Wednesday, September 26, 2012

updates, a painting and an exhibition

A lot has been happening the last couple of months. For one, I've become a volunteer at The Drawing Studio. TDS (short for The Drawing Studio) is an organisation run by a community of artists, which offers art classes and hosts exhibitions. I've been helping out often, and in doing so am getting to know local artists, learn new things and be an active part of Tucson's art community. I have also signed up for a couple of classes at TDS. Work continues. I am exhibiting a painting I recently made - an acrylic painting titled 'Pool of Sky'. I'll be showing this at Solar Culture Gallery at their exhibition starting on 29th September.

pool of sky, acrylic on canvas, 30x40"  © 2012 priya vadhyar

Sunday, June 10, 2012

at the opening

I had a great time last night at the opening of the group show at Solar Culture Gallery. It was awesome to see my painting up on the wall and people looking at it intently. I met some very talented artists, spoke to them about all things art and saw phenomenal art works. All this thanks to artist and gallery owner Steven Eye and his partner Kati Astraeir who is also an artist. Such a brilliant opportunity for local artists to show their art and see the work others are doing! The show is on for the next four months. Do check it out if you have the chance!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

group show

I am participating in a group show at an awesome Gallery called Solar Culture here in Tucson. The opening reception is tonight. My work on display is a new acrylic painting on canvas. I've added close up shots too.

untitled, acrylic on canvas, 28x48", ©2012 priya vadhyar
untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 28x48", ©2012 priya vadhyar

untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 28x48", ©2012 priya vadhyar

untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 28x48", ©2012 priya vadhyar

untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas, 28x48", ©2012 priya vadhyar

Monday, April 16, 2012

a fine arts festival, wild cats and my work

I was part of a fine arts festival this weekend. The University of Arizona Wild Cat Center had a stall with wild life photographs for sale and I joined them to raise funds for conservation efforts with the display of my work. I had two new pieces (photographs below) and some of my ink paintings on display.

After a rainy and windy beginning on Saturday, Sunday was a nice sunny day for a fair. Although the turnout was low, I met some really nice people at the fair - artists, organisers, participants, visitors. The show ended today, but we plan to put up the art and photographs in a gallery space soon. More updates on that later.

 chalk on paper, 18x24",  © 2012 priya vadhyar 

charcoal on paper, 18x24",  © 2012 priya vadhyar 

my work at the fair
visitors viewing my work

yours truly

Sunday, March 25, 2012

creative abandon - lessons from the chauvet cave paintings

Rhinos (Chauvet Cave painting)
Last night I watched a documentary titled 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams', a film by Werner Herzog on the Chauvet Cave paintings in France. The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave is home to the oldest known cave paintings, some 32000 years old. When it was discovered in 1994 by three speleologists (read cave explorers) Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps and Christian Hillaire, the cave entrance was completely hidden because of landslides. A large boulder sealed the natural entrance, creating what Werner Herzog mentions in the film, a natural time capsule.

Can you imagine, coming upon this hidden landscape, these forgotten paintings alive with herds of horses, rhinos, lions and other animals on its walls? The silence of the cave, the stalagmites and stalactites, the bones of animals, the absence of light... Time went by one second at a time and there stood those paintings waiting for thousands of years.

The documentary tells us a lot about the cave, about how it's being studied and preserved for future generations. But what I loved most is how well the paintings were shown. The light moving slowly across the timeless creation, while the thick darkness enveloped the rest. One can imagine the fire burning in that cave 32000 years ago, throwing its light on the walls. The dancing flames giving the drawings a life of their own and those ancient people looking at the animals drawn along the curves of the cave wall. They would have seen what we see - visually engaging works of art. What were their thoughts looking at the work?

Horses (Chauvet Cave painting)

What I found interesting was how the artists visualised movement - the bison with eight legs, or the rhino's horns drawn repeatedly in front and above its head. The two rhinos fighting seem locked with brutal force. Then there is the herd of horses, drawn obliquely, each horse unique in its rendition. It almost seems like the horses are galloping side by side. And one of the artists made a series hand prints with some kind of red pigment and another with the hand used as a stencil. The artists used various methods to accentuate the drawings - grooves, shading and repeated lines. Further reading told me that before the artists started drawing in earnest, they scraped the cave walls for a lighter coloured wall and a smooth texture. Such ingenuity! Another interesting thing is that the paintings were not done at the same time period. Some of the paintings were made some 5000 years after the first series. The mind boggles! What did those individuals find in that cave and what did those 'new age' artists think of the paintings on the wall? How did they add to what was already drawn? How old did they think those drawings were?

You can't help but feel a sense of awe looking at these works of art. It is a beautiful reminder that the need to express ourselves is part of who we are. We have always created and always will, no matter how our language changes.

'Cave of Forgotten Dreams' is an interesting watch - you can see the trailer of the documentary here. I bet you'll be inspired by the ancient lines drawn with an abandon we all aspire to. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


'rising', acrylic on canvas paper, 9"x12",  © 2012 priya vadhyar