Manjiri Kanvinde is a passionate Artist known for her vibrant and colorful artwork. Her love for nature is evident in her paintings. After graduation she studied Material Management at IIMM, Bangalore, and worked in various multinational companies before finding her true calling in art. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design from Sanskruti, Mumbai.
Manjiri has been fortunate to live in countries including UK, USA, Singapore and India due to her husband’s work assignments. All the places she lived and visited have influenced her art. Her creativity spans a variety of artistic styles and categories like Abstracts, Still-life, Landscapes, cityscapes and Figurative. Her chosen medium is acrylic paint and watercolours.
Artist Manjiri Kanvinde at work in her studio.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
I was always fascinated by art since childhood and would be engrossed in drawing or painting whenever I had the urge for creativity. However, I was away from the art world due to my corporate aspirations. I belong to a family of Doctors and Art as a profession had never crossed my mind. After graduating with a Degree in Commerce, I went on to do post-graduation in Management and worked in various multi-national companies for 8 years. We moved to Oxford , England in 1998, due to my husband’s work transfer and it is here that I once again took up painting as a passion, and have been painting since. Art eventually turned into my profession. I went on to complete my Advanced Diploma in Interior design and also did course in Folk art painting.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I would describe my work as eclectic, and cheerful. I often paint when I am inspired and it can be anything from a landscape, still life, cityscape to an abstract. I like to experiment and love to create colorful and vibrant artwork.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
When living in New Jersey USA, I entered my work in a juried exhibition and was selected. It was an honor to be amongst the few selected from the total of more than 250 entries for the exhibition. Subsequently my paintings sold and this gave me the encouragement needed to follow my passion which led to becoming a professional artist. It motivated me to create more paintings which started finding collectors. Technology is constantly evolving and so is art. I see myself experimenting more by using newer techniques in the future.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
Color excites my senses. I have been fortunate to live in countries including UK, Singapore, USA and India. All the places I lived and travelled have inspired my art. My inspiration has often come from my surroundings. It can be a romantic rainy landscape, cityscape or a colorful abstract. Once the inspiration strikes I get obsessed with the idea and paint for hours till I feel satisfied with my painting.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
My family has always been my pillar of support. My husband and my kids are my critics. Their encouragement and constructive criticism have played an important part in my art journey. My parents and sibling too have always encouraged me to follow my heart and my passion.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
Acrylic paint is my chosen medium. I sometimes paint with watercolors and also like to experiment with mixed mediums. In addition to brushes, I use other tools like knives and also my fingers to create textures. I use canvas, wood and yupo paper as a base for my paintings. YUPO is a state-of-the-art synthetic material offering all the attributes of the highest quality papers with the added benefits of extraordinary durability. Since there are no trees required in the processing of Yupo the use of this innovative material further supports my interest in preservation and conservation of nature. The plastic surface on yupo makes it a challenge to paint on as the paint is not absorbed by the paper. I love that challenge, as the outcome is always a surprise.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
My subject matter is often inspired by nature and my surroundings. My travel to different parts of the world and my exposure to various cultures have inspired my art. Rustic men and women, their colorful attires, flora and fauna, animals and the surrounding landscapes have often been my subjects.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
As mentioned earlier color excites my senses. Inspiration could strike from anywhere. It could be some colorful attire, or a serene landscape. For example, my recent abstract floral painting titled ’Yellow Hibiscus’, done in mosaic style, was inspired by a picture shared by my friend of a Hibiscus flower from her potted garden. Once the idea strikes, I can‘t wait to get it on the canvas. Most of the times, I directly start with the base colors and sometimes sketch on the canvas depending on the subject. Layer upon layer of color glazes are often required to get the desired vibrancy. Most of my art is spontaneous. I like to work at a stretch and so spend hours in my studio once I feel the inspiration.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
As most of my art is spontaneous, I paint when the idea takes root in my mind. I like to stay connected with some activity involving art every day and also conduct art classes. When not working in the studio I spend time marketing my work on social media.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
Most of the time I concentrate only on one piece, as I often get engrossed in completing that work and can’t think of anything else till my work is completed to my satisfaction.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
My art is a result of my exposure to my surroundings and my moods. I like to think my work is cheerful and so feel that it has been a blessing to be able to paint and share it with others.
Which of your artworks are you most proud?
I am proud of most of my paintings. But the painting ‘ Manthan” on women empowerment, which was selected by United Nations for display at Expo Milan, made me very proud and happy. Also the Painting “Rainy Day” was selected by American Musician Frank Bango as the front cover for his music album released in New York. This gave me a lot of publicity and happiness. My paintings exhibited in USA, France, Singapore and India gave me the confidence of pursuing art as a profession. I am thankful to all my art collectors who have encouraged my work by collecting multiple painting from me over the past few years with great reviews for my art.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
The advent of internet has been a boon as well as bane for the artists. On one hand it has given a platform for artists to market their work, but it also has increased the competition. So it is getting increasingly difficult to make a mark in the sea of paintings available online. Art as a profession can be very satisfying but also stressful as a sole income generating profession. The sales can be erratic and so an alternate profession to pay the bills might be a need for some artists.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature.
My art is mainly an expression of my creativity. Being a part of society, the artist does have a responsibility towards shining a light on a particular theme or subject they feel passionate about. My work on the theme of women empowerment is an example of my feelings. I also believe in helping charities and have donated my paintings for a cause and also a portion of my sales. I hope that my cheerful art can bring joy to the viewers. There is enough sadness in the world and if my art can bring a smile to the viewers then I consider my work done