Artist of the month: Sonali S. Iyengar

Sonali S. Iyengar

Meet Sonali S. Iyengar, Kokuyo Camlin's Artist of the Month.

1. What is the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is I can paint what a normal man cannot see, I can evoke feelings by painting what is not visible to the eye.

2. When did you decide to come into the art world? Who has inspired you for the same?
My parents and me decided that I should pursue art as I won several awards in my childhood. They encouraged me to draw, seeing my keen interest in arts. Picasso, Raza, Rembrandt , Lakshman Shrestha inspire me with their technique, bold contemporary issues pertaining to their times. I get inspired by the people, their struggle of everyday life.

3. Tell us something about your art education and early career
I have studied greatly from the paintings of old masters in my school days, Anil Naik, Prabhakar Kolte sir in Sir J.J. School Of Arts. I used to paint, figurative subjects with social issues at the beginning of my carrier, gradually I started to use flamboyance of colours through my palette.

4. Which is your favorite medium?
My favourite medium is oils, as I have been painting with it ever since I was in school. It gives tremendous three dimensionality, with softness, we can apply layers of paint, with a certain aspects of thick body impasto layers which I get in the application of oils. I also like acrylics as that gives me freehand, and I make a combination of both.

5. What inspires you?
The people around me inspire me. Nature, the colours, the socio-political upheavals in society inspire me to question it through my paintings.

6. Which was the highest point in your artistic career?
The highest point in my artistic career was when my exhibition was sponsored by The Indian Institute Of Cultural Relations, Ministery Of External Affairs and when I became the brand artist for GRAND PRIX INDIA

7. How do you manage to work across a variety of mediums?
I manage to work in several mediums as I like to paint, to draw almost daily, that makes me attached to the various aspects of paintings that I perform through styles and mediums. Camlin paints also inspire me to discover myself continueosly in various topics. I also write on artefacts I conserve. I like to be surrounded by various aspects of arts all the time. I am at home with it. I feel what I do is an extention of my paintings. I am continuously discovering myself through my art and mediums and that is a way of life with me.

8. Can you give us some examples of the messages you have tried to convey through your paintings?
Yes. I have tried to convey through my paintings by giving the title as “Where do I go from here” This is being asked by the animal species, the elephants in my works . The animal species are asking us where do we habitats. Through my series on globalization I have tried to put forth the issue that we are always after achieving something or the other, in this fast paced world.

9. Your works are generally abstract? Do you paint in some other genre also?
I paint in figurative style with oils, acrylics on canvas, mixed mediums. I also paint abstract art on huge canvases. I would like to say this that I am continuously experimenting into various subjects, for me abstracts and figurative are subjects I dable into all the time.

10. Who is your favourite artist? Indian & International
I like the works of Bose Krishnamachari and Andy Warhol

11. If you were not an artist, what would you be?
If not an artist , I would have been a doctor, as I was good in academics at that time and that would have been a service to society.

12. Who is your current favorite out of the young artists?
I like Raghava K.K. works which do not bind themselves to any fixed genre of paintings, yet convey certain dynamism.

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