My name is Jayshree Rai and I am originally from India (follow me on Facebook!). Though I am a graduate of science, my true vocation remained in the field of art. In my younger days in India, I studied under the direction of expert teachers and took part in many open competitions with success.
During my school days, I also exhibited in many private galleries. Though my early days started with humble achievements and constant learning, it was huge for me when I won the state Gold medal award in fine Arts in 1996 in India during my college days.
After marriage, I moved and lived in England for many years and kept my passion going along with other things happening in life. Later we moved to Germany where we lived for more than seven years. During this time, my constant involvement and perseverance continued. My passion for art brought me in contact with many fine artists in both countries I lived. I was able to exhibit in numerous galleries with success .
In 1985, we moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During my stay in Riyadh, I worked as a freelance Artist and also as an Art instructor in the prestigious Art institution in Riyadh. Now, it’s been twenty odd years but with all the social difference I was lucky my artist life did not suffer. I painted many local scenes and people of this part of the world which some of them are my most fond creations! I also gave private lessons and conducted many workshops along with exhibiting in many local galleries. I took part in group shows as well as ‘solo’ with wonderful success.
In 1992, one of my watercolours “The Falconer” was selected as a UNISEF greeting card to be printed. That was again a milestone of my happy moments. In 2008, I moved to Canada with my husband.
The very first thing I did after moving to Canada was to find the Art community in this new land where I planned to live. By now, I learned that once I am connected with other artists around there, I will be home whichever path life takes me.
Now living in Miramichi, a little town in Canada, I am an active member of a local art club Called “ART CORE Miramichi “. Once again, I got busy painting local scenes here and people around. Now, I keep myself exhibiting my paintings with the group shows as well as local galleries around here.
Finally about me and my art works. I basically work in all mediums with great control and confidence, but I am always learning. After years of on and off practice, my paintings are true reflections of my years of experience and perseverance in the field. Still it’s been a one step forward, one step backward dance throughout all of this. The lands I lived and travelled to have taught me a lot. I am happy today my passion only grew stronger and never less.
Though figures and portraits dominate my subject matter, I do love to paint “still lives” as well as “plein air studies ” on a regular basis. I take life drawing classes whenever I can. I believe in constant studying, constant sketching, and constant involvement! To add to this, I enjoy experimenting in art by playing, mixing mediums and more. I paint, I waste, I trash, I get frustrated, then excited. To tell it simply, I enjoy the process of painting more than the product.
If and when I make a good painting by the end of my play, that is just a bonus, but never a goal. I believe in breaking the rules, freedom of expression, keeping an open mind, and having a never-ending curiosity.
Moving around the world has taught me to accept the new, and enjoy the different. I feel blessed meeting artists all over the world. Each time I learned something new, something inspiring. This is what keeps me alive and innovative – the constant contact with other artists .
In spite of working in many mediums I still feel I have a special penchant for watercolour, a soft corner, a special fondness. It is a special excitement that I can only feel and can’t explain or express!! That free-flowing nature of watercolour, that unique character of playing with water and colour is beyond joy for me .
I know that feeling when I load those brushes with water then colour. Those raw unmixed fresh colours ready to dive on a fine white paper waiting to relieve – “wet on wet”! It is mesmerizing each time. I get choked with joy watching the waves of those colours, those hues. Time and time again, I feel like a little girl with her first toy, her favourite one, the one she can’t part with!
Those uncertain moments, those unpredictable outcomes, teach me more than just watercolour painting. It is lesson on life itself. When I paint watercolour, it is not just passion for painting, it is an ultimate love to express myself, the child in me awakened. Each time, those moments of joy complete me! It is life. In that uncertainty, is the true meaning of all life itself.