When I paint, it is as if the whole world has fallen silent. Nothing else exists for me. The silence of thoughts is absolute and no stray wisp of fact, fantasy or fiction enters my mind nor any wild emotions pull me astray; there is just the canvas in front of me and the color on my brush. The calm serenity that occupies my mind during those moments is probably what people in their busy lives are trying to find in every nook and corner but are unable to grasp.
For me, and for the people who accompany me in that room where we paint in this almost meditative way, nothing else exists beyond the boundaries of those four walls yet the blank canvas and the palette of colors opens up the world for us. The conversations in that room are always interesting, inspiring and full of energy. And the absolute silence which engulfs the room during the times everyone is busy working on their canvas is never cold or dry. There is meaning in that silence, there is energy in that silence, the energy of half a dozen brains concentrating on creating something beautiful out of nothing. When people work with such concentration and energy, how is it even remotely possible that the outcome is a fraction less beautiful than the creator wanted it to be? And sure enough, I have never seen one piece of art go out of that room which can be labeled anything less than beautiful. The superlatives of course are never ending.
These classes opened up a whole new world for me. It is as if I had been going through my life all this time and I never knew there existed another world parallel to mine. From my first sketch to my latest painting, I have begun to see things differently. I have begun to observe more closely the amount of shades that are present in the sky while the sun is setting, the variations in the form and color of trees and how perspective changes the way you look at things.
There was a sharp pain accompanying the sense of an ending I felt during the last time we all met to have dinner. All the people associated with the class were present there and we had all become friends from strangers within a short time and with a connection that seems to be now rooted deep within all of us. Painting is addictive if nothing else, and like your first love, you never forget your first painting or the company you had that took you through the ordeal the first time before it became an addiction. And even though the gathering at that table was very diverse in terms of profession as well as age, none of us for even a moment felt disconnected. That table had the ability to pick up any random topic on earth and have a conversation on it as all people had different opinions on everything coming from different backgrounds. There was never a dull moment with that group and I will forever remember that night. The sadness I felt on the last working day of my college was nothing compared to what I felt at our last meeting. It is strange how the place where I had started going just four months ago left a far larger impact on me than the place where I stayed for four years of my life. By the end of it, I feel I have met people who will stay connected for as long as we have strokes of color in our hearts and have achieved something which can provide an anchor in life irrespective of what I do or where I go.