I woke up on Monday morning, 3 days prior to my trip to Goa, wanting to take a little something for my classmates – the 4 girls I was going to meet after 22 years. And funnily I woke up with a decision: the little something I wanted to gift them; a painting made by me! Still on the bed, I began searching on Pinterest for something related to the beach, something that would remind them of our time together. I fell in love with this beautiful, mixed media painting – not too showy, subtle and just perfect. The only hitch was I hadn’t ever done mixed media before. That’s when I decided to visit my art teacher.
At 10.30 a.m. (I ran late as I had to buy the canvas), there I was, ringing her door-bell. Fortunately, it wasn’t the first time that I had gone to her with a decision and a seemingly impractical deadline. But that’s the thing about her – she has an ability to remain calm and make the impossible, possible; simply by being practical and believing in her student. One look at the picture I had chosen and she rejected it for the 2 most obvious reasons – “First, you’ll have to learn how to do it which is going to take time,” and “Second, it needs time to dry. You have 3 days!” Then she showed me another picture on Pinterest – A painting done on wood and a few others, allowing me to make the final choice from a select range of ‘doables’.
This was the chosen one. Only I would be doing it on a canvas using Acrylics. It seemed easier to make 4 copies of.
Now that the painting was decided, all I had to do was to begin. But, with no Aquamarine Blue in my bag of paints and with no time to waste on buying one, we decided to go with Teal Blue. The first step was to draw the picture. I did it on one canvas ( it wasn’t the one I had bought. Fortunately again, my art teacher happened to have some canvas lying with her which were of the same size and she had 4 of them! So, I just bought it from her. All I could think then was, “When you decide to do something, the entire Universe does conspire to make it happen.That’s the power of the human mind.”
I spent an hour and a half at class, and drew on one canvas and began painting the background with Teal Blue. I completed the remaining 3 at home – drawing and painting the background on them. Since I don’t like tracing, I just did it free-hand. You can see the difference if you put them all together but that wasn’t going to be an issue as it was going to 4 separate people. Lucky me!
On day 2, that’s a Tuesday, I went back to class to begin the painting. There’s something about painting in a group of ‘content,’ souls. That’s what makes Pavitra’s ( my art teacher) class different. Her positivity, modesty and love for art, rubs off on everybody else and instead of having a high-strung environment, there’s perfect bonhomie and camaraderie in the class.
Knowing the deadline and the purpose of the paintings, everybody at class got engaged and the constant ‘pat on the back,’ and cheering from all the other artists, helped more than I thought. It can get boring when you need to do 4 copies of the same thing or do the same piece of art 4 times – kind of like a machine. But the fact is, I actually enjoyed it. When you want to really do something – heart and soul- then half the hurdle’s crossed.
With Wednesday being a holiday at Art class, I just replicated the painting I had done in the class on one canvas, three times over. And on Thursday morning, the paintings were ready. All it needed was a little writing and some knife work on the trees to bring it all out more dinstinctly.
I hadn’t done the writing ‘Goa 2019,’ because the newspapers had predicted a cyclone in Mumbai from Wednesday to Friday, which meant there was a possibility of the flights being cancelled and with it my trip too!
With no rains on Wednesday or Thursday, me and the rest of the artists at class crossed their fingers ( only a real artist values another’s work and only a confident artist is ready to pay another artist a compliment and be willing to show off another’s work), that the sunshine would last and if God forbid, it didn’t, my paintings had takers 🙂 (That’s what I meant by bonhomie at the class).
I went back to class at 9.00 a.m. And put the 4 together. The sunlight highlighted the white spaces and what I thought would take me an hour, ended up taking me 3 whole hours. And this was the final result. With good wishes from the class and ‘Enjoy! Share the pictures. Have fun!” I was all set to go.
On Thursday night, the paintings were neatly wrapped in butter paper by my darling husband and put into a bag before I could sign them (which only meant that I would have to get my friends to unwrap the paintings so I could sign them).
Come Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of roaring thunder and sparks of lightening. The sky was gray and the rain fell down in sheets. While the rest of the girls’ sent messages – ‘On my way to the airport. Can’t wait to meet,’ ‘Boarding the flight,’ I said, ‘I hope I can make it. It’s pouring in Mumbai.’ And one of them said, “Behind the cloud, the sun’s still smiling. Somebody’s quote.” I on my part could only hope the sun would smile down on me, fighting like a knight against those ‘moody’ clouds and save my trip. It seemed, like me, there were others’ praying too – the girls’ at the art class, when they saw the dark grey skies ( I got to know when I went back).
Well,God did hear all our prayers’ for the sun shined bright and the road was dry like it was all a hoax and at 12.00 p.m., I boarded the flight…on my way to the land of sun, sand, water and fun – Goa!
P.S. In case you wanted to know, each painting took me around 5 and a half hours to complete.
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