My name is Vidya Lalgudi Jaishankar. I am an Indian watercolour artist residing in London. I finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts at Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai in the year 2013 and have been a full time artist for the past 3 years. I predominantly paint landscapes but also occasionally do figurative and portrait works.
My journey with watercolour is a very intimate one. Growing up, I was this weird little lonely kid who stammered frequently and hence had a hard time making friends. Even though I was an extrovert at heart, I struggled to communicate my thoughts to my friends due to my speech disfluency.
But now, at the age of 33, a glass of wine is all it takes to let go of my anxiety and express myself and. Sometimes it gets a bit too much. Yeah! But no. Painting is the only real way I express my thoughts.
Through my paintings, I try to capture my experience and mood that I had while visiting a place. The reason why I took watercolour as my medium of expression is that it truly resonates with my nature. I love taking risks. I started as an engineer, like any typical Indian born in the 80s and moved towards graphic design and finally became an artist. I quit some stable jobs to follow my dream of becoming an artist. Watercolour is a daring medium.
When I initially started with watercolour, I tried a lot to have a control over it but failed. But then through lot of attempts, I learnt that the more you let go of control and allow the water to do its magic, the more beautiful the process gets.
One should be aware that water has a mind of its own and one needs to befriend the same. The surface (paper or board) becomes a place where you share your thoughts with the colours, using water as a medium.
My choice of material
I use a minimal palette which consists of 5 to 6 colours. Cobalt Turquoise, Burnt Sienna of Winsor & Newton, Cadmium Orange and Ultramarine Blue of Daniel Smith and Violet of Mission Gold. I use Escoda’s Joseph Zbukvic signature brushes and Arches cold pressed paper.
A friendly squabble and reconciliation
During my learning years as an art student, I tended to overwork my landscape paintings and ended up making a huge mess. But down the years, I learnt a way to tackle my urge to over do a painting. I took a small break from landscapes and did many abstract works.
This gave me an opportunity to appreciate the spontaneity of the medium and enjoy the process more without worrying too much about the end result. I adapted this property to landscapes and tried to visualise a place as shapes and forms filled with mood and colours. Instead of the accuracy, I went for essence and vibe.
Eventually, I started to have an original say in the painting. Water lends its fluidity and spontaneity and in return I give forms, shapes, mood and colours.Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in