Q&A with suhita shirodkar
Vhcle Magazine Issue 14, Art
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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
 
I am Suhita, a watercolor artist, obsessive
sketcher and graphic designer.
 
I grew up in India and moved to the United States 15 years ago. I am deeply influenced by both countries. I attribute my love of color and of drawing masses of people to growing up in the metropolis of Mumbai, India, and my loose, bold style is something I could only have developed in the United States. 
 
I draw to see deeply, and remember vividly. A piece that works is one that captures what I feel and how I
perceive my environment in that moment. My subjects are varied but always personal. I draw the world around me: my kids, my neighborhood, the places I travel to, things that catch my eye, either for their extraordinary-ness or because they are so everyday they are often overlooked.
 
I work almost completely on location. My 'studio' lives in my bag: sketchbooks, pens, a tiny watercolor kit (see this post about my sketch kit. Working like this helps me capture without the filter of a photograph or memory. I capture what I see and how I react to it in that moment.
 
life design music photography home us film art fashion global notes archive books
Bicycles
Your bio says travel inspires your work - in what way?
 
To travel is to put yourself in an environment that is so different from your everyday surroundings. It's a great way to look at the world around me through fresh eyes. What is everyday, mundane stuff to a local is new and interesting to the traveller. It is that vision – the ability to see what we don't in our everyday life – that I find most inspiring about travel. 
 
To sketch what I see is also to see deeply, in a way that I wouldn't if I weren't looking with a pen and paint kit in hand. I rarely make it through a whole museum (or even a whole section of a museum) anymore, but what I do see and draw, I see and come to know so well!
 
Of course, I don't travel all the time, but what I try to bring to all my work is that same traveller's eye – inquiring, observant and always ready to be fascinated by the littlest thing.
 
If there could be one thing you'd like a person to walk away with after viewing your work, what would it be? 
 
I love when my art connects people with their own experiences: of a place, a time, the light, a feeling. 
 
Name some artists who inspire you
 
I love artists who capture life as they see it, regardless of whether their work is categorized as painting, illustration, photography, or any other genre. Among my favorites are Edward Hopper, for his amazingly haunting work. Norman Rockwell's idealized America, bustling with life, appeals to me too. Sargent is my favorite watercolorist – I love the energy of his work and his unconventional use of the medium. And my favorite group of artists is a group I am an active member of called 'Urban Sketchers'. This worldwide group of people sketch the world around them on location, and document their work at urbansketchers.org.
 
Favorite drink?
 
That depends on my mood. A rum and coke when I miss India, Pastis reminds me of when I lived in New York, Agua the Tamarindo in the summer, or a tall cold hefeweizen...
 
 
Quiet Street
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