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David Kilpatrick: Art at Belmont
August 2010

India Inks

It is well known that an extended trip to India will leave a mark on a person – culturally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and visually.

Traveling from place to place, the texture of the towns and  cities is stunning, and at times overwhelming. The walls are painted and repainted and cracking; some buildings have a multitude of materials used just to create the roof; temples are sunken in some areas with a collection of fallen stones at their base; in others, whole area may be suspended by thin tree branches; and all of these places are set to woven backdrop of complex leaf patterns and dense forest.

These buildings have a distinct narrative, and the stories told are not just the stories of the people. In a way, they represent a kind of visual history of mankind’s relationship with nature – and it is through this idea that I began to absorb the environment and translate it to ink.

This current work incorporates the mark making of traditional miniature style painting and presents an ongoing investigation into the texture, pattern and form of a place.

While visiting the North Indian city of Jaipur, I was lucky enough to find a working studio housing over 60 painters, and with some persistence, I was able to learn a few things about traditional miniature painting. Completed with tiny squirrel-hair brushes, the master paintings seen up close are so fine, and painted with such skill, they instill an immediate feeling of disbelief followed by an intense joy.

I am now honored to be using some of these very brushes to complete the small details in my paintings.