My love affair with color started young. Like most kids, I loved the vividness of colors and spent hours and hours getting my hand dirty. As I grew into an adolescent, the allure of paint was heady. On my 10th birthday, my father bought me a shiny new box containing 6 pots of the most beautiful poster colors I had ever seen. A simple brush and a mixing pallette. I remember opening the box and inhaling the pungent odor of the viscous paints. Red, blue, green, yellow, brown, black and white. The basics. The primary.
Color Soaked Dreams
From there on, poster colors were my love. That particular brand, my favourite. I would roll out a pristine sheet of white textured paper, as my pencil flew, drawing impatiently, so that i could get to the paints as soon as possible. The primaries, mixed together, gave me the secondaries, the secondaries, resulted into the tertiaries and from those 6 colors, stemmed a world of imagination which had no boundaries.
Being surrounded by every possible color in the spectrum was a way of life for me.
From the gold dome of the Golden Temple, to the silver anklets clinking with every footstep, color and shine was everywhere. Yellow was the vivid turmeric spice used in almost every Indian dish. Vermilion was the color married women used in the parting of their hair and wore as 'bindi's" on their foreheads.
Red was the color of power, fertility and celebrations and was the bridal color of choice. It was the color of worship, of reverence. Saffron worn by sages and holy men was the color of wisdom and knowledge. White was the color of our homes, since it reflected the hot sun rays in the dry arid city as it bristled in the summer heat. It was also the color of mourning, worn at funerals.
Orange was the color of marigold flowers, offered at every celebration, place of worship and ubiquitous to the Diwali or festivals of lamps in India. Green was the vegetation that awoke after the lashings of the monsoon rain.
Black was the color of our hair, the kohl in our eyes and a symbol to ward off evil spirits. Violet was the eggplant, or the colors we played with during the festival of Holi, marking the beginning of Spring. Blue was the color of the sky on a cool December day, and the color of the sea, deep strong, and endless.
As an artist today, my bold color palette holds many connotations and meanings. Instinctive sometimes, and sometimes, deliberate, I am drawn to the warm color tones naturally. Color gives me feelings, evokes memories. Color is imagination as vivid as a child's. Color is my therapy, color is calm, color is what differentiates, yet threads us together as humans on this planet.
My medium is mixed now, but my love affair with explosive colors continues, and I still dream in color, big bold and saturated every day.