I hope you guys are safe and enjoying your time with family. Do you guys miss those fun outings with friends? Or attending some workshops, exhibitions, or even going for a movie? Well, I do and after having this conversation with our featured artist, I am missing that time even more.
Today, we will be chatting with Chandni Mishra, who graduated in Computer Engineering and has a MBA degree too, but after swimming in different channels, she finally left the grind of her 9 to 5 to pursue her passion, Art full time. Recently, she was honored by the Hindu American Foundation, based in Washington D.C, who purchased one of her paintings (Shiv Shakti) and made it the anchor Image of their Shakti Initiative. Today, she not only creates artworks but also helps beginners to experience art by providing them a platform through her non-judgmental casual workshops. Let us know more about these workshops and about figurative art form Chandni.
Your non-judgmental casual workshops sound interesting, please tell us more about them, and why you call them non-judgmental.
By non-judgmental and casual I mean, I work up a 3 hour workshop in a café and provide all the art supplies with some refreshments to the participants; so the participants have to just walk in on time. This helps in providing a hassle free experience to them as they don’t have to worry about bringing their stuff and also they not only go with a happy heart but a happy tummy too. Workshops have a very friendly and a casual aura and along with learning, people get to interact with the likes of their own and they feel confident to create their own paintings without worrying about getting judged by others or me. They also get to take their paintings along. In today’s time when people are just rushing in their lives, no one has that patience to attend long duration classes, everybody wants quick results and some different experience on a weekend. My workshops have all these pros. However, I still provide one on one classes. But what make those classes different is that I keep them short- limited session based and help the student learn by teaching them their desired artwork if they wish to recreate any.
Wow, these workshops sound interesting plus participants get a chance to learn something new. We would love to know more about these and also, how you got the idea of doing something like this?
I decide a painting to teach the participants in one go that is they get to have a complete painting by the end of the 3 hour workshop. I share with them the techniques of acrylics, knowledge about different brush strokes and provide step by step guidance to create that painting. So it's like a power packed crash course of that single painting.
This idea germinated from the thought of providing an opportunity to those who want to try painting at least once in their life but are either hesitant or too busy to join a dedicated class for that. Also, I schedule my workshops on weekends because people are looking out to do something on a weekend other than visiting a mall, movie or grocery shopping. Being a mother to a toddler, I wanted to be with my child but also wanted a career which encapsulated my passion for art. So this is how Paintopedia By Chandni came into existence.
Please tell us about this art form, your own adaptation of it and how long have you been practicing this?
The subject of my art is mostly Spiritualism. I tend to gravitate towards figurative artworks majorly revolving around the India deities and mythological characters. I was always inclined towards sketching the Indian gods since childhood but my interest in painting them grew stronger in the past eight years.
I am fond of faces and figures. I am more fond of the faces which don’t match with reality, that is why figurativism is the art form which really matches my taste. Figurativism is an artform that seeks to represent external reality. It is partially linked to realism yet differs from it at the same time. This artform gives vivid possibilities to an artist to come up with a character of his own which is somewhat close to reality yet too far from it; after all we don’t have blue skin in reality but this artform gives me a chance to paint my figures in any color I want per se.
Other than spiritualistic art form, I love to paint female faces/figures, because there is a lot of possibility in that. But I am still working on creating a distinct style of my own and so I love experimenting. My palette is continuously evolving with time.
I believe an artwork should not need an explanation. It should speak for itself and be felt deeply by the viewer’s heart.
That is well said, indeed an artwork should speak for itself. It should inspire it’s viewer in any form. Speaking of inspiration, from where do you get your inspiration from, and when we talk about other artists, whose work inspires you the most?
Since I work majorly on spiritual art forms, my inspiration comes mostly from my mind because no one has seen god and out there it’s just stories. But I love getting inspired from other artist’s works as well. I have been a self taught artist and such artists tend to have a visual learning by getting inspired from other established artist’s work.
I look upto anybody’s artwork whose figurativism strikes the chord with mine, mostly Indian artists.
Since you have mentioned that you are a self-taught artist, but I think there is always a scope of sharpening one’s skills. From where did you learn these skills?
I am a self taught artist, however, I always wanted to hone my skills and to gain some experience of art from someone who is more experienced and established than me. So, I took a short 12 classes course under the guidance of Mr. Kamal Devnath who is a master of figurative and semi abstracts.
What art material do you use for your paintings?
Mostly Acrylics but I also like working with Soft Pastels and oil paints. Each medium behaves differently and gives a different feel to your artwork, which I like the most about these three specifically.
Your art journey is really inspiring Chandni and your work speaks for itself. There are so many budding artists who look for inspiration from seasoned artists like yourself. What will be your message to these budding artists and to the bullet journaling community who are interested in figurativism?
This artform gives an artist the leverage of experimentation which realism could only to an extent. But to understand this artform it is essential to understand realism. So if I draw something it should not look distorted, the shapes can differ but the position of the facial features per se should be what they are in reality. Secondly, understanding of the color palette you choose for your painting is equally important. And lastly, keep learning from other artists, then try to create something of your own by incorporating what captivated you in their artworks.
Look out for inspiration in every face you come across. Everybody has a distinct feature which can inspire you. Gather knowledge about basic human anatomy. And then experiment, experiment and experiment. Also, practice is the key to any artform.
What would be your suggestions for promoting this art form further?
Humans have always used figurative art as a means of communication. It is a very old and established Artform.
“I believe an artwork should not need an explanation. It should speak for itself and be felt deeply by the viewer’s heart.”
- Chandni Mishra
Guys this was Chandni Mishra who practices figurativism and through her casual workshops inspires and teaches others to try out this art form. All of her paintings have some story. They take you to this mythological world and triggers your imagination. I am fascinated by her work and specially her painting “Darshan”, Shiva’s first appearance before Sati, is my most favorite. If you want to check more of her work and if you would like to learn the nitty-gritty of figurativism from Chandni, then you can use these links: