complete Canvas:


I have created floral (lotus) textures over the green of the background. The third self on the right is completed. I was trying to get her to look evil, masculine, angry, stiff, firm. Any success?
Over the next week I will work on the bodies of the three figures. Work on the background detailing and add in a snake coiled around the right girls’ outstretched arm.
Nirali – I know that this background flies in the face of your suggestion of working with perspective…but I really wanted to try this textile feel to it. Almost like cascading lotuses.Besides it’s summer and all the flowers are ion full bloom. They are crazy beautiful and super super inspiring!!! Perhaps with my next painting I’ll attempt a more ‘real’ landscape. To be honest though, I’ve never really been turned on by basic landscapes.


This is the latest on the Wall. Im slowly trying to submerge the face…perhaps both will completely disappear over time. The idea is to work texturally on the surface…similar to my previous Cityscapes series and then work in my sketches over time. Will have to see how this evolves.


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  • hey, the painting is coming along really nicely. The figure on the right does look mean and stiff – like you wanted. In fact, both the figures to the right look protective of the figure on the left. I really cant wait to see the finished piece. This is the first piece you’re working on so slowly and deliberately, and it definitely is showing your hard work!
    This is kind of an obvious statement, but are you thinking colour for different aspects of you? To show emotion?
    Also, as you’re working on the background, its starting to pop forward and become flat. Is this deliberate? How about advancing backgrounds for parts that you want to seem as possessive? Choking – as you said in your last series.
    I dont know if I see you painting more realistic landscapes.. seems like you’re doing really well stylizing, and I think this is working very well for you. I feel that some meaning and symbolism might be lost for you if you try to work realistically. Think Henri Rousseau. So, here I will disagree with Nirodh.
    For the wall painting, I really like how its coming along. I can see you wrestling with it, and that in itself is wonderful. This is building layers, and depth, giving a story on its own, and definitely making it poles apart from flat “dhaba” paintings, that are completely flat with no layers. I like the city aspect. Wonderful to see the red peeking through the yellow that drips down the front.
    Nice depth with the building windows too.
    Good stuff Arch. You’re definitely having a great time painting.
    The canvas painting is really super deliberate in comparison, and I think it could benefit from some looseness and “drips”, like in the wall painting. Good stuff!

  • pooj, thanks da! your comments are always super good and thought provoking :)
    Three is a highly deliberate and constructed painting. It is a study in the end. More and more I find part of me enjoys this deliberate, slow process. And another that really wants to tear it up and go crazy over it you know! Like once its finished, just cover it up with some paint splashes…just dont think I have the balls to do that though. On the other hand I have been thinking that I will take the same composition, or similar and do a more ‘simplified’ version of it. In that see how I can start to abstract it…
    You comment on the background is reassuring. I have been a bit uncomfortable to go realistic all the way. I need to be telling a strange story. And with even the figures, I have them posing, caught mid-gesture in a tableaux of a stolen moment. I can’t wait for it to dry to slap in the next ‘finishing’ elements that will hopefully embellish the narrative.
    In fact I had not thought too deeply about their clothes. The only thing that I have known since I sketched the girl on the right was that she would wear something off-white with overtures of green and lime in it…I will consider the emotional connotations while I work on that.
    On the wall…its such a fun exercise…and bliddy tiring. The last time I did something like this I was much younger 😀 and it was indoors. Working in the sun has its pros and cons. I like letting the accidents happen and then choosing what to keep and what to remove. Thats the way Im going at with this one…

  • you know I completely understand what you’re saying about liking the deliberateness of working on a piece but then wanting to let go and work in a frenzy. I feel the same way!! Now, I try not to think at all – well, for the most part.
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I’ve thought this way (your way) for the longest time, and one of my professors-a great painter said to me: remember that you control the painting. The painting does not control you.
    This really stuck with me. And I think its when we become or make something too precious, then we stop letting the piece speak for itself. I think that is what he was saying. Something to definitely think about.

  • wow! that’s crazy!! this same comment – ‘remember you control the painting. the painting does not control you’ has come to me from multiple directions. from you, and these two artist seniors who came by my studio and saw Three in progress.
    i guess that means i better sit up and take notice of this one. Karmic it seems.

  • I like the wall painting now, with one face ‘submerged’. I sometimes like the ambiguity in painting. This helps in removing the direct ‘illustrative’ quality we see in figurative art.
    about your canvas painting, I agree with Pooja to put some daubs of paint, dripping…
    I see that on the mural painting you have managed to be more impulsive while rendering the portrait… maybe because of the size.
    I feel to free yourself on the canvas, maybe you can try a bigger canvas. I think that would really help.
    Its so funny… for me, I think I need to do small work to render neatly…

  • Hey Arcna, Your canvas painting with the floral design is definately looking very nice. I just suggested perspective, it is whatever interest you. And I do see some depth in background, because of the subtle shadow. Like the expressions of the formas the background gives a theatrical stage to the painting.
    about the evil expression, hee hee it looks like a put on. (As if the person can be nice too. But at the stage wants to be stern and stubborn)
    Good going…