With fluid line work and highly experimental use of media, I paint intimate portraits, dynamic animal representations and images that border on the abstract. I combine traditional techniques with contemporary sensibilities. With delicate washes, calligraphic contours and expressionistic brush strokes, I create artworks that are at once aesthetically diverse and vibrantly personal. I am an art nomad – celebrating life in its dynamism and stillness. My colour palette is intense and luminous. I believe being an artist is a special gift and I would like to share, celebrate and enjoy this.
Hi, dear Sangeeta! Could you tell us about your background and how you were introduced to the art-world.
I was never “introduced” to the art world. Art has always been a part of my life, my special place where I would go to express myself. My journey as an artist began with a gift of a colouring book and a box of paints.
What techniques do you use?
The techniques I use are less to do with methodology, but rather an intuitive handling of the subject at hand. I always try to work backwards thinking along the lines of what kind of treatment the subject needs. Being largely self-taught, I have explored a variety of media and have had a rather experimental approach to my work.
Which is your preferred medium – method?
Pastels, charcoal, egg-tempera and an occasional oil-painting.
What motivates you to create?
I am constantly seeking interesting subjects that have some kind of story or depth to it. When I find something that piques my interest, I yearn to capture it on handmade paper or a piece of canvas. Travelling is another huge source of inspiration for me, whether it is trekking up the Himalayas or walking the streets of various cities and visiting museums and galleries. I believe that inspiration can be sought in almost everything and everywhere, it all depends on what one sees and how one sees it.
Describe your art in a word.
How does culture/ history/ identity influence your work?
Culture and history have played a huge role in defining my work. I have done an entire series of drawings/paintings depicting a plethora of ceremonial objects. Being an admirer of oriental art, I have also explored Tanka paintings, Chinese techniques as well as traditional Indian art forms like Patachitra which greatly influenced my line drawing and detailing. For me, my culture and history are both intertwined in the variety of subjects that I end up choosing. When we speak of identity, I see myself as a Global Citizen, an explorer, and my travels have also greatly influenced my work and the manner in which I explore my subject.
Tell us about yourself and your upbringing?
I studied in a convent school which really encouraged fine arts, sport, music, literature, dramatics aside from academics. This gave me a platform to explore my range as an individual, especially where art was concerned at a very young age. I actively participated in several competitions, winning many prizes and this paved my journey forward as an artist.
Art for art’s sake or for people?
Art for art’s sake.
Can you name your favourite art piece and describe it?
The Rafael Cartoons at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London are my favourites, as well as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks at the National Gallery. When it comes to the old masters, it is their technique and flawless execution with the masterly strokes and composition that at once arrests my attention! Apart from the ethereal beauty that these paintings exude, I am simply astounded that the materials used have lasted through the ages.
As for my work, I believe that my favourite or best work is still to come. Through every creation of mine, I have discovered and rediscovered myself.
What are the challenges that you have faced in your field and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I face is the politics and dictates of art galleries. I have overcome them by staying true to myself and my art. I believe that everything happens in good time.
If there’s something that you’d like to change in your field, what would it be?
The lack of opportunity is something I’d like to change. I also find that art has become more about marketing tactics and less about actual art, this needs to change.
What according to you is perfection? What satisfies you?
Nothing is perfection, you can always push the boundaries and be very close.However, on the flip side, I find perfection in the art of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Fillippo Lippi and the other doyens of the Italian Renaissance.
How do you spend your free time?
Listening to music, travel and I enjoy cooking, plus yoga and meditation, not in any particular order, make for a wholesome life for me.
What other things or areas would you like to explore in life?
Quite simply, I would like to travel the world and visit all the museums!
What message do you wish to convey through your work?
My paintings express the celebration and richness of life, I want the onlooker to feel asense of soul-stirring wonderment when they look at my work.
Who do you look up to as an artist?
The Creator and the Old Masters.