Like most of us, artist Darpan Kaur thought Goa was all about the sea before she had the fortune of moving to the city to live there. “While the sea continues to be endlessly fascinating, what I’ve come to love is the sky. The expanse of sky is not interrupted by any tall buildings so it’s just beautiful because everywhere you look, you can see the sky. I came for the sea, but I’m staying for the sky,” she says, as we sit down for a chat about her latest series of paintings dedicated to show the world the true beauty and amgic of Goa through unexpected bursts of colour.
Aside from the azure sky, Kaur shares that it was the monsoon of Goa that took her by pleasant surprise. “Living in Bombay, I had come to despise monsoon but in Goa, monsoon is amazing. It’s a time for lush greenery. I remember once I was walking my dogs and they were just messing around and there were some 50-60 colourful butterflies that just appeared out of nowhere. I felt like I was in a movie or some wonderland,” she says, awe still evident in her voice.
The series, titled ‘Through The Eyes Of Colour’, are Kaur’s attempt to capture this magic of Goa, something that only a few get to experience first hand. Take, for instance, her painting titled ‘Living Life in Colour’ which shows the serene mellowness of life in Goa through muted shades but has splashes of colours to indicate the unexpected magical moments of joy that can be found if you’re looking at the right moment.
Kaur’s journey as an artist began with a backpacking trip across Europe that serendipitously led her to Florence where she witnessed the breathtaking grandeur of the statue of David in its full glory. “When I saw the statue, for the first time in my life, I realised the importance of art. The fact that a human being could create something which is almost Godly, blew my mind. It touched my soul and I think it changed my life. I felt like I understood what art is.”
The encounter was enough to get her to quit her corporate job and set out on a journey to figure out what she wants to do with her life. A 15-week course under artist Nicholas Wilton allowed her to explore the new world of art. “I know people who have actually studied art and they swear by this course. It made me even more passionate about art.”
Her decision to change her life direction this dramatically was validated by several “nods from the Universe”, as she likes to call the major milestones in her art journey. Her art began getting recognised and started being featured along with more accomplished contemporaries. “These moments told me that I’m on the right path.”
The artist’s extraordinary journey should be an inspiration to us all to keep our mind open to the oft-hidden pockets of joy and wonder in ordinary moments. We can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us.