People say artists are born that way. In my case, there were no particular signs. Pablo Picasso claimed “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. So I gather those artists who showed signs of being an artist while young had grown ups who noticed talent. Or perhaps the grown ups in their lives wanted them to be artists. I do not remember any grown ups being gung ho about my childhood art. I had no idea I would become an artist. Though I always enjoyed my art projects, my ideals for most of my childhood were scientists. I admired Marie Curie. I must admit I never dared to think I could do any serious science either. I suppose as a kid, I could never fathom what I would become as an adult. The goal of my very late entry in to the world of Art was to escape the rigors of science. Art has given me much since then. I agree with George Bernard Shaw who said “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable”.
Jackson Pollock stated that “Every good painter paints what he is”. I find this is true about everything you do, not just art. The Math I do, articles I write, the food I choose to eat, the books I read, the place I stay, the friends I keep, etc. are all statements of who I am. According to Pablo Picasso “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary”. I find that to be true. Art for me is another way to express myself. There are many similarities in the temperaments of mathematicians and artists. Tim Burton says that “When it comes to art and science, people don’t like a lot of either. Instead of being open to it, they’re closed off about it”. To become successful at anything means one has to be open and free. You cannot become a singer if you are inhibited. I can safely say that I have few inhibitions in mathematics. But I am learning to be free each day in Art. Accomplishing freedom in art is more challenging. To paint like a child is very difficult for an adult.
People question the role of art especially painting these days. With photography becoming common place, no one relies on painting to record history. But then again, paintings outlive photographs. With photographs becoming more and more digital, it is easy to lose all your data. If the world starts from a clean disk again, paintings will be an important source of history.
I am visibly happy when I am indulging in art. Art is a major stress buster for me. Moreover, It is always a win win situation. If I lose reality in my paintings, I understand freedom better. When I lose freedom, I understand reality better. I recommend everyone to take up an activity that they can grow old with. Vincent Van Gogh quotes “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”. So people, take up that guitar, or go back to those singing lessons. And one day you will feel like Charles Dickens “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Also Read other Articles by Dr Maya Mohsin Ahmed:
- The Politics Of Hate
- Happy Mother’s Day to My Darling Mother
- The distressed Indian farmer
- The Pathetic Academic Culture of Mangaluru
- The Many Pitfalls of Holding on to Money
- Why on Earth did we agree that Religious Conversions are Wrong?
- In the Land of Coconut Trees
- Mangaluru: The murky land deals of Karnataka
- The Sad Economic Disparity of Genders
- Mangaluru: Misuse of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (prevention of atrocities) Act
- Stop Domestic Violence