Some artists are inspired by the world around them and others are inspired by thoughts and concepts.Regardless the nature of the inspiration the end result is a unique painting worth having in your office or home. Painting is a difficult task these days as there is shortage of materials but these five artists have come together and braved the odds to show the world what they are capable of during these tough times.
The paintings of Thilini de Simon, Indhira Jayasundara, , Manu Pathirana, and Peshala Premathilaka will go on display in an exhibition to be held next week. The name of the exhibition is Genesis and each artist has their own theme.
Thilini de Simon
“I have always looked at the world through the eyes of an artist as art has been a part of me since I was a child. I enjoyed going to Cora Abraham’s art classes as a child and art was one of my favourite subjects at school.What inspires me is the world around me that is what I use as my raw material to draw and paint,” Thilini says.
She says the events and cultural changes that take place in contemporary society captures her interest and this too she uses to make conceptual art. “For the exhibition my theme is ‘Invisible Justice’ and through my paintings I am putting on canvas, my thoughts and feelings of the Easter bombings in 2019,” Thilini reveals.
Her father used to be good at drawing but it is her mother who taught Thilini to always see beauty in nature. She does plein air drawing and landscape painting with water colours.Her words of advice for anybody interested in painting is to draw whenever possible and maintain a sketch book, and learn by studying paintings and drawings of other painters international and as well as national. “Most importantly, everyone has their own style of painting so discover yours. This quote by Henry Matisse is all you need to remember to start drawing or painting ‘Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while working’,” Thilini shares some wisdom.
“Art is in my bones. However, it lied dormant till about four years back.There are struggles in obtaining canvas and paints from time to time. I can account for 55 paintings but I may have done a few more. I like painting landscapes and blooms and anything that takes my fancy. I do not like to stick to any form or particular style,” about her art.
“My earliest memories were always observing and appreciating nature. Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist and the earth has music for those who listen,” Indhira says poetically.
Indhira hails from a family of artists. “My great grandfather William, his brother George and their father Harmanis De Alwis Seneviratne; were all Artists and were pioneers in biological illustrations. Harmanis started work at the age of 26 in 1818. Harmanis and his two sons contributed so much that the drawings available in the country are the work of one family [father and two sons].I am the great-great granddaughter of Harmanis,” Indhira reveals.
Her advice to others is if you like to make a start and see what that creative ‘itch’ is all about – go for it. “Time is our most valuable commodity, spend it wisely, remembering that confidence, self-esteem,and risk taking are the ingredients for a successful Artist.I love challenges and to do things out of the norm. From being one of the first females to join the Sri Lankan Air Force, now I have discovered this journey of Art. My only regret is that I did not start earlier. Follow your dream. Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own,” Indhira advices.
“I have loved drawing since I was a child. When I showed the pictures to my mother, she appreciated them very much. After studying academically at University, I began to recognise the style of painting. The art environment was one of the reasons I developed my art,” Ishara reveals.
Thoughts and concepts give her the inspiration to paint. “My father when he was a university student, painted at the Bodhirukkarama Vihara in Kantale. There I gained an understanding of temple art.I hope to bring forward social, cultural and political issues,” Ishara says.
Her advice to others is to never stop drawing because of what someone says, keep moving forward, help everyone, andone day a place will be created for you.
Since she wasa young school kid in grade 2Manu was interested in painting.She has around 150 paintings including her final year project. “I paint most commonly my life events. Surrealist artists like Salvador Dali and Joan Miro give me inspiration to paint.I prefer to be stationed in one place and do the paintings,” Manu quips. Her advice toanybody interested in paintingis to keep drawing.
Peshala loved to paint from her childhood days and feels that it comes from the aesthetic skills of her fatheras he is a talented artist. In 2015 she started art studies at the University of Visual and Performing Arts and has held over 20 exhibitions. “This was a turning point of my art life with my own art style. I was inspired by nature and my life experiences to paint.In 2020 l participated in an art camp in Jaipur, India. My paintings are mostly, abstract art style, with my own petal brush strokes,” Peshala reveals.
By Risidra Mendis