Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Artist of the month: Pragya Bhatnagar

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed Ramadan… May peace and joy prevail during this holy month.

Hello Readers!! Welcome back to the artist series… Today’s feature is on an artist who is a textile designer by profession but fiercely followed her passion for fine art and got herself trained. Pragya Bhatnagar is well-known in the artist community in Muscat and made her mark in Dubai art exhibitions and in India as well. She has showcased her work in several group exhibitions.  I discovered her work recently while visiting an art exhibition that was recently held in Oman. Most of her paintings have a sense of harmony because of her choice of colours and strokes she uses. Her artwork is an extension to her personality, there is calmness and joy. She has infused a lot of Middle Eastern theme in her work and the portraits she has worked on are all beautiful. 

Let’s have a look at her beautiful paintings and learn more from her about her journey as an artist...
The Whirling Darwish:
The sufi dance, the hidden language of the soul and the true rhythm of the heart, uniting one with everything that exists.

A brief about yourself

Art runs in my family as I inherited the skills from my father. From an early age, I was always busy capturing things around me in my art book. I went on to study textile designing during my college and worked in the leading textiles and garment companies in India. I turned my focus to fine art when I shifted to Oman in 2005.

How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self-taught?

Art has always been a part of my life since my childhood. Whenever I used to get some free time while I was working in India, I used to sketch and paint. Art has always given me a feeling of joy and calmness; it is a form of meditation for me. Apart from my textile design background, I have done diploma from Drawing Academy, London. I have done many online courses and attended workshops from eminent international and local artists in Oman to improvise my skills. I also study the style and work of renowned artists from different eras to further enhance my knowledge of the global art landscape.    

How would you describe your art style?

I believe that every artist is on a journey of constant evolvement. And I’m not an exception either. If I reflect back on my journey, I started with realism in my early years of painting with a lot of design element but over a period of time I have started working more on expressive and impressionism.

What's your inspiration for your artwork?

I draw inspiration from the nature and my experiences in life; anything that gives me peace and happiness, and motivates me to bring it on a canvas. Most of my work is based on mandalas, intricate patterns in Islamic architecture, beautiful landscapes and people that I have come across in my daily life. As an artist there is so much one can get inspired from!

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?

The most challenging part for me in my creative process is to convert the ideas flowing in my mind into meaningful and thoughtful concepts on the canvas in a free flowing manner. An artist is drawn towards various conflicting visual depiction options and it becomes a challenge which path to follow. I follow my instincts and let the brush give shape to my visual imagination. It is like a bird flying in the air or a musician playing an instrument in their own space. It may sound easy but it’s not so easy. It is a part of the process, everyone learns it sooner or later, and it’s a blessing when the awareness finally comes.

What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?

Sometimes I start working with an idea in my mind and sometimes it’s intuitive. I don’t structure the image with a pencil sketch beforehand, rather I like working directly with the paints and brushes. The joy of creating something different every time keeps me motivated. Even if I am stuck midway, I steps back, take a break and start again after a while, painting guides me further itself.

Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?

I do commissioned work for individuals and institutions customized to their preferences. I have displayed and sold my work in many international and local art exhibitions. I keep posting my work on my instagram and facebook page where people can see my work and get in touch with me.

What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?

It’s very hard to pick just one as these are not just the art pieces for me but part of my life, my time, my patience, many hours of thinking and working. I have an emotional connect with each one of my paintings.

Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Do what gives you unparalleled gratification. Do not compare yourself with anyone, get inspired from others, keep practicing on a regular basis and work towards improvising your skills.

The Nature:
Landscape inspired from the rich natural beauty of Salalah blessed with greenery and waterfalls during the Khareef season.
The Gorgeous:
An innocent girl beautifully dressed-up in a traditional costume for a special occasion lost in her deep thoughts

If you wish to get in touch you can email her at : pragyab@gmail.com, or click here to follow her on facebook.

Above pictures are copyrighted via Pragya Bhatnagar.

No comments: