Nelson, Oil Portrait, 20 x20
Come spring, Red Rock Coffee will be hosting an art exhibition, Dreamland, featuring Fremont-based Indian American artist Bhavna Misra. Her colorful portraits will be on display from now till the end of the quarter. (#IndianPortraitPainter, #BayAreaArtist, #OilPainters, #FullTimeArtist, #IndianAmericanArtist, #FremontBasedArtist, @Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, @BhavnaMisra, #BhavnaMisra)
When you step into Bhavna’s studio, you are encountered by colorful smiling faces, boldly painted canvases, and a display of gallery-like array of paintings in various stages of making. This well-lit place is a pleasant chaos of pictures, photos, and art supplies in a creative harmonious melody that is reflected in her paintings. Once you settle down and engage in the process, she takes you on a tour of her art-making process and shares the stories and inspirations behind those welcoming pieces.
Portraiture. “I create with love in my heart, respect towards the subject, and a complete dedication for a well-crafted painting,” says Bhavna. Portraiture has traditionally been the most challenging and well-regarded art form because it reinforces discipline and accuracy in abstract or realistic form to capture a likeness. Bhavna was fascinated by this challenging genre and chose it to enhance her skills. She loves the fact that each face is different and there are so many of them around us.
She paints everyday and accepts offer from people who’d like to sit for her practice sessions. This not only keeps her work fresh but also helps her connect to new people. “I am never alone in my studio. When there is no sitter, I still have a pair of eyes looking back at me through my own paintings,” says Bhavna.
Technique. Bhavna explains that she has been intrigued by the use of light in the paintings. Although her portraits have an element of realism yet she does not strive for photo-like rendering. “We have camera for that,” she explains, “I try to split the colors of light into darks and lights and work along those hues to create the different skin tones and overall mood.”
This fact is evident in her works that use bold and rich colors spanning over the entire palette in jewel tones.
She loves to explore various media but prefers oil for most of traditional portrait painting. “Oil is the gold standard for the portraiture,” says Bhavna but she adjusts to other media requests based on the choice of subjects. She likes to spend about 40 to 80 hours on one piece, depending upon the details, complexity, and variations.
Bhavna started professional painting from spring of 2014. On her call for people to be her models, a great response was generated and she shortlisted people to paint about a twenty portraits.
This portrait series, “Women of Silicon Valley” was accepted by Arts Council of Milpitas and got approved for display in the Milpitas Main Library. Around the time, her work also got accepted into Hayward Area Historical Society Museum and Olive Hyde Art Gallery.
Her next project Nature was based on her research and work on wildlife that made into, “Circle of Animals” and “Seasons.” The former was exhibited in Mission Coffee Café in Fremont, Calif., and the latter was chosen for the Design Gallery in Cupertino, Calif. Both exhibitions received acknowledgments from viewers.
Bhavna’s work has been exhibited in 20 different shows including seven solos and she considers herself fortunate to be recognized for ‘Best Portraiture’ award in the Annual Silicon Valley Art & Food Festival, Second Place in Alameda County Fair, and ‘Distinguished Portrait Artist’ award by ArtAscent art and literary magazine. She was also awarded Silver award by Fremont Art Association for portraiture in graphics category and was honored by Camlin India as their artist of the month feature. Two of her paintings were chosen for the covers of the magazines.
She is scheduled for two solo shows in fall and many group shows now through next spring. She will be the guest artist for Fremont Art Association’s upcoming August meeting. People are welcome to view her work on online at www.bhavnamisra.com or in person in the exhibiting galleries around San Francisco Bay Area.