Art is not just a visual documentation of the current times but also a historical representation of the times gone by.
Manjit Bawa* of Dalhousie gifted me a painting sometimes in 1977; an abstract art using shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect. I admired a unique mix of colours and pleasing bright reflections.
The artist left the painting untitled. I perceive the strokes of the brush touching the infinite on a canvas too little to suffice the expressions. As if, colours are taking a ride on one another to grab upper layers of images. I like to look at it time and again.
Nature’s palette is everywhere we look. It can also be purely imaginative, as unusual and dreamlike artwork with a deeper spiritual meaning. Artists pour out their emotions through the process of painting.
- In her childhood homeland, Priya Monga has created many a painting. It is difficult to make a choice; though in focus are the dramatic landscapes with varied terrain, towering hills and forests, deep valleys and rugged country roads.
The possibilities are as endless as the imagination finding ever new ways to depict her own land and the profusion of new forms of imagery, rooted deep therein. She has taken creative liberties to rearrange elements in the scenes.
- ‘Monsoons in Dalhousie’ is a superb creation with imaginative, aesthetic, and intellectual content.
- The monsoon season in Dalhousie starts from the month of June and lasts till mid-September. While it does not rain that much, you can expect some mild showers. The town appears quite beautiful and romantic with lush-green forests gleaming with rainwater.”The convergence of popular culture and fine art”
- Letting out emotions by painting is a healing touch for those having suffered psychologically painful encounters.
- ‘Panchpulla’whispers of flow and continuity, indicative of five bridges. The mainstream supplies water to Dalhousie. The painting shows its oneness with nature.
- Art promotes stress – relief and enhances problem-solving, cultivates emotional growth, stimulates an optimistic attitude.
- ‘Dainkund’ peak’ In Dalhousie gives mesmerizing views of snow covered peaks of the great Himalayan mountain range,the misty Dhauladhar at sunrise. Sunlight breaking through the clouds to light up the mountains makes one ponder over the beauty of nature.
- Releasing emotions through artwork,experimenting with different painting forms helps an artist understand what triggers feelings of happiness, sadness, love or anger. Painting is often a healing through abstract emotional expression.
- ‘Kalatop rest house: The picturesque approach to architecture is scenic with location and exclusivity of the place; rustic with its old-world charm, has a story to tell. Sunflowers show themselves up in full bloom and colour. What a serene charm of the place!
- Creating visually appealing artwork that others admire gives the painter a sense of pride and happiness in the work which helps boost self-esteem.
- Khajjiar’Is the wonderland of natural beauty. The lake is in the lap of the Himalayas, surrounded by dense deodar trees and pine forests. Golden Devi temple and Khajji Nag temple are historical landmarks. Time is a continuum; the scenery reminds me of Old Khajjiar.
- Releasing anxiety in the form of painting helps a person unwind and let go of all the pressures that plague the mind.
- ‘Trekking route in Jot’ As if it is a pathway to transcend to a paradise.’ The clouds have so much meaning and intricacy that even if you take the colour out of them, they can still amaze you.
- Artistic pursuits offer an emotional release for people having a stressful moment in their lives.
“The best medium to attract people to the magnificence of Himachal is making paintings depicting the beauty of Himalayas. My future endeavours are to continue making paintings to make the world aware of the beauty of Himachal Pradesh.” Says Priya.
*The painting was published in ‘People and U N’ magazine,April,2011 under the heading ‘Time is Running Out’ as a tribute to Manjit Bawa by the author.
Prof. (Er.) Chander P Mahajan is an art critic & a free lance journalist. The Environmentalist stays in Shimla and Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India.