October 14, 2019

When the canvas comes calling

An article by Vinita Kinra (@VinitaKinra)

Ever wondered why a small part of the world population feels incapacitated to ignore the inner calling of filling up a blank canvas with strokes of colors floating about their imagination? Painting may not be an addiction, it sure is an irrepressible urge to give shape and form to those abstract feelings that haunt you night and day, screaming voicelessly to find expression.

Unlike writing books or making music—which by no means are easy vocations, either—painting may be an uphill task if you are trying to identify what your style should be, or which icon you want to elevate to the pedestal of your mentor. In the final count, your paint brush will only be a vehicle maneuvering the limited terrain of an empty canvas, filling it with notions and imagery your mind may have perceived many a times, but never rationalized in concrete form.

You may want to be a painter for myriad reasons: you are fairly good at painting landscapes and see yourself as the reincarnation of Monet; or you want to capture and channel the overflow of emotions in your heart much like Vincent Van Gogh; or maybe you specialize in portraits and will soon deliver to the world a masterpiece on the lines of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The simplest, and probably the best, reason may be that you want to just pour out your feelings, however much surreal or abstract they may be, and forget about being a legend or making a million dollars.

The latter option may not bring you much fame—aside from being conversation starters in a corporate office or the dining hall of a friend’s house—but it promises to preserve your style without untoward pressure of raking in mullah or making it to high profile museums and galleries. It’s worth painting for the sheer joy of discovering your artistic talent, with minimal training and influences in style selection, and rejoicing over the outcome. You will surprise yourself with the grand measure of fulfilment this activity will bestow, not just by filling your canvas with bursts of colors, but painting your life in bright shades you didn’t know existed.

The next time you feel nagged by winter blues or envy greens, or just believe your life is getting gray with black storm clouds, pour liberal colors into your palette and wet a brush. With each stroke of it on the canvas, your gloom will be chased out faster than your sunrise or sunset or fruit basket is fully painted! Before you know it, your house will reverberate with your artistic personality, each room narrating its own unique story. Not to mention the awe and respect you will garner from friends or visitors who will go away mesmerized by your ability to lend a voice to your mute dreams. It’s worth being your own legend!

Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, Times of India.

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