For me, painting is about creating stories that represent the complex dynamism of urban life today. I prefer to use watercolour because it is both challenging to master and yet allows one to cross barriers of meaning very quickly.
I like to capture the constant shifts in the built environment and social geography of cities. This includes buildings, people, parks, gardens and commuter lines. I want the viewer to ask questions and participate in the creative process, which really never stops. When someone looks at a painting, he or she should be able to ask- who are these people, what are they doing, what is happening on this street and around that corner? No one is ever settled in a city and beyond and before a specific second, something is about to occur or has occurred. There are, too, hidden secrets within dense cities-exotic flowers, architectural surprises, highly creative activities. I began with Impressionism and the use of light remains important for me. But I also draw upon the storytelling of our era- fashion illustration, New Wave cinema, Korean film and DC comics. Inspiration has come to me from other traditions too-for example, the early work of Fleetwood Mac and the street art of Banksy.
My work in textiles and objects side by side with paintings taught me the immense possibilities of crossing over from one medium to another. This is especially relevant, I feel, in this age of digital creation and transmission. I hope to be able to continue innovating and interrogating the contemporary city in its various facets.
Soma Pradhan is a watercolour artist focused on creating a new idiom for urban geography. She is an associate member of the American Watercolor Society, with work published/accepted in The Rappahannock Review Hand Anatolios Magazine and 3 Elements Literary Review.