At the student art display at Art in The Square this year, you may have seen Carroll student Serina Taluja’s work. Serina is this year’s Lone Star Artist award winner. Her family moved here a few years ago from Nice, France. You could call her a Renaissance lady, because she plays the acoustic and electric guitar, practices yoga, and likes reading and poetry in addition to painting. She started painting when she was little and this particular painting has a story.
“This painting is of my great grandfather, who our entire family called Nanaji, hence the name of the painting. Originally, I was painting this for him and wanted to send it to him in India as he was facing a serious illness. Tragically, he passed away just as I was starting the painting. This drove me, however, to make this one of the best pieces I possibly could. I worked on it for many weeks and made my color choices based on how positive and lively he was all the way until the end of his life. I admired his cheerful spirit and contented outlook on life, which I hoped to portray in the painting as well.”
7 Questions with Serina
Who is your favorite artist?
This is such a tough question because I have so many favorites, but I’m going to have to go with Salvador Dali, simply because his manipulation of the world around him I find completely fascinating and his compositions are always spot on, which is something I strive for in my work.
What is your favorite part of painting?
I love getting started when I’m painting, mostly because at first no paintings really ever look “good”. Mine always start looking like a bunch of bright scribbles all over a canvas, and even though this is the most unimpressive part of the painting process, I admire that it is the most natural and free part of it. All of the artist’s real thoughts and inspiration come out in the initial painting sketch.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The people around me are probably the biggest inspiration in my life. After moving so many times and meeting so many different people, I’m in love with the diversity of people in the world, and I think if you allow people into your life and let them inspire you, each one will do so in their own way. So in a sense, when you let people inspire you, your work can never be monotonous or boring, everything you do is different, just like every person you meet.
Where are you happiest?
Can the Earth be my answer? I really don’t know. I’m happy in the studio because that’s where I work. I’m happy at work because I’m relaxed there. I’m happy outdoors because that’s where I find peace. I’m happy just about anywhere that I can be myself.
What is your most treasured possession?
My acoustic guitar would have to be my most treasured possession because I’ve had it for so long and it helps me work through things when I don’t know how to get through them on my own.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Mahatma Gandhi, because I’m inspired by his peacemaking efforts in India and what an impact they had on the way the world looked at fighting and violence in that they are generally unnecessary.
What 3 items would you bring with you to a deserted island?
Camera, food, is friends an option? If not friends, then a sketchbook.