Friday, October 1, 2010

Inspiration and Soul: Natalie Singh, an artist profile.

I love looking at art. While I'm admiring it, I'm also looking into the soul of the person who created it. Because nowhere else is the purest essence of the person behind it all more exposed than it is in the arts (I'm talking visual art, music and yes, literary art as well). These magicians possess the power to take the ordinary and turn it into something remarkable. They notice a nuance that might have escaped us and color it in their world. That's what I admire about Natalie's art....her ability to take something mundane and paint it in her on.

Her composition of lentils, paintbrushes and a pot of tea! (I'll be sharing pictures of her inspiration in the next post!) I love the colors here! And did you notice how the art warps around the bottom of the canvas--if you focus your gaze there, it'll look like a real-life table. It's all in the details, people!

GB: Where do you draw inspiration from?

NS: A lot of my inspiration seems to be subconscious stuff from my childhood, such as moments when I've experienced a feeling or an emotion, or even just a memory of looking out the window or sitting in a room. I usually find these memories or feelings are re-awakened when I see an image or a room/view with a similar atmosphere, where the light falls in a certain way or bounces off objects that it hits. Something that always affects me is dappled sunlight filling a room, or sunlight filtering through the trees. I think I yearn to be amongst trees and out in nature, which prompts me to want to paint it. On the other hand, I love interior scenes and capturing the light indoors too, which is where still life comes into effect.

I think this is the view from her dining room--you'll see what I'm talking about. She isn't kidding when she says that she draws very heavily from real life. (i.e.: her home is as pretty as her compositions!).

Another gorgeous still life!

GB: What subject matter are you most comfortable with---do you/have you pushed your boundaries--what was the experience like?

NS: I tend to paint still life mostly because I love the shapes of our everyday items - jugs, tea cups, bowls etc. But more recently I have challenged myself to draw and paint more trees, something I have always found difficult. In the last couple of years I've become more interested in abstract art (which I ignorantly used to turn my nose up at!) and discovered that attempting to paint abstractly (or semi-abstractly) made me think differently about how I was approaching the subject and what i was trying to express. Those kind of thoughts don't occur when I paint still life, so it was a good way of opening up my mind. I guess I'm always trying to push my own boundaries as I hope each new painting can be better than the last!

This is one of her favorite paintings. I love the colors!

Abstract! again, I love the colors!

GB: I know you have a very significant connection with India, and that you have travelled to India. To what extent has it influenced your art ?

NS: I think my interest in Indian art is not so much drawing inspiration from my travels as learning about and exploring a culture so different to the one I grew up in. I'm very interested in Eastern philosophy and spirituality, which I relate to much more than Western ideas. So I guess it has had an effect on my art too!

I love this one--did you notice the blue block-worked stole from India in the background? And the details on the pots, the aloe spikes.

GB: Have you experimented with other media?

NS: In painting I am most comfortable with oils, but I love pastels and keep on meaning to get some Caran D'ache oil pastels - the best in the world!

Some freehand sketches: I just love looking at the creative process, here! 

GB: What are you working on currently?

NS: I always seem to have many projects on the go, some of which get neglected for long stretches of time! Unfortunately I don't have much free time as I work with my husband during the day, so I juggle creative projects around everything else, even though they are a priority for me. Anyway, my current top project is to complete 2 designs which I would like to screen print onto tea towels as soon as possible, as well as get them printed on mugs. They are both 1 colour designs of the terrace houses of Sydney and brownstones of New York City which I love. I'm also tentatively working on an idea to photograph weird and wonderful scenes and people in my local area, which would be exhibited in a local library or somewhere relevant. And in my head I'm planning some more paintings which may end up being gouache on paper, inspired by 2 female Australian artists who I greatly admire, Margaret Preston and Cressida Campbell.

Drafts for the tea towels! What a wonderful idea!

GB: Do you hold exhibitions, any upcoming exhibitions?

NS: I hope to exhibit eventually but at present don't have enough related works. I'm working on it though!!

Natalie's day job is in a related field--she works as a graphic designer alongside her husband; as a team they manage their design consultancy firm, Artistic Visions. I was recently the proud recipient of 10 of her beautifully designed cards from a giveaway that I won! Yay!

A selection of her gorgeous cards!

Ten gorgeous cards scattered over my kantha dupatta! (It's the light that's lending them a yellowish tinge, they're every bit as the picture above, in real life!) Thank you Natalie, for the very generous giveaway, and the precious cards! You can order cards from Natalie at her website or through her etsy store. Natalie authors the blogs "the homely place", "annapurna" and "Natalie Singh". She lives in London with her husband and two teenage daughters.

Natalie, I hope you get time to work on your art and hold an exhibition soon!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and work with us.


  1. Thank you Gagan for such a lovely post about my home and art! Love the way you've put it all together!

  2. Fabulous stuff! Natalie, you are so creative!

  3. Beautiful beautiful beautiful....
    She is a talented girl !!!


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