GUEST ARTIST: “Painting From The Heart” by Mohana Pradhan

Rainy Evening Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

My name is Mohana Pradhan, and I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India and am now based in beautiful San Jose, California. I returned to my artistic roots after a career in graphics and web design. A graduate in Fine Arts from L.S. Raheja School of Arts and Architecture, Mumbai, with a major in painting and portraits.

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
– Leonardo da Vinci

After graduation, I had an opportunity of doing a group show at the prestigious Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai. My work back then consisted mostly of landscapes and Mumbai cityscapes in oils and acrylics. As a young artist, seeing my paintings sell quickly,  gave me immense confidence especially when I had just stepped out in the world.

Flowers Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

But as the years passed, it became apparent that occasionally selling paintings was not solely enough to support me financially or creatively. I had to lay down my art supplies and brushes while I pursued my new interest in Graphic Design. I worked full time for advertising agencies and commercial firms. I also taught graphic design to budding digital designers. The days were long, but the evenings gave a welcome respite to the arts –  teaching traditional art to elementary school kids.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After a career of fifteen years in graphics and web Design and working with IT companies, there came a stage where I realized I had put away my brushes for too long. I was missing out on creating something I loved. The universe does work in mysterious ways, and one beautiful California day, I stumbled upon a watercolor workshop. I haven’t looked back since then!

Still Life Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

Why do I paint?

This incredible gift of love for art is unexplainable in a few words. My paintings are like how my heart sounds from inside; my inner reflection.  They fill me with unexpected happiness, like feeling the warmth of the sun when it’s bitter cold or feeling the touch of raindrops on the skin in sweltering heat. It simply feels good!

I enjoy every aspect of painting, whether it’s holding the paper, feeling the brush in hand, or mixing colors. It’s a total workout that gives me the immense joy of creation.

I have never painted anything without my heart fully in it. Hence the title for my story – “Painting from the heart”. I have to know what my heart is responding to. That feeling of “knowing” what I feel like painting today is incredible and strong!

Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

Where do I get my inspiration?

My inspiration comes from nature’s canvas: people, events, weather and moments of everyday life. The tiny moments and fleeting memories are the catalysts for some of my works. Very often I have more ideas than the hours needed to paint and often worry that I cannot get them on the paper before they are forgotten. I paint what I observe and feel, play with colors, go loose or mostly find beauty in the details. Henry D. Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

While in art college, I experimented with diverse mediums – oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, inks, watercolor and many more. But over time, watercolor became my favorite. I love the transparency and how the colors appear luminous. It is magical!

As an observer of nature, its endless variety and riddles, its infinite colors have always awed me. I continuously strive to perfect those colors in my paintings. “A painting is never finished, it simply stops at interesting places” said Paul Gardner. How true!

Every painting is as important as the next one, you just have to stay with it. Stay the course and forget what everybody says. You have to practice believing in yourself and being confident. Start every painting thinking it’s going to be great and …the next one will be greater. This is my everyday mantra.

My Process

I love being flexible with my art. It can be fully involved in a full blown planned painting project or sit with my small sketchbook and scribble. I mostly work in my home studio and also enjoy painting outdoors whenever I get a chance. When working on a planned project I decide how big the painting is going to be, what colors combinations to use, and the composition.

Once I have the basics down, I just dive in and let things happen. It doesn’t always turn out the way I expected, but it’s okay. I am my best and the worst critic and hard to impress. I feel I have yet to discover what exactly my style is! I am certainly a traditionalist and believe that an artist’s paintings may not come to fruition until there is ample amount of work and those 10,000 hours are put in. I am working on it.

Landscape Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

My art supplies include Arches and Winsor & Newton watercolor paper 140-300 lbs cold press. I also enjoy using watercolor blocks. I prefer Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton brand watercolors. I have these brush brands in natural and synthetics – Isabey, Escoda, Da Vinci, Silver Black Velvet and Loew-Cornell.

Life continues to bring new happenings and I am grateful to see the sunrise everyday. When I am not painting, I love spending time with my family and travel around with them. I am active within the Silicon Valley Open Studios, and this will be my seventh year to showcase my new works for 2019. I also give private lessons for kids and take on commission work for family and pet portraits.

Self Portrait Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

Self-Portrait

I have unending gratitude that my work is appreciated and feel honored that it is in private collections of many. I am deeply thankful to many who have encouraged me along the way and tirelessly cheered me on when I needed it the most. My hope is that by sharing my paintings, they will inspire and touch the lives of others in a meaningful way, just as they have touched mine.

