"In past times, when one lived in contact with nature, abstraction was easy; it was done unconsciously. Now, in our denaturalized age, abstraction becomes an effort." - Piet Mondrian (Dutch painter).
Inspired by Piet's artwork and philosophy about abstract art, Alka Kalra, 42, a Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy recognised painter, is an SAS Nagar-based artist, who has been painting since Class 6 and has managed a couple of group shows in Delhi and Mumbai.
This time, Alka is exhibiting her first solo shows - Nature series at Girl in the Café, Sector 17 and Dhaba series at Flamme Bois Bistro, Sector 7, Chandigarh.
Alka has never been a student of arts; she, instead, took up marketing management from PAU, Ludhiana, and handled space marketing for an an English daily for two years.
"I quit the job culture, because I knew it wasn't my cup of tea. I chose to follow the path of my heart - painting. I am not technically trained, but I have learnt to grow with my passion. I try to learn through some online lectures and workshops of eminent artists such as Mumbai-based Sanjeev Srivastava," she confesses.
The techniques Alka uses in her painting as of now are glazing and impasto, while she says she is still working on the technicality part. Till date, Alka has painted a number of series. "I sell a
lot of paintings, like Fortis hospital took 25 paintings out of my Nature series and the Nirvana group, Ludhiana, took seven of my Lord Buddha paintings. I, however, won't call myself a commercial artist, as I take seven to 15 days to complete a piece of art, and, most importantly,
I do it with all my heart," she says.
Returning to Piet Mondrian, she says, "Thanks to his literature, even I have grown to believe in realistic paintings (Piet was known for his abstract yet real work). The Floral series that you'd see at the exhibit, are real flowers; they have an abstract touch with various colours of different seasons."
"I paint the everyday life; things that all of us just pass by. In my nature series, I have painted my own balcony and the view of Manali through my window. In the Dhabha series, I have included stoves, kettles, samosas and jalebis. I know it sounds ordinary but these paintings will bring a smile to everyone's face," she concludes.