Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Painting with soothing colours and malleable textures

  • Takir Hossain
  • 23rd August, 2023 03:51:30 PM
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Maksuda Iqbal Nipa is one of the ardent painters of the late 1990s and she always tries to keep a low profile. She is very earnest about her creative works and has already formulated her personal language of art through a distinctive style. Deep layers of colours provide a unique texture to her canvas and that is why her canvases carry a singular hallmark. Her paintings create an expression of the essence of a colour and what the colour really means. This technique is very affluent and labourious, requiring immense effort and devotion. Her search for beauty and her contemplation on insight into human beings and unnoticed nature have influenced her to paint the images.

Oil is Nipa’s favourite medium because it gives her flexibility. She includes novel leitmotifs, forms and techniques in her works unintentionally, she never does it intentionally. All of her paintings are oil-based as she is comfortable in the medium and has had her higher education in oil painting. Her works are mostly technique-based and demonstrate a sense of craftsmanship. For Nipa, oil is a very significant medium for crafting her concept of work. The medium’s richness, volume and textural intensity also inspire her to select the medium. The medium is also expressive and time-consuming.

As per her observation, the medium is very lustrous, durable and gives colours depth. The medium is also very smooth, it improves the flow of the paint and slows drying times. The advantage of the slow drying of oil paint is that an artist can develop a painting gradually, making changes if necessary. Oil paints blend well with each other, making subtle variations of colour possible as well as more easily creating details of light and shadow. Nipa feels that the interesting thing about oil is the way they look so vibrant. Oil paintings are valued more than other paintings. Nipa has acknowledged that all classic painters and old masters used oil as their preferred medium. Today, oil paint is still one of the most popular artistic mediums because of the wide expanse of colours, the ease of use, the layering ability, and the transportability of the medium. Most Bangladeshi artists prefer acrylic colour and very few of them are able to work in oil medium because the medium is too intricate to handle and requires plenty of patience to nurture. Nipa says, “I work with oil paint for its rich texture, colour and volume. My everyday thoughts are like everyday journals on me and my mental statements. That’s why many of my paintings are titled ‘Mood’.”

Nipa is very honest with the use of her art materials. She has used expensive, durable and everlasting materials, which are vital parts of a canvas. She also gives importance to the selection of materials and their scrupulous application procedure. She feels that art materials are one kind of ornamentation for her paintings. Furthermore, precise application and collection of expensive materials add durability to a canvas.

Nipa also gives importance to the preparation of a canvas, the selection of fabrics for the canvas and the quality of stretchers. She also advises her personal frame vendor to provide high-quality frames for her canvases. She even brought different foldable stretchers when she visited abroad to ensure the perfection of her canvases. Nipa prefers to think that the process of painting begins with a stretcher, canvas clothes or support, art materials and framing of canvas.

Nipa enjoys the freedom to identify herself with her working styles that are apparently synchronised and technically phenomenal. She strives to proceed with a certain style that has become a personal hallmark of her works. Her works appear to be sparkling and dynamic because of the use of profuse shades and evocative textures. Flamboyant colours, malleable brush strokes, and imagery are noticeable features in the impressive paintings of Maksuda Iqbal Nipa, a gifted painter who has been striving to make a distinct place for herself in Dhaka’s art scene.

Nipa says, “My artworks are shapeless, emotional, visual journals of the everyday struggles of my life as a woman and a human being. My desire for harmony and the need to escape from oppression that I face has led me to create works where refuge can be sought within the forms of abstraction.” It has also been observed that Nipa meticulously blends the essential elements of her paintings. Her paintings can be explained in many ways: sometimes one can find the touch of mysticism, and some can get the taste of harmony, melancholy, despair and at the same time joy. Her mode of expression has always been persistent, and the painter has successfully established her personal trait through all her creations. Her style is unquestionably unique, individualised and expressive. In her paintings, one feels the lament of a lonely soul, an underlying sorrow and a feeling of bareness.

It is noticeable that Nipa has now hooked herself with bright colours for bringing out the internal articulations of intangible formations. Her colours and textures clearly articulate peace and harmony. She tries to provide a psychological narrative. She wants to produce paintings that not only describe how we look physically but also capture our mental, emotional and spiritual states. The artist likes her use of materials that are apparently harmonised and technically phenomenal.

Nipa says, “Paints are blended in multiple layers in order to achieve direct, blunt and bold expressions of emotions in real-time. As I work, I feel that everything in existence is being crushed and merged before being transferred to the canvas.” After observing her paintings, it was clearly comprehended that the painter intermingles sensation and intelligence, believed to be a feature of abstract expressionism, in her paintings. Her paintings emerge to be sparkling and dynamic because of the use of profuse shades and evocative textures. Her images abound with her use of deep splashy hues, large droplets and various sprinkled forms, marked by the strong backdrop of colourful images that cannot be explained and have to be felt. Her canvases are lavish in abstract images. But this abstraction does not in any way obstruct the viewers’ perception of the artist’s feelings.

The writer is an art critic and cultural curator.