Art. From the heart.

Farrukh Dhondy (Novelist, Short story writer, Screenplay writer, Journalist. ) wrote a piece in the newspaper today about Indian art where he said that that most Buyers don’t know a Matisse from a Mattress or a Chagall from a Shag-all. He said there are thousands of idiots out there with more money than taste or sense and most of them just want to boast about the price and that they will tell you what they paid as you try to take in the composition of the hung artifact. May be Dhondy is exaggerating a wee bit but yes, I hate to admit, he is right.

Most people are flummoxed when it comes to Art. I have written previously too about Surrealist and Modern Art and Niall Young, who is an amazing artist , a hyper pointillist (and a wonderful human being) agrees with me. He says “I favour the viewer/listener/reader to discern their own meanings.” If the picture ‘speaks to you’ it is Art. If it moves you in some way, if it fills you with a sense of awe, if it compels you to look at it again and again, if it beckons you, fascinates you and allures you, it is Art.

Since I paint myself, I know how much of feeling and passion goes into a piece. Like most Artists, I can paint only when I feel deeply. When mere words don’t suffice, that is when I turn to my paints. It is a compelling, driving, extremely deep and a powerful force that makes me take up my paints. I have no control over it. When it evades, it takes over me completely. The image flashes in my mind and the thoughts go round and round in my head until I must spill it on to a canvas, else I’ll burst. Once I start a picture nothing else matters till I finish it—I forget everything—I forget I am a mother, a wife, a woman, a person. I forget hunger, thirst, pain, irritation. I go into a different world. The high lasts a while and when it is over I am emotionally drained. That is how powerful Art is to me.

I don’t claim to be a great artist, but my paintings are a deep expression of something that moved me—something that affected me. I cannot paint ‘just like that’. (Unless of course they are landscapes from photos or a scene in front of me that I am depicting) Most of my pieces are bits of my pain, my joy, my sadness, my frustration, my amusement---it may not be wrong to say that they are bits of my soul.

Here is one I made a while back.

Sometimes people whom I hardly know ask me casually to paint a picture for them. I just smile and change the topic. The truth is, no matter what others say or think about my paintings, they mean the world to me and I paint for myself, not for others. There are only very very few people for whom I have painted and gifted my paintings to. Making a painting for someone is like writing a poem for somebody. It is a gift from the heart. It cannot be demanded or bought. It has to be earned.

I made another one for a good friend recently. It is a simple picture—Ink on handmade paper. It is called ‘Happy as a lark’. The photo fails to capture the beauty of the handmade paper. But he still liked it.

And I was happy.

Oh and yes, one more thing--if you liked my pics, don't forget to leave me a comment :-)

If you want to view more of my paintings click here.


  1. "A gift from the heart, it can't be demanded or bought, it has to be earned" Well said. I also believe "An artist should leave the audience wanting for more." Saw the landscapes. Some work there... Cheers!!!

  2. I couldn't agree more with all you said. That's why art critics and mst art theories irritate me - who cares? It's what art means to us that counts.

  3. I loved the b&w pic!! its so simple yet so lovely !!

  4. loved your lark picture - your friend is so lucky to have it.

  5. Psedonym: tahnsk!

    Pink dogwood: :-) Thanks!

    NM: I too liked the Black and white one--on handmade paper it looks better.

    DM: oh yes--Art is what it is to YOU!

  6. well i am one of the many idiots who cannot differentiate Matisse from a Mattress or a Chagall from a Shag-all ;-)(by the way what are they ???)

    Hey i liked the colored one :)

  7. I liked the sketch on the handmade paper... I love handmade paper.. I just feel there is a personal touch to it.. though you haven't made the paper yourself. The lark reminded me of the poem 'To a sky lark' by PB Shelley that I read in college and somehow for no reason at all took me back to my Eng. lit classes where I was so mesmerised and lost in the poet's words. Somehow the sketch spoke more to me than the painting... maybe coz i could relate to it more.. what you say in your post is right.. you need to relate to the painting.. and it doesn't matter who the artist or how wonderful the painting is.. it should appeal to you.. or affect you. Since artists pour their soul into their work.. when they gift it to you.. you get a part of their soul when they gift it to you.

  8. Lovely paintings,PS!

  9. OMG! You are so talented. I am in awe of you!

  10. :)

    well frankly i dont understand "art"! for me happy as a lark has more meaning that you other painting which i love to look at but it doesnt say anything to me!

    maybe its because i don't have that abstract sense to go beyond the obvious!

    but then hey, nobody's perfect now!

    except you maybe?? you do so much! super stuff!



  11. LOVELY!

    I can only 'draw' trouble ;-)

    Come ask God a qn in my blog.


  12. Art is in itself beauty. Not everyone can appreciate it and those who do, are ones who should like it whatever be the artists expression.
    I loved your paintings..and this lark's sketch on handmade is so simple yet so lovely.

    Hope you continue to express yourself through this art form...

  13. Sachin: :-)Matisse and Chagall are GODS :) Google them.

    Inolongeram:I love poetry--must look up that one.You have said such wonderful things about artists! I agree!


    Solitaire:Frankly as an artist i just consider myself average.I feel I am a better writer.But hey--thanks!

    Mama-mia: Art is what it is to you!!Just because you dont like anstract does NOT mean you dont have art sense.I am far from perfect--you must see me when I transform into a witch when i lose my temper :)

    Keshi: I did!

    Prats:Thank you my friend!

  14. Hey Preeti....wish I could draw as well as you do.Most of my artistic abilities lie in the 'abstract' stream of art :P

  15. painting - like poetry, should come from heart.. one cannot force it... liked both the pics, but like the lark one more - simple, but beautiful... pity that camera cant capture the beauty of handmade paper...

