Published in the Edit Page, Deccan Herald on July 20, 2009
The past year and more, my earthly existence has been submerged in a world almost totally overridden by a haze of colours. Colours define all things including the ones that had other connotations in my life.
Wherever I turn, whatever I look at, my myopic brain registers only shades and tones and the play of light and shadow. Suddenly, I find myself at the level of an infant or a slightly retarded adult whose skills have been reduced to the one-dimensional. All other details happily escape me. I flit and I float (I couldn’t resist that) dreamily in a world that is increasingly impacting me on a whole new level.
I take my morning walks gazing evermore at the trees with the sunlight streaming through, tripping over things that rise up sneakily in my way. The nightly strolls leave me enthralled, what with the leisurely clouds and the magical moon as I step over a snake here and a frog there.
Colours define all things! Including the ones that had other connotations in my life, questionable or otherwise! A random example: The maid steps in shockingly late after absenting herself for a whole week and passes me by disdainfully with a knowing smile on her face. She knows that I know nothing and notice naught. I am taken by the colour of her sari its floral design and the play of shadow and light on her face. I plan what to paint next and whether to go the water colour way or take to the oils.
I am friendly and familiar with ‘gouache’ now and know exactly what sort of brush to use and its benefits. I am educating myself vigorously on the uses of the ‘Filbert’ and the fan brush, the sponge applicator and the foam roller.
This with a person who thought ‘gouache’ was merely a badly pronounced version of ‘gauche’ and hid her head in the ground a la ostrich when spoken to about oils by the knowing lot. It seems but a month back when I had scandalised the art shop owner by asking whether a ‘wash’ had to do with the use of water and er…the tap. By the time I left the shop, I had left him in a state of deep depression, in spite of having given him good business. He would never in his whole profit making life have launched into such a thorough, albeit unwitting, session on the use of the various mediums, brushes, palettes and knives, the art papers to be used, the various easles, their uses etc. Other than repeating much of the information over again to a slightly dull audience. Well, he had a willing listener and customer who trusted unquestioningly. Plus the added ego boost of sharing his expertise.