Manisha Samal Talks About Her First Love: Painting

A Painting By Manisha- The Bride

1. How did you start out: was painting a childhood hobby?

 Please tell us about you First exhibition or first buyer experience?

It was a childhood hobby. I didn't experiment with acrylic paints or oil colors in childhood though. But I always had a kind of weakness for colors. And as it happens with everyone, I also started with trial and error with those sunset paintings, landscapes and sceneries using water color. I used to watch the sun setting in the horizon from my terrace from a very early age. I didn't know why I felt so good about it. Each time I saw it, I wanted to paint it on paper.

I can sit in silence, almost in mute for hours and watch the sun setting down behind the hills. I was enchanted with the colors- orange, pink, red, magenta, creamy white, purple and so many other hues in sky.

Me: Wow... A nature lover.. sure..
Manisha: Hmm☺ My 1st exhibition was Dristee in 2015. It exhibited around 45 paintings of mine.
Me: 👏🙏 wow.  Such a feat for first timer...
Manisha: There are different meanings of Dristee. Sometimes I feel like Dristee represents all my feelings through my eyes and my paintings.

2. How do you start a work- do you have any rituals, like listening to music, burning incense stick or coffee etc. any predefined plan or go with the flow?

Hmm, no, I don't burn incense stick or drink coffee. Actually when you feel something from your heart, you don't need external factors to motivate you. But yes, sometimes I listen to my favorite music continuously when I paint for hours. I prefer long walks. It helps me to connect with myself and the universe. You can't just keep any negative feelings or emotions within you and create something good. You need to remove those negativity and a walk helps me in that. You won't believe, I forget everything while painting. Sometimes I forget that I was preparing Maggie n when my painting is over, I only get the burnt Maggie in the kitchen 😂

Me: I love long walks too.. my pleasure to have shared some of those with you....
Manisha : I loved ur company 😘

Tribal Art By Manisha

3.Do you think today painting is under appreciated? Artist in general is under appreciated?

I think painting is not under appreciated, but I guess artists sometimes are under appreciated. People think you can't make a career in painting, so they don't encourage artists to go ahead.

Me: Yes, this is very important issue in our country even in the 21st century.

A candid moment at the gallery

'The Eyes' by Manisha

4.Is there an artwork here you are most proud of? Why? 

I love each of my paintings, not because I think they are good, but because they care for my emotions and my feelings.There is one painting which is unique in between all my paintings, which represented Dristee. It's a girl standing tall and facing so many different eyes. Eyes having different emotions- cruelty, anger, love, loyalty, happiness, sadness and many more.

Me: That's such a deep thought.

'Dancer' by Manisha

5. How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your art?

That is something I need to work out gradually now. But I feel one shouldn't give any painting for free or very little. Because sometimes the buyer won't value what he/she has bought in such a low price.

Me: I believe that too. Someone had rightly said, never do anything you are good at for free. And artists and painters need to be appreciated for their efforts.

Manisha: Right. Pricing structure mostly depends on the time and effort spent on the painting.

6.Artists you follow?

Manisha: I follow many artists, I don't really have a preference for the most famous ones. I follow whoever I feel like. Everyone has a different style and one should learn from everyone. I have many artists in my friend list who work on mixed media, sketches and oil paintings. I feel great to know such people. 

Me: That's great. To be among like minded people is the biggest blessing there is. Let me know who from among your friends are passionate artists. 

Manisha: I'll send you few names of those wonderful people.

'In Love' By Manisha

7.What has been your most touching or amazing moment you've experienced as a painter/ artist?

It's something related to a particular painting. 😁
It's a painting of two birds. Till now I have made several copies of the same painting. I don't know why people want me to paint it again and again. Some of them say that after getting the painting, they have noticed changes in their lives. And whenever I painted that painting, I felt like I am spreading love and affection through this piece of art.

Me: Beautiful indeed... Soulful.

8. Your biggest dream as an artist?

Dreams are always dreams. I have aspirations as an artist, but if I say about dream, it's different from what I aspire. I dream of a big hall, where all my paintings till date are displayed on walls. Each of them telling a different story. Some of them successfully connecting with the viewers' emotions and telling the viewer that it(painting) is there who can understand him/her.

Me: So nice thought..

9. Any chance to take it as a full time job in future?

Yes, I have been thinking about it since years. And I will take it as a full time soon. Soon. May be within a year or two or three. Depends.

Me: Wow.. you definitely should.. hope it is a successful venture.

Manisha: Thanks ☺

10.How do you seek out opportunities? Any advice for the newbies out there?

For newbies, I will suggest to explore own techniques and participate in whatever opportunities you get in your way. In the beginning phase you need to learn. Learn the colors, techniques and learn how to take care of your thought process. Opportunity will come to you.

Me: Rightly said. Learning should continue in which ever field we are.

Manisha: Right
'The Taj Mahal' - By Manisha

Rapid fire

11.When was the last vacation you took?

December 2017, Kerala trip, With mom and bro.

12. Blue or Pink. Which color at first pick?

Blue. I love blue sky, blue birds and the blue sea☺ It's the color of vastness, that absorbs almost all colors.

13.Saree or gown

Definitely saree. I have a huge collection of sarees. I just love them.

14. Hillstation or beaches. Or deserts

Hillstation. Though I like to be at beaches and also at deserts, but first I'll go to hill Station and then I can go to desert 😜

Me: Just to add to this: any foreign country you want to visit in your wishlist.

Manisha: Mmm.. As of now, I am planning to visit Indonesia. I don't have a long wishlist. May be after being to Indonesia I can think of some other places to explore.

Me: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. May you keep creating good art.

Manisha: Thank you, you thought of featuring me in your blog 😇☺It's always a good feeling talking to you.

Manisha Samal is an IT professional, currently residing in Bengaluru, who considers painting as her much needed escape and her safe haven. Juggling a full time 9 to 7 job, she still manages to keep her artistic pursuits very much alive. 
One of her exhibits in Dristee was covered in The Telegraph.
Featured in WomanOdisha for her displays at Odisha Modern Art Gallery.

Follow her on Instagram for updates on art and occasional travel.

I am participating in the #AToZChallenge with #BlogchatterA2Z and I am sharing posts themed around Art for this entire month of April. Share and connect with me on social media.
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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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