Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Artist Profile: Suhita Shirodkar

Suhita Shirdokar spent her childhood drawing and chose to graduate in Graphic Design from New York's famous Pratt Institute to follow her passion. However, after years in advertising she realized that she'd moved far from doing what she loved best. A trip to Oaxaca, Mexico a few years ago inspired her to get back to sketching and there has been no looking back since.

I love how colourful, free flowing and ephemeral her paintings are. As she began sketching on a vacation, all her paintings are travel-inspired. Today, Suhita's is taking over SHP to take you on her travels around India. Travel with her watercolours to the ancient city of Tirunelveli in South India, then hike up to get a feel of the Goa of the Portuguese and then finally get a dose of spiritualism at Vanarasi. Take it away Suhita!

Tirunelveli, South India 

 The narrow street outside my in-laws home in Tirunelvelli, India. It's only this quiet on Sunday when all the shops are closed. I especially enjoyed capturing the 2 dogs peeking through the door. I bet atleast one of them is named Whitey!

 Kittu, the istri-wala has been in the neighborhood twice a week for atleast 15 years. With his crazily-heavy coal-filled iron, he is a fast disappearing breed. [Divya] This is my favorite image from the Tirunelveli series as I was hit by a wave of childhood memories of running to the istri-karan. 

Every little street in South India has a temple decorated with striped walls and colourfully painted gods, goddesses and demons.

Goa, Western India

Little chapel in Calangute, Goa. This lady and her child just stood around for a half hour, enjoying the cool evening breeze. A Vespa stood nearby.

3 hours from Goa, the Vidyadurg Fort near my parents mango farm in rural Maharashtra. My parents have an alphonso mango farm, with mangoes to die for.

Casa Fialho- We stayed at the house of our friend, Malcolm for the week in Goa. His front yard is a riot of color: lush tropical foliage, towering coconut palms. My kids played for hours in the red mud. (if you look really carefully, they're there among the riot of vegetation).

Varnasi, North India

Bright orange temple on the banks of the Ganges. I visited Varanasi a couple of days after a bomb blast had occurred, right at this spot. It was great to see the place crowded with people, not one of who seemed to be intimidated by what had occurred just 2 days before.   

My favorite sketch of this set. This one was a quick capture. I had just finished a longish sketch on the banks of the Ganges, and turned around to see the most beautiful light and reflections on the water. This piece best exemplifies my calligraphic and super-quick approach to my work. It took no longer than 15 minutes.

My favourite sketch of this set. The pujari waiting patiently for the lady to finish dressing before he continues a bunch of rituals performed prior to and after a dip in the Ganges. I loved capturing the warm morning light here.

I have it on first hand authority that Suhita completes her paintings extremely quickly, usually in under a few minutes. In Suhita's words, " I often have my 3 and 6 year old with me while I sketch, so I've adapted to working in the little windows of time I get before they're bored and want to move on! " She works exclusively on location and none of her paintings are ever re-touched again!

Suhita also paints lovely paintings of her current city San Francisco and other lovely locations from her travels.

To check them out visit her,
Flickr page
Blog: Sketch Away

And you can buy her paintings and prints at her Etsy store.

Thank you Sangita Ramachandran for introducing me to Suhita and her gorgeous paintings!

{Credit for all Images of Paintings Featured here go to Suhita Shirodkar}


Sreelu said...

jaw droppingly beautiful !!

Ambika said...

Wow, these are beautiful! The style of painting is familiar, but the scenes Suhita has captured are heart warming! Loved the painting of the fort especially, where the drawing is just a series of lines and dots. And the istiri-kaaran :P And the thirunelveli street. And I liked it that the white space is left as white space. Beautiful work!!

Anpu said...

OMG...simply awesome...Simple everyday sceanes captured so beautifully!!!

Anpu said...

OMG simply awesome!!! Simple everyday sceanes captured so beautifully!!!

Sound Horn Please said...

@Ambika- That was quite observant! And agree with everything you've said.

Designwali said...

Beautiful work!

Suhita said...

Thanks Sreelu, Ambika, Anpu and Designwali!
Ambika, that's part of what I love best about working so loosely: the whites, negative spaces, and unfinished edges say so much... when I sketch I try to capture what I would see as just an observer of everyday life: I see the subject that interests me in great detail and then everything at the periphery of my vision sort of fades into "non-details"

Anjali Ramachandran said...

Such a talented woman! Thanks for introducing her work to me!

Neha@ All things beautiful said...

These are absolutely breathtaking! I'm a big fan of watercolors and I think its not an easy medium to work with. Suhita's paintings capture normal day to day scenes in such vivid colors and with so much beauty...Loved her work!
Thanks for sharing, Divya.

Amrita Tripathy said...

These daily sketches are really beautiful...!Must say SS has a knack for sketching the veiws she sees through her eyes..! I personally like her Tirunelvelli clips...! felt like I also travelled just now..! :)
Also,this post of yours reminded me my teen days when I used to sketch and draw..!

Emreen said...

Lovely work... Love the way she has captured even minute details .. in each of her paintings... !!

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

These are brilliant. I am trying to catch up on the fabulous posts I missed this week.

Shanthi said...

Divya that was a lovely introduction. Daily acts so well captured. I love kittu -the istri- wala.

Geetha said...

This is awesome work!

Patricia Torres said...

stunning!! so so talented!! amazing isnt it??