From the age of 11, I studied painting under the eminent Indian painter Abani Sen, fulfilling my mother’s dream by making it my own. My guru stressed strict discipline in acquiring the rudiments, while drawing and painting with abandon, thus tapping into my own inclinations and proclivity. I found that whenever I was outside his purview, I was quickly experimenting with my own imagery and treatment, not always successfully; this was viewed with some amusement by my teacher.
The grounding gave me the strength to explore within, which manifested itself in images without, resulting in several phases of style, subject and palette. I like to call each phase a Point of Departure. Representational works remained a mainstay in my repertoire, and practically all my paintings can fall into this category. Sadly, several paintings have been lost over time as I moved from place to place. It’s unsettling, like losing a bit of myself.
My foray began with somewhat structured compositions with an emphasis on technique. Then one day I gave in to a compelling desire for relative abstractions. Purely abstract works have never appealed to me, for they have frequently, albeit not always, been a preferred route for artists to camouflage weak drawing. Sated with the profusion of colour in my canvases, I suddenly turned to a combination of pink and grey, interspersed with black and white. The reaction to these was entirely inconsistent, in that, some attributed them to my bleak state of mind, while others swore that, evidently, I had never been happier. Obviously, it was a reflection of the viewer, rather than the painting. I have stubbornly resisted interpreting my paintings, for if I were to talk about them, I’d rather write. So I invite the viewers to weave their own story.
Working with clay and copper pigments on a piece of plywood steered me into my next phase of the bronze age, and numerous works, large and small, sprouted during this time, until I decided to challenge myself in a limited area in the shape of panels.
Through each stage, I have sketched in black and white, as well as with coloured markers, rarely transposing the sketches onto canvases. Perhaps I’d like to create large canvases based on the sketches.
We met on a plane – years ago – and corresponded once or twice – I lost you when my laptop crashed and would like to send you a special message if you would be good enough to write me a contact email address, Best wishes Sarah (Morritt) London-Delhi Poetry Foundation