April 2015 Member of the Month: Sheila Thadani
How long have you been a member of Scarborough Arts?
I joined Scarborough Arts some years back.
What kind of art do you practice, and how long have you been practicing it?
I paint in oils. My paintings are realistic, and my subject is usually nature: landscapes, seascapes, etc. I also paint portraits; I have been painting them since I was in my early teens. I remember I submitted a piece to an exhibition at that tender age and won the first prize.
My paintings try to represent subject matter truthfully; I do not try to reshape it to my own fancy. I do not include exotic or implausible elements in what I see or perceive, as I think nature is beautiful and does not require unnecessary additions. I subscribe to the principle that “painting is an essentially concrete art and can only consist in the representation of real and existing things.” (Gustave Courbet, 1861)
Where is your favourite place in Scarborough to go for inspiration?
I have travelled a lot. It has provided me with a sense of perspective and a breadth of vision on varied scenes and people on earth. I like to be close to nature and be around the natural beauty that God has created for us to enjoy. I like to go to wherever there are lots of trees, plants, birds, and wildlife, and where I can hear the sound of a stream, or the waves of the ocean or lake. Those are my favourite places to get inspiration from.
What is the best piece of artistic advice you have ever received?
I am greatly influenced by artists such as John Sargent, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. I look at their works and study their painting techniques. Their works are the best advice I can ever get.
I also live by my belief that art can never be perfect. No artist became perfect until they practised and learnt from their mistakes.
Check out Sheila Thadani’s mini-exhibition of select works — a part of our programming for Bright Flight: An Exploration of Spring and Colour. Sheila’s exhibition is on view at The Bluffs Gallery, 1859 Kingston Road, from April 7 to 28, 2015.