Pre-dominance of brown and ocher with hints of red are the first things that you will notice in Amol Pawar’s paintings. His paintings are a bit dark and mysterious, but so is Shiva’s world, the world that Pawar has portrayed on his canvas. The mighty Shiva, the destroyer among the Trimurti, is the central theme of Amol Pawar’s Shakti Series.
Influence and Inspiration
Born and brought up in Talegaon, a small town near Pune, Amol Pawar was always inclined towards arts. He was introduced to various forms of art such as drawing, painting, rangoli, etc. at quite an early age and since then, art formed an integral part of his life. Pawar’s artistic streak helped him win numerous intra and inter school competitions and was also appreciated by leading local newspapers such as Sakal. However, neither he nor his family knew that one can establish a successful career in arts. “At that age, I thought that an artist is only required to paint signboards, hoardings or portraits of rich and famous people,” Pawar chuckled as he mentioned his ignorance in the field of art in his childhood.
But as fate would have it, truly impressed by his artistic style, his school art teacher mentored him to create a fulfilling career in arts. After getting some guidance and researching a bit, Pawar’s family came to know about Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune. This is where Pawar graduated in applied arts. Even then, the path further seemed foggy. He didn’t know where to start and how to become a professional artist. Determined to make a career in arts, Pawar started exploring the artistic world and that’s when he stumbled upon exhibitions and shows in Mumbai. The doors to these exhibitions actually opened Amol Pawar’s doors in the world of arts.
History and Inception
“I love to travel. I love to roam around in the cities and explore their pasts, their histories, their foundations. This inspires my art.”
After moving to Pune, Pawar started touring the city. The more he explored the city, the more he realised that Pune has many different beautiful and iconic wadas. He found that this historic architecture which belonged to the Peshwas is a common theme through out the city. This inspired Pawar’s first series which revolved around the various wadas of Pune.
When asked about the inspiration behind his artwork, Pawar said, “I believe aiming small is a crime, this is why I don’t have a single inspiration. I start with a subject and create a series revolving around that subject. Then I find new inspiration for a new series. Change inspires me.”
Sadhu And Bull
Talking about his current series of Sadhu and Bull Pawar said, “The sadhu represents Shiva and the bull illustrates Nandi, Shiva’s bull. Shiva neither has a beginning nor an end. He is an experience. This inspired me to create a series dedicated to the many layers of Shiva”
Pawar likes exploring the mythological and spiritual world. Perhaps this is why most of his art revolves around many different Hindu Gods or personification of different Hindu mythological beliefs. In this series, the dark earthy tones represent the ash on Shiva’s body and imply his detachment to the world. The bull that represents Nandi is also a form of shakti or power.
Thought Behind The Art
Despite the subjects, the series and the inspirations, the sober earthy tones are a common theme in all of Amol Pawar’s paintings. Describing his love for these subtle colours Pawar said, “Earthy tones keep me connected to my roots, my simplicity, to the soil of my town, to my motherland. It constantly prompts that no matter how tall I grow I have to keep my feet on earth. It reminds me of humility, similar to how bowing in front of temple teaches me to stay humble.”
Pawar believes that paintings are an experience. He believes that it is important to inhale the sweet fragrance of the flowers and not to find out where the fragrance is coming from. “The journey is not about the beginning and the destination, it’s about the things you experience during the voyage, the plants, the trees, the co-passengers, the roads.” Similarly, he thinks it is important to observe the whole painting, admire the big picture and not just concentrate on the colours or form. The artist’s thought behind the painting, the intricate details, the calligraphy, the motifs are the key things that should be observed in the paintings, together they combine and create a picturesque painting.
Other Artistic Projects
Apart from being a prolific painter, Amol Pawar is also a book illustrator. He has created several book covers and illustrations for many fiction and science books. The artist reads the books before painting the book cover or sketching the illustration. “When you read a book, you interact with the characters that you’ve never met in your life. Book illustration is a tricky thing, you have to ensure that you paint a picture that is true to the story but at the same time you have to be careful that you don’t reveal everything about the story.”