Adorned in an elaborate golden frame, it depicted a Dutch-style landscape, with a small stream running through the middle, spanned by a bridge that allowed unseen travellers to cross over. Beyond the bridge was the edge of a town, faintly depicted in the distance.
“I would try to ‘enter’ the painting by imagining walking through that landscape, checking what was behind the bridge, beyond the trees, or at the edge of the town,” says Somani. “During such moments I always felt like an infiltrator, moving stealthily where I wanted to go, like that rare feeling of being in a dream and realising it, but rather than waking up, being able to influence it according to your whim.”
He recalls having all kinds of adventures set within the painting. “That’s the way a work of art should function. It should nurture you day to day,” he adds. Art has since become a part of his daily routine, a compulsion that goes beyond passion. “When I’m producing art, at the best of moments, time moves at a different pace. Those small brief moments really have a great deal of value.”
Sharmyn Ali, a Houston-based painter, uses her art to convey interpretations of the world around her. “Painting is a part of me now — it becomes a necessity,” she says. “I love what I do and I consider myself blessed that I can do what I love. When I’m painting, my creative juices start flowing — if I don’t paint, something is missing from my life.”
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