Visiting this blog today is my friend and artist, SHREYA MEHTA, to talk about life, art and inspiration...and a poem.
let's begin with your latest exhibit at the Indian Consulate in New York. What was it about? How did it come into being?
"The Spirit of Shakti" collection came about when I met Shri Mulay at a mutual friend's house where he happened to see my work and what I was about, which is art that is more. Art that goes beyond what you can see and touch, art that connects our spirits as much as our rationale.
The Empowered Woman, she moves through the world
with a sense of confidence and grace.
She now understands
how much to ask for herself and how much to give.
She has a strong, yet generous heart
and the inner goddess she emanates truly sets her apart. .
She hears the wind rustling through the trees;
beckoning her to live the dreams she holds so dearly.
She feels the softness of her hands
and muses at the strength that they possess.
The spiritual strength and beauty within, shine through;
and she becomes the embodiment of the Spirit of Shakti
How did you become an artist? In other words, tell us YOUR STORY.
Honestly, I wasn't very artistic as a child. I was creative, but not skilled enough to think I could be an artist. I used to color outside the box in school and it didn't work in my favor back then as it does now. Inspite of such early roadblocks, it so happened...I guess it was fate...that I applied to the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, where I grew up. They seemed to like my creativity even if I lacked skill, yet. It's a very prestigious old art school with alumni that list artists like Van Gogh. Incredibly, I was the first Asian woman to have attended the academy.
That is so interesting. Van Gogh? Whew. Anyway, moving on...
What does your day look like?
What does your day look like?
Most days I'm running about taking care of home and family, scooping out time to do sketches or pinning my thoughts down about what I might draw next. I have hundreds of sketches that may never become anything more than that preliminary idea.
What inspires you to make those sketches turn into paintings?
Something about the subject has to speak to me. My painting have to hold a meaning beyond their physical beauty. I love drawing temples, their intricate carvings. Figures, faces, perfect features...but most especially I love drawing women going about their daily lives. Quite and peaceful and yet when you look at them you can see their inner strength and purpose.
(click the above words to see a painting!)
Who is your favorite artist and why?
August Rodin, because his sculptures were alive and you can feel the passion and magic within them. I think they have a divine quality to them.
What medium of expression do you find the easiest to create?
I find nothing easy or tough. I love playing in all kinds of mediums. Right now, I love my charcoals. I love the simplicity of that medium. From its creation from ash to what it can become on paper. I also think its symbolic, because all of us, in the end, will turn to ash.
Do you have a favorite painting? Why?
I don't. Each one of my painting are my favorite while I'm working on them. Then, when I finish, its done. I don't know whether I break my connection with them consciously or unconsciously.
What do you wish to convey through your art?
That beauty is strength and strength is beauty. It is inside and outside and all around us. I am particularly drawn to women's empowerment. Maybe because I'm a woman or because I come from a land that is rich with culture and mythology but yet is known to be harsh on its women. What I do with my art is pay it forward. I want my art to mean something to me, to the buyer and somehow become a vessel of joy to many others. All of my works are for a cause. All the proceeds from a sale go towards various educational and healthcare charities.
What can we expect from you next?
Just about anything that calls to me. I'm exploring glass art, right now.
To end lets try a Rapid Fire round. Your answer should be the first word/s that pops into your head when you think of:
PASSION: art and beauty
Thank you once again, Shreya Mehta, for being here and talking to me. It was vibrant, just like your art!
For more information on Shreya, her art and her charities, go to: