The Untold Story: My Art and Me

By Meenakshi Mohan


“Sometimes a picture tells a story, and a memorable moment touches the chords of one’s heart. As an artist I strive to convey these “moments in time.” This has been central to my art since I learned to hold a pencil as a child.

Figures of people, central to my life, with hands and legs sprouting from their heads, were the protagonists of my childhood imagination. My mother, who was an excellent artist herself, was my inspiration. I grew up learning the basics of art under her mentorship, other than that I had no formal art education. Some of my earlier paintings were watercolors, as well as in oils, which depicted Indian village scenes of Bengal, Santhali women and children etc.

I find painting very therapeutic and meditative. Most of my recent paintings are oils using a pallet knife. I love to play with colors, lights and shades in my paintings. The inspiration comes from special moments in my life e.g. in A Moment in Life, I have tried to capture my son and my grandson in a spontaneous, buoyant mood strolling on a Caribbean beach. In Room With a View my daughter is enjoying the serenity of her hotel balcony, while witnessing the beauty of Lake Como. The inspiration for my most recent painting “Solitude” came from an illustration (The Reading Room: Winter in Paris – of a woman looking down at the skyline of Paris. Her pensive, contemplative mood captured my fancy. I had a different vision before I started painting, however, the real meaning of the painting came to life for me after I started– the mountainous range, the splashes of color of morning sky reflecting on water, white foliage, and books. It became meaningful to me as I thought that in this busy world, sometimes, we need this time to ourselves; therefore, I named it “Solitude!” It reminded me of these lines by Hermann Hesse,”

Within yourself,

is a stillness and a sanctuary,

to which you can retreat at any time,

and be yourself!