Wheat Harvest, Early Summer Noida Villages, India Oil on Canvas, 38.5cm x 38.5cm, April 2008. SOLD

Some paintings do have a story… this one sure does have one…

It was my first of series of paintings I did in the plein air just before the wheat harvest.. in fields along Yumuna river in Noida (UP).

I went in with my painting equipments etal in the late afternoon …as the April sun can be very strong early on.. I found the wheat just the right colour.. whitish yellow, ripen..and the plant golden yellow.

Finding a spot i went about starting my work… working in oils is always messy and complicated… and doing it outdoors can be sometimes tormenting!! I was quite happy this painting came out well… some don’t and then there is a struggle to make it well..and I hate that moment..when the painting is not getting the right look!! Thus immersed in work, trying to finish the painting, when i noticed a small girl standing close to my elbow… and she blurted out a startled “Hello!!” I realised on the road next to the fields was a big black car and next to it her parents… all ogling at me…

Crowds, passerby coming up and asking questions is part of plein air adventure.. unless it’s the police..or the military..which can be sometimes messy!!

When I smiled at them, they all trooped in and the usual conversation started…

“Wow! lovely!! you just did that…? We saw you when going towards our farmhouse an hour back… you paint so fast, do you sell? etc etc”.

They went away promising to come over to my studio and buying… (which of course they never did!!)

By the time I cleaned brushes, palette and packed up, it was dark and i dumped all paints, oils, easels into the back seat and only the wet painting in the dickey of the car… the biggest problem of oil is to bring back wet painting home safely… my work is thick impasto..with fresh colours like a relief..a kind of a torte!! and one little touch or it getting softly rubbed will completely spoil it..

I kept the wet canvas on the floor of the car dickey.. which i generally keep empty.

On the way home i stooped by for some tea at my friend’s small tea shop next to the fields.. back home i didn’t want to open the dickey in the dark and bring out the wet canvas and carry it three floors up.. so left it to do so the next day. Rest of my painting gear lies always in the car.

Next day I had some work in the day in Delhi so I left in my car and after finishing my work I drove straight back to the Noida fields… I started a new work as soon as I reached without even taking out the wet one lying in the dickey..so that once done I can lineup the two works and compare and also do the last minute touch ups..

So once done with the second painting i went to my car to open the dickey.. to take out the painting.. and what I saw broke my heart!! In the night i hadn’t realised the existence of an old stupid empty plastic bottle!! which had been using the wet canvas as a dance floor…

So here it was, a finished work had a plastic bottle rolling all over it the whole time i was driving back home and then to Delhi and back…

Many of my works are very spontaneous..and I don’t rub and repaint over and over.. I like the strokes to show… and here all those lovely thick impasto were all smothered!!  It had never happened before..in this scale.. though it does happen.

Anyway with a dogged determination I went about recreating…I don’t like to sit on a work which I have once finished…

At the end though I doubt anybody can make out that this painting had a makeover?!! Can you?

you can view my works here..