In every stroke of a paintbrush, you see the various strokes of life and nature. You feel emotions, and you relive your deepest experiences. Because colour has the ability to change any experience.
Professional artist Radhika Seksaria explained how "each colour has its own impact on the mind and body and can therapeutically affect a person viewing it. When I’m choosing the colours for my art, the process is mostly an organic one… I allow my mood and the envisioned image to dictate the colours that work best in the painting. Sometimes the colours emerge from a eureka moment, sometimes from deep meditation on what I think the artwork should convey. As an artist I am aware that every colour has symbolism, and different effects on the human psyche and emotions."
The colour like red has so many connotations from love, to anger, to blood and violence. It can also represent the Indian forehead mark or tikka, and sometimes take us back to our roots, or make us smell the roses. While red denotes a passion for life and love, it also denotes the intensity of the Sufi’s devotion to the Ultimate being and his quest for completion. Thus many paintings of mine have elements of deep red in them.
Moving upward on the spectrum of colours, orange is the colour of dawn and dusk – those twilight moments when all dualities merge into one. For a Sufi, these twilight moments are many, as he dances into oblivion, forgetting day and night, pain and pleasure, mine and yours… Simply letting go and connecting with a higher force.
Yellow brings in sunshine and warmth into any artwork. It’s that splash of vibrancy and joy that can light up any painting. In fact, it’s light itself, and the more you use of it in paintings, the more you light up the spaces that those paintings inhabit. Yellow also instils a sense of confidence and energy just like the sun. It brightens up a dull mood and shows us the metaphoric light at the end of the tunnel. When used in combinations of orange and red, yellow has the wonderful ability to give a calming yet exhilarating feel. One of my paintings titled Ibaadat reflects this very joyful and soothing energy that the Sufi soul experiences as he whirls toward his awakening.
Rumi, the poet, and the main source of inspiration behind my paintings, was always influenced by nature. What better colour than green to reflect the vast abundance that we see around us - in trees, plants, leaves and mountains. A rich emerald green also reflects the heart chakra, and all the unconditional love it radiates. Apart from love, it also represents money, an important material aspect of our lives that keep us secure and grounded. The hints of green in the leaves of a lotus - an eternal symbol, signifying the union of the material and spiritual world!
Another primary colour used often in most of my paintings, in its various shades and hues, is the colour blue. Blue has a sense of vastness, stillness, solitude and spirituality. Blue is water but blue is also the sky and its immense possibilities. Surrounded by blue one feels connected within, and is able to relax into its serene energy. A still yet creative mind always seeks blue, as it gives one the necessary inspiration to experiment with expression in its various forms.
Several Indian gods were also represented in the colour blue; simply because they encourage you to surrender to the vastness of life, and it's dynamic experiences.
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The colour purple is the colour of intuition. In many of my paintings it’s blended seamlessly with indigo giving a divine and ethereal experience to the viewer.
The third eye chakra is also represented by the colour indigo. Any creative and spiritual mind will meditate more on indigo to discover deeper insights and become open to what the future unfolds.
Finally, the colour of the lotus, a soft pink and white is what one sees in many of my paintings… This is the colour in which all other colours merge, a colour of receptivity and peace, a colour that evokes nothing else but the spiritual awakening.
A clear white also gives space and light to a painting… It helps create those gaps in the painting that are open to interpretation by the viewer.
All art is a play of colour, different colours that come together to create one complete picture. Just like life would be incomplete without experiencing all the colours, similarly, art too would be incomplete without experimenting with the wide palette given to every artist.
But how you use that palette determines the end experience. So I always choose those that are soothing rather than jarring, those that blend well into life, adding beauty, still not taking away from the natural wonders of everyday life.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on colours, therapy colours and more.