Tuesday, January 13, 2015

whale song

whale song,
acrylic, ink and chalk on paper, 24x18", 2014, priya vadhyar

There's a secret place,
Where the heart sings,
Whales go there too,
Always alone.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 and notes to self for 2015

It's that time of the year again; the yearly ritual of brushing off one's lassitude to look at life in the face. 2014 has been a good year. Some of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2014 were - create a body of work, exhibit in group shows, learn pottery, create a website and apply to juried shows. Creating a body of work was the most important goal, and so I paid it the most attention. I have spent many long hours (not long enough) in the studio. Despite the periodic frustration, doubt and procrastination, I did pretty well. I created a body of work this year and am still working on it. I exhibited thrice this year. (not bad) The pottery goal was fun. As for juried shows, I haven't been lucky this year. I didn't get around to creating a website for myself either. Perhaps 2015 will be the year for both goals.

I continued volunteering at Columbia Art Center (CAC) this year; my weekly appointment with the world outside the studio. As a volunteer, I've done some interesting projects/ tasks at CAC, but usually I help them with their inventory. In June this year, CAC asked me to give a talk to teachers and facilitators of a kids' art camp. I talked to the group about my work, after which we discussed subjects such as self-expression, success and failure, spontaneity, the creative process, the inner censor and taking risks. We ended with a painting project. It was a fun event. More than anything the experience told me that I could put myself out there. Scary, but fun.

2014 also marked the fourth anniversary of A Work in Progress. Four years! Sure I haven't given the blog as much attention as I should have, but still. With the new year I promise, dear blog, to shower you with more love. 

Now that there's no stopping 2015, I have a list of things I want to do this year. Paint on larger canvases, return to printmaking, go deeper into silence and stillness, exhibit in India, participate in exhibitions and apply to juried shows, create a website, and blog regularly. Work has taught me some important lessons this year and I want to keep these in mind in 2015: 

  • When the resistance to begin work arises, dip into work regardless. The edges of any fear will begin to fade and the next step becomes inevitable. 
  • Staying in the studio even when things are not going your way is vital. 
  • Mundane activities like clearing your table can coax the answer hiding inside you to reveal itself. 
  • Silliness and lighthearted defiance are great allies when the all serious ego tries to overpower you. 
  • Everything takes its time.
  • Everything flows into each other. Life is seamless.

I leave you now with some my favourite photos of 2014. Wish you a very happy 2015. May you have a year of creativity, joy, laughter, wisdom and peace. See you in 2015!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

potter files: the results are in (part 2)

As promised, here is the second installment of the ceramic bowls and pots. In the first part of this post, I spoke of surprises. This time I welcome you to enjoy the snowy landscape inside the first bowl and the sun burst which overflows from the second bowl. Then there is the gentle blue snow in the third bowl and the undulating hills inside bowl four. Lastly, there are the two pots, tiny but lovely.

I mentioned in part 1 that I was taking the class at Columbia Art Center again. It's been a very productive session. We are in week eight now and I have made teapots, bowls, plates, mugs and jars. Photos of those soon. Until then, enjoy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

the lightness of invisible afternoons

The warm breeze, the lull,
And the certainty of buried treasure.
What I remember most,
s the lightness of those invisible afternoons.

the lightness of invisible afternoons,
watersoluble graphite on paper, 18x24" 2013, ©priya vadhyar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

that the stars are adamant

I have come to realise over time that when I paint, I am, essentially, travelling. I go to far off lands and see things. I see structures and mountains; sometimes a horizon and a bird in flight or rain on forgotten hills. Sometimes I can feel the breeze and am filled with wonder. It's that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you are in a new and mysterious place. As with all travel, emotions run high. Sometimes a painting is heavy with sentiment and sometimes it is light, filled with delight. I feel as though I am searching for something as I add layers of paint. Often what lies before me seems to be universal; the human condition trying to find its place in the universe. In all this travelling, I am reminded of my humanness, my insignificance and the vastness inside me.

that the stars are adamant,
acrylic on paper, 18x24", 2014 ©priya vadhyar

*Notes: The title 'that the stars are adamant' comes from the poem 'A Life' by Edith Sรถdergran.