Fall Leaves Watercolor Painting by Mohana Pradhan - Doodlewash

I continue to be creatively motivated and will fan this flame the universe has ignited in me. I look forward to painting every day!

Mohana Pradhan
Facebook
Instagram

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
37 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 6 months ago

    Mohana, your work is incredible. You capture the light, the atmosphere and the sensation in your works. Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Sandra! I try to capture the elements. They give paintings life! Thanks so much for reading my article.

  2. Jodi 6 months ago

    beautiful! LOVE your work!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Jodi!

  3. Leena Uniyal 6 months ago

    Awesome paintings!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Leena!

  4. Prerana 6 months ago

    Mohana, your paintings are inspiring and beautiful! I loved your self portrait the best of all!! Wishing you all the best!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thanks much Prerna! Yeah, that’s my favorite piece too! Planning to do another self portrait soon 🙂

  5. Laura (PA Pict) 6 months ago

    Wow! Your work is stunning. The way you paint water is especially amazing.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Laura! I enjoy painting water in watercolor. One of my favorite subjects to paint.

  6. Mary Roff 6 months ago

    Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thanks Mary! Glad I could share some of my work with you all.

  7. Pam Love 6 months ago

    My favourites are the rain and water. Lovely.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Pam! Yes, my favorites too 🙂

  8. Jill Kuhn 6 months ago

    Your flowers are stunningly beautiful!! You are very talented! Keep painting! 🌸😊

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you so much Jill! Yes, that’s the plan, to keep painting 🙂

  9. Winna Jill Mordasky 6 months ago

    awed by your work…in the many ways you work ….your subject matter , excellent drawing, color choices, moods etc.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thanks so much Winna! I try to give it my best, always.

  10. Anirudh Natekar 6 months ago

    Your art and artistic journey is awe inspiring! Love all the vibrant, beautiful paintings!! Looking forward to many many more!!!

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you so much Anirudh! I look forward to paint more interesting subjects and Thanks for your creative support!

  11. Bekki Page 6 months ago

    I’ve followed your work for years, and enjoyed reading your story. I particularly enjoyed all the quotes 🙂. Is a print of the winter meadow available anywhere for purchase?

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Hello Bekki! I know you!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for your continued interest in my work. Prints are available to purchase. Lets communicate via email. Will get in touch with you. 🙂

  12. Laura Hale 6 months ago

    What beautiful art! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Laura! It was my pleasure and its great to hear from everyone!

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    Mohana, I’m impressed with your gorgeous art, your life attitude, and your verve for experimenting. There doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t do, and do well. Such pleasure you bring to the world.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thanks so much Sharon! Appreciate your kind words. I am lucky to be able to do what I love doing. I feel keeping an open heart to all aspects of art is the only way to go to.

  14. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    Fantastic rainy scenes! All your work is lovely.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thanks so much Sharon! CA rains are so inspiring to paint.

  15. Anita Sinha 6 months ago

    Beautiful paintings! Thanks for sharing your artistic journey.

    • Mohana 6 months ago

      Thank you Anita!! 🙂

  16. sachanievsky 6 months ago

    These are beautiful paintings! I especially like the ones with raindrops and water and the way you add movement and fluidity to the backgrounds. Wonderful!!!

  17. June Hadaway 6 months ago

    Absolutely beautiful paintings and a wonderful article. Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. Janneke Booister 6 months ago

    Beautiful paintings! I love the way you combine detailed work with suggestions of a structure in the background 🙂

  19. Viki Banaszak 6 months ago

    Wow! You paintings are amazing! I love the way that you do water. Ahhhh, something more to work on.

  20. June Hadaway 6 months ago

    Gorgeous paintings. Thank you for the inspiration and sharing your lovely work.

  21. Gaeyle Gerrie-Boss 5 months ago

    Intense wonderful paintings!

  22. pavanonwin 4 months ago

    Hey, Your work is awesome ..Congrats!
    Do you know about Picasso , He actually believed that if he paused his work someone he loves would die….Its really so interesting to know about the legend and his life…
    IF you want to know more
    https://thecurioushunter.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/the-great-picasso-and-his-mysterious-belief/

Leave Me A Comment!

©2015-2018 Doodlewash®  Privacy Policy | Terms Of Use | Disclosure  Powered By Wordpress.com

CONTACT US

Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!

Sending
 
or

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

or

Create Account

%d bloggers like this: