I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and have attended various classes over the years. During this time I have had some inspirational teachers, despite not having attended art school. I gained a degree in landscape and garden design which has had an influence on the way I paint in terms of composition and other elements of design within my work. My first success as an artist was at the age of 5 when my teacher hung my painting on the wall, with a gold star beside it. Since then I have taken part in many exhibitions, including the Harlow Open last year, which I was very fortunate to win. Thanks to the Harlow Arts Trust I have been given the opportunity to have a solo exhibition here in the Gibberd Gallery, for a month.
New Works - Jackie Chakravarti - 1st - 30th May
I use the local area as an outside studio, but during bad weather I am lucky to have a shed in the garden, where I paint, often with a small group of friends. I paint with the successful Serendipity art group in Old Harlow, led by the inspirational Alan Burgess. I love to paint surrounded by other artists, as this is when I am most productive.
I paint and sketch using a variety of media, including pastels, acrylics, inks and oils. For this exhibition I have created works, in oils, painting the everyday scenes and things around me. I can gain inspiration from almost any subject. The subject itself is not the most important thing to me. It could be the view through some twigs or branches, patterns in nature, areas of colour, the form or line of a fruit or an animal, that catches my eye. Often it is the significance of a subject or place, a special friends window, a place in the garden where the children used to play, some flowers given by friends, or a place we love to walk. It always used to be the subject that inspired me to paint it, but something has changed, as my painting has evolved, now it is the process of painting that has become more important. I find it quite liberating to feel that anything in front of me could become a painting.
I prefer to paint from direct observation whenever possible, although I do not try to paint 'the thing' as such, but I use it as a reference to create something more 'painterly'. I use a limited palette of colours, preferring to mix my own. This allows me to make subtle changes in colour and tone, as I lay my paint marks next to each other on the surface of the canvas, rather than blending them on the canvas. I tend not to draw my subject initially, but like to get the paint down, drawing into it at a later stage. It has taken lots of practice to be brave enough not to say too much in my painting. Now I am happy to leave areas of the canvas unpainted, or to paint in a less defined way in certain areas, losing and finding edges, sometimes showing the process of the painting and not saying it all. This is a constantly evolving process for me and one I know I will never come to the end of, but it is an exciting journey and one I love.