Shiva – The start of the journey…

39×39 inches
Acrylics on canvas

I started a portrait of him many years ago. At first, it was just a nebulous idea and I had an even less profound reason for painting him. And then while reading about him I got interested. But more than what is known about him or what folklore or mythology says – my relationship with him, and yes! I would call it a relationship, took on deeper significance with each passing day that I worked on his portrait. He has taught me the most important aspect of my work – Patience. Delayed gratification. And peace. Satisfaction with me – myself.

I started with the idea of trying to paint him with all the symbols associated with him – the Rudraraksh, the snake etc. But as each day went by I found myself dropping all that external paraphernalia. I found I wanted to paint just him. In various avatars on my canvas – he has been young and old, smiling and stern, he has even been very stylised and sometimes unfinished.

In this current avtaar he is closest to what I see him as ‘right now. And strangely enough in this version, he is ‘constructed’ in proportion terms. He really does not exist – there is no reference I have used for him. Someone wrote and told me ‘he looks caucasian, someone else wrote and said I have tried to use ‘some elements of Aryan but not enough’…

…to me, he just looks mine.

Note- This painting is sold but prints are available.

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