“My journey on this beautiful yet difficult road started as an engineering graduate. But I was wise enough to know that this is not what I want because it did not ignite my soul. That’s when I decided to hold a brush and a rush for my passion which was painting and for this process I chose watercolor as the medium. It was all about my passion, perseverance and love for art. I must say I fell in love with watercolor as it gave me the freedom of experimenting. Acrylic medium gave me the freedom of experiment while handling them. Acrylic vintage car series cars shapes are seen as beautiful forms. For me its freedom to draw the forms with different colors schemes, compositions,” says artist Kanchan Hande.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Most integral to the work of an artist is awareness. The ability to spotlight an issue. First to yourself and then as an offering, through your art, to others. If you are not aware of the contemporary world, it will be difficult for people to relate with it. Second one is controlled focus. This is not necessarily only a cognitive action. The ability to intuitively communicate complexity through your chosen medium. You should have a very personal, intimate knowledge of your medium. At some point the medium takes control of the act of creation.
What role does the artist have in society?
Artists are a vehicle for expressing universal emotions. Art is about connecting with people’s emotions. It’s personal and at the same time, universal. I’m an expressive painter. An artist has the ability to ‘feel strongly’ to be ‘sensitive’ to things and express this in the paint, gesture, or color. The artist ‘absorbs’ the atmosphere of a place or the memory of a feeling. Sometimes, it’s a burden for the artist to carry all this emotion – to be so sensitive. Artists are responsible for unearthing the truth.
What themes do you pursue?
Some of the major themes in art and that I personally like and pursue are Conflict and Adversity, Freedom and Social Change, Heroes and Leaders, Humans and the Environment. There are many more but currently I am working on the last one. Keeping these theoretical terms aside I have this thing called living in the present and it is most needed thought for today’s generation. The ultimate theme I want to pursue is contemporary aesthetics. I want people to relate to my art as much as possible. It is a natural human tendency to like something to which they can relate to. I want people to talk about my art and feel relatable at the same time.
What’s your favourite art work?
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889, Vincent Van Gogh’s most popular painting; The Starry Night was created by Van Gogh at the asylum in Saint-Rémy, where he’d committed himself in 1889. Indeed, The Starry Night seems to reflect his turbulent state of mind at the time, as the night sky comes alive with swirls and orbs of frenetically applied brush marks springing from the yin and yang of his personal demons and awe of nature.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
If one enjoys being alone it means they are definitely better organized psychologically and emotionally than others. If you’re enjoying your own company it means you are absolutely in good company why would you need other’s company.
What do you dislike about the art world?
Due to the fierce competition around, my artwork was not acknowledged much. Where seniors are supposed to help their juniors, the environment in which I was flourishing as a new artist, I encountered some seniors who were ego driven and who would not stand my progress as I did not have a proper artistic background. I welcome healthy competition but in my case it took an ugly turn. If artists will not support other budding artists, then whom will the new artist look upto as a role model? This is the only barrier which I feel stunts the growth of the art field and is stopping it from becoming a recognized subject of interest.
What do you dislike about your work?
I don’t dislike anything about my artwork. Art needs to be taken care of and nurtured just like a baby, and it is impossible to dislike something that I have created with my own hands. But as an artist, being perfectionists is a quality which is by birth inculcated in us. We will never be fully satisfied with our work and will try to make it is as perfect as we can. It is a part and parcel of being an artist. Being fully contended with your artwork is a myth and we always think that there is always a room for betterment and that can be a negative or a positive trait.
What do you like about your work?
My every artwork, my every creation is made from the heart. I pour my soul into my paintings. I love the details I work on. Those little shimmers and paint splashes is what I live for, not to exaggerate. I love the fact that my paintings will tell you so much about me that I will ever tell about myself . My artworks will always try to communicate, but to understand you should be able to speak the art language.
Should art be funded?
Definitely. Skills and quality products go hand in hand to create a big picture. There are lots of artists who sell their artworks in order to survive. Their efforts surely do go in vain, but their morale collapses too. Even the city I live in, I see artists that sell beautifully drawn portraits that they made in fraction of minutes or so. They have the skill, but they lack knowledge of the subject. They have a huge potential and can surely come up as great talents if given proper institutional knowledge, that is funding and promoting them. Artists should always help, acknowledge and appreciate other artists and their artworks to create a strong community of artists which may help promoting and preserving cultural heritage of a nation. Though we have other huge problems in our nation like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, etc., funding art should not be the responsibility fully of the government, but renowned artists of other fields.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
My personal favourite is a city called Auroville, an experimental township in Viluppuram district in India. Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity. As Sri Aurobindo pointed out, art is an important aspect of human life that acts on different spheres, from the purely aesthetic, to the intellectual and educative, and finally the spiritual dimension. The aesthetic faculties entering into the enjoyment of the world and the satisfaction of the vital instincts, the love of the beautiful in men and women, in food, in things, in articles of use and articles of pleasure, have done more than anything else to raise man from the beast, to refine and purge his passions, to ennoble his emotions and to lead him up through the heart and the imagination to the state of the intellectual man. The experimental nature of Auroville fosters creativity in every sphere of life, and encourages a multitude of artistic expressions. Arts practiced in Auroville include Music, Dance, Theatre, Poetry, Painting, Sculpting, Ceramics, Photography, Film, and many more. So it is pretty inspirational for an artist.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Whatever field we choose, it is always told to us that the key to success is perseverance and hard work. But this piece of advice that I still remember is given by an uncle who recently visited my art gallery display. To be exact about his words, he said and I quote, “Effort makes you. You will regret someday if you don’t do your best now. Don’t think it’s too late but keep working on it. It takes time, but there’s nothing that gets worse due to practicing. So practice. You may get depressed, but it’s evidence that you are doing good. Go on your path, even if you live for a day. Do something. Put away your weakness. Always keep moving. If you can’t run walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but always take little steps. You can stop if there is a beautiful scenery though.”