Art and Culture

My life’s adventures with painting

By Ahmet Abdulaziz …

Painting is a lifelong love. I did not go to any art school, I learned just by practicing. I tried to learn painting wherever I found someone drawing or painting something.

I remember as a primary school student, there was a cinema hall at a distance of about half a mile from my house. In those days the huge cinema posters used to be made by hand, to be hung in front of the cinema hall. There was a large yard behind the cinema building where the huge film poster was painted. So whenever I could get time, I would go there and see the artists painting huge portraits of film artists on the poster. Unfortunately, that was not an open place, so there was not much chance for me but to watch the artists at work from a distance, from the main gate. Luckily the iron gate was made of long iron rods, so I could watch everything going inside there easily.

That was my initial introduction to the world of painting.  My mother did not allow me much free time to go there for long periods of time, yet whatever I could manage to see formed the base of my art. I learned about painting from there. In the present day terminology, it was distance learning for me.

Since I watched the artists painting portraits of film artists on the huge posters, portraits became my prime field of interest. That is one reason that I never developed a liking for painting landscapes or anything else of the type. That long experience of watching those artists painting, further led me to develop a liking for painting large canvases. Even now I still find myself more comfortable painting on a larger canvas. I feel uneasy while working on a small canvas.

Though I learned oil painting earlier, for a very long period I did not start working in oils. I continued making portraits by pencil.

My adventures with pencil continued for quite a long period. Though I still have a liking for pencil art, it has now gone into background. Oil painting on canvas is my field now.

There are so many artists who work with Acrylic paints, but I never thought of adventuring with them.

However, every painting always come to me as a new challenge, a new adventure. Having an inbuilt nature of liking adventure, every new painting give me a tough time, most probably because I like tackling everything in a different manner. The problem with me is that I am never satisfied with my paintings. I understand that this is a problem that most artists have, but I feel that at times it make things much more difficult for me.

Recently I made an oil painting for a client. It was a simple painting, yet it took more than the expected time. Firstly I painted the background. I felt as if it needed more detailed work to be done. Though there was no need for going into so much depth,  I took it as a challenge for myself and worked for hours to come to the point where I could feel satisfied.  Then I found myself dissatisfied with the colours of the overall painting. I showed my painting to a couple of people, and they thought it was lovely. But I was still not satisfied. I went for a major overhaul of colour scheme which took a lot more time and energy.

The painting was still incomplete, from my point of view, when my wife intervened. She told me to take a photo of the painting as it was and send to the client, to have the views of the client. I agreed with her suggestion. The response from the client was very positive and encouraging. He was more than delighted to see the painting and he liked the painting very much. My wife once again admonished me for my unchangeable habit of not feeling satisfied with my paintings. At times I feel that she is right, because all that I am doing is putting myself under pressure without any reason. I think it is the time when I should do something to overcome this. Unfortunately so far there is no success.

None of my clients have ever rejected any of my paintings. They all liked my paintings. They are all happy and satisfied. But unfortunately, I always hand over a finished painting to the client, thinking what more I could have done in it. As my wife says, “I love painting too much”.   I think she is right.

Let’s hope for the best.

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