Enjoy this collection of fascinating and intimate portraits by oil painter Sameer Sharma. Visit his website to see more of his portfolio.
For me, painting is an act of surrender to both the process and the product. It is a continuous letting go of what I think I see to observe and feel with pure awareness.
My process is guided by the idea often attributed to the French poet and philosopher, Paul Valery who said, “To see is to forget the name of thing one sees.”
This forgetting allows me to perceive what was previously hidden from sight. Shapes, colors, and brush marks emerge from a subconscious, visceral level that is free from the rational mind’s critique.
Yet this fluid, instinctive process is contained within the frameworks of classical painting techniques and principles I’ve learned from my formal training as a representational painter.
Loose, expressive brushwork sits atop a scaffolding of accurate drawing. I choose colors based more on their emotive quality than their accuracy to the subject.
I’ve always loved painting figures and portraits. Capturing someone’s likeness is one of the most satisfying challenges for me. Expressing an emotion through the subtlest turn of a lip or the strength and determination in a clenched fist requires me to see both the form and the feeling that it evokes.
This is the yin and yang, the balance of oppositional forces, that I try to find in my work. It also extends to the ideas that inspire me. As a practitioner of the martial arts and student of eastern philosophy, the concepts of impermanence, emptiness and Wabi-Sabi (the beauty in imperfection) influence both my choice of subject as well as my painting process.
Ultimately, every painting becomes a reflection. If I’ve been true to myself and my process, then the painting paints itself. If I can lose myself in the first brush mark, I can find myself again in the last one.
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