Thursday, January 17, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bhavna Misra

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Bhavna's painting "Superbloom" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Bhavna's DPW Gallery Page:

Bhavna is a fine artist and an art educator working out of her Bay Area based art studio in California. She paints portraits, wildlife, nature, and everything that appeals to her. She specializes in creating custom artwork suitable for home and office. Oil has been her choice of medium for most of the recent works and she also uses pastels, acrylic and colored pencils. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I started to paint from an early age. When I was about 9, we had my grandfather’s friend, an artist of great renown, visit us. With him, a lot of interest associated with arts entered into our household – he’d paint, draw, and talk about the arts. I watched him paint and sketched alongside. Before leaving, he admired my drawing skills at great length and mentioned noticing never seen before raw talent in me, to my parents. His recognition brought immense joy to my family and a sense of confidence in me for my craft. That day on, my artistic endeavors were supported unconditionally.

I grew up in the hilly, mountainous region near the Himalayas and was fortunate to explore and illustrate to my heart’s delight. My mother helped me understand the advantages and limitations of different media and stressed on the need of a strong foundation of drawing. I was especially drawn to sketching faces and practiced everyday.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I graduated with a college degree that led me to a career in the field of Science and Technology. I painted on the side, but did not ‘exhibit’ art formally for the longest time. Somewhere down the line, I decided to display my work in student shows at the local community college where I took art classes. That experience motivated me to open my body of work up for public display. Since then, I have been showing my work in art galleries, museums, and juried shows. Art and Science, both fields compliment each other and help me follow a balanced approach.

(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Bhavna's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oil has been my medium of choice but I also use pastel, acrylic, and occasionally, watercolors.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I do not use charcoal very often, simply because it requires continuous finger cleaning.

Staying Away from Sugar
(click to view)

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I hope to develop deeper understanding of oils and effects of its relative color placements.

Who or what inspires you most?

The interesting compositions! Be it portrait, landscape or anything else. I feel engaging elements give the right start to a work, upon which colors, contrasts, and techniques can be experimented.

Who Pushed Me?
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Planning ahead as much as possible helps. Giving a cushion of time under the deadlines help me set the practical timer. I do leave a lot to the last minute but I am working on it.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I like to keep a monthly journal of goals for my art career. It is divided into weekly and then daily tasks. At the end of every day, I review it, to make sure my goals are checked off the list. I keep a set time dedicated for studio practice.

Social media is a great tool to make a public commitment, such as art challenges. So, I try to make use of it to stay motivated.

Confetti Forest
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

To choose the subject for the day, I am not very strict. Whatever makes me excited at the start of the studio time gets painted that day. I kind of like to surprise myself!

Having said that, I like to work in series. That helps me repeat a common theme over and over again. Also, I choose the area I need to practice on and focus on that across the genres. For example, if I need to understand the color relationship of pink against other hues in the spectrum, I would experiment with landscapes, still life, and portraits using those colors. Once I am satisfied with what I was looking for, I move on to next learning goal.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

Moving across the genres, or type of the subject helps. Sometimes I take a break and use that time for less artsy stuff like varnishing and organizing and such. Stepping back to basics always helps.

(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am trying to explore ways to make art more accessible to public. For this, I have started an Art in Community program. The aim is to display art for wider audience by exhibiting it at less formal settings such as coffee shops, lobby areas, and public transport. I am making collaboration efforts with the local businesses to be part of it.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Everything! Art has the power to bring joy, enforce a sense of accomplishment, strengthen community engagement, and make a lasting impression. I am very fortunate to have received the ability to make theme-oriented, meaningful work and when it resonates with someone, it makes my efforts worthwhile.

Thanks, Bhavna!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

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