  16. happy as a lark is beautiful...

    the lines are so strong and simple...just love the simple lines...

    its been a long time since i hve picked up the brushes...maybe one day i will feel its gud enuf to be shown..

  17. How quirky are you? You have been tagged :-) Check my blog for details!

  18. Smm: Abstract also needs abilities--the power of imagination and the strength for creation.

    xH: true--hanmade paper is beautiful and has to be seen and felt.Thanks!

    Tys:Thanks. I Look forward to seeing your work.

    pretty woman: i am hiding :)

  19. I'm one of thos eunfortunate ppl who can't understand art :(:(:( I still appreciate it though... But have never thought bout it.. only when I read bout it here I realized how powerful painting can be. I understand the power of writing, but not the painting... and now i kinda miss it!

  20. Hey Preeti, You are so right...i dont really understand art..but i certainly admired all Van Gogh's paintings. It was an eye opener for me...the colours, brush strokes...nothing but marvelous (thanks to a friend you explained everything to me patiently :-)

    Kudos to you

  21. I've done the odd painting or two for friends, but I always have the nagging suspicion that they put them on the wall when I visit and take them down again when I leave!

  22. Nice paintings, art is a form of expression, many a times it conveys things in a better manner without words.

  23. hi priti

    the paintings are wonderful...but the quote u had started the post with also right...

    if an artist thinks it is his/her piece of soul...will they put a price on it and sell it ?
    is nt there a contradiction?

  24. Hey,
    Those are some really nice paintings!!

  25. Pointblank: well--that's how it is for me! I dont know if others feel the same way.

    Chitra: Thanks!

    Keith: heh heh--Mine too might be doing the same thing--come to think of it :)



    Uma: 2 things- firstly, 2 kinds of paintings--if you see my art site you'll know what i mean.Some are done without emotions.I don't mind putting a price tag on them.After all, soul cannot surivie on air--it needs food and water too!! :)
    secondly,Some pictures i will NEVER sell.One lady has been calling me up several times to buy a painting of mine--"kite runner". She keeps upping her price--Have told hermany times that i dont want to sell it. She refuses to give up.Finally I have decided that if she insists and insists I'll probably sell a copy--but never the original, as it means a lot to me.
    By theway--these are all my personal views and felings--Others may feel differently! Especially the Art dealers!! :)

  26. Beautiful pics! Straight from the heart is what it says - expresses pain and commotion in emotion. The landscapes are beautiful. I liked " No string attached" too - though philosophical, it depicts freedom....

  27. Its my understanding about arts. If I can relate the picture with my experience and if it touches me then it is a good art. With this i'm sure most of ur arts are really good. Every time I see, I'm getting a new meaning.

    A very good post!!

  28. now those were some real good sketches!!
    btw, do you believe that at times the artist dies and leaves behind remnant of the art within the soul which once was inhabited with it??
    at times i think so...

    and then i agree with you that it really is difficult to bring out the best in you simply because ppl ask you to!! never been the case with me... i sing when i want to, and for whom i want to... if i like to sing for you.. anytime you ask me i'll sing... even if i'm tired and ready to drop off...

    teh same goes for guitar... when i want to i play for hours till my finger is on the verge of bleeding... and use to sketch, paint on every avaialble scrap of paper.. now i don't!!!

    and the same goes for my writing!! :)

  29. Your paintings are very very good, Preeti. The masks, the hand trying to reach the butterflies, and the way u've designed the eyes into a butterfly, they speak something very deep.

    Just looking at this painting evokes a lot of emotions in me. The spider web speaks of bondage... the masks hint at a bondage of one's soul.
    The red n yellow hues show turbulent emotions... and i am not trying a guessing game.. these are what i felt when i looked at ur painting.

    You are talented.

  30. Good to find a wonderful talent right here.

    Also,I have blog rolled you.Hope thats fine.


  31. I'm so guilty of pomposityfying my work...what you have written is true....

    I really like the line drawing..very oriental!

  32. hi!
    your sketch with the bird looks very strong and professional but your signatre looks very schoolish :)

  33. Toonist: I'm just an amateur. And of course thats not how I sign my cheques and other documents! But on painting I like it that way.

    Niall: You never ever pompostify your work..IN fact in front of yours I am not even worthy of dispalying my pics!

    Sree:thanks!!! Of course I dont mind being blogrolled.

    Punam:You have deciphered my painting so beautifully--In fact the butterfly is trapped in a golden web.(signifying material comfort)

    Sam :Really lovely thoughts.I like to belive that too--of course sometimes practical mind wins. thanks!

    Karthik: thanks so much!

    Joy;Thanks for the patience of going through my work. And thanks for the lovely things you have said too.

  34. Ur multi-talented....a super-mom, a great writer, an amazin painter....Wat more??!! Keep at it GURL :)

  35. That's right! Many friends ask me to write a story either for or based on them!!! I really like the first picture, it's really truly amazing! The ink and handmade paper painting was very interesting and unique.
    Lucky friend!

  36. That's right! Many friends ask me to write a story either for or based on them!!! I really like the first picture, it's really truly amazing! The ink and handmade paper painting was very interesting and unique.
    Lucky friend!

  37. Hi Preeti,
    Nice blog, nice words and nice paintings.. Just visited your site.. The rainy day is too good..

  38. I don't paint but i take pictures n each picture of mine i think tells something n makes u think...atleast thts wht my friends hv told me...i like all ur abstract paintings...


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)