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In The Pursuit Of ‘Useless Hobbies’

Suhas Sengupta is an Atlanta based artist. An IIT graduate in Architecture, Suhas quit his job as a senior staff architect for a multinational company in 1999, to pursue what he calls are his ‘useless hobbies.’

I don’t paint every day. When I do, I start my painting in the evening and work till late at night. If I don't paint for a few days, my creative emotions start playing in my mind, and I am urged to take up my brush. As I look for ideas, I flip thru my thumbnail sketches. These sketches record my vision of a painting as they pop into my mind. I select a thumbnail sketch for my painting, and then think about the color composition. 

On my canvas are many colors, put on top of or mixed with each other, till I achieve the exact balance and harmony between forms and color. When I work on a painting, I constantly think about it, even if I am not actually painting. The process of painting absorbs me totally, making me unaware of my surroundings and causing mental pain, until the desired result is achieved.
Still Life June in Tuscany
Tuscan Farmhouse Breaking Out

My studio is in the basement of our house. I paint there alone. I play western classical or jazz music on low volume when I paint. Each painting takes a few days to about a week to finish.

I paint in the modern expressionist style. Objects of my expressions are those that respond to my visual and emotional senses. I create my paintings with intensely colorful composition of shapes & textures against a unifying background. The detail to line and space is reflected throughout my work. Colorful and methodical, my canvases evoke a sense of freedom and movement. 

Well, that’s my life where painting is concerned. But of course, there is more to my typical day than just painting. My average day begins at around 7.00 am, with a little physical and spiritual exercise. I do not know if it does any good to me or not, but I do this any way, each morning. Spiritually, I try to be a better person. That is my goal for each day.

After I am done with the exercise routine, my wife of 40 years, Krishna, and I sit-down for a leisurely breakfast where we discuss and make decisions on many things. Since I consider myself the head of the household, I give my serious opinions on major issues like budget deficit, trade deficit, Iraq war etc. and my wife decides on family budget, where to go on vacation or where to invest our money etc.(I am kidding!)

Krishna is my soul mate, friend, philosopher and guide. She critiques my paintings, when I request her to do so. She is also my Live GPS, (Live Global Positioning System). While driving, she directs me when to turn left, right or to go straight, I just follow her voice. We have two sons.

Anyway, after our breakfast discussions, we head to our office room at around 9.00 am and stay there most of the time until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. During that time we keep an eye on the stock market and related news. This is necessary for us, as we make our living investing in stocks. While in the office, I look at art books and magazines and develop thumbnail sketches for my future paintings. I am also an art photographer. I work on the digitized version of my photographs to add artistic value to them.

After 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I tend to my other hobbies like growing exotic vegetables and herbs in our little garden. I also grow tropical flowers and propagate them to give to my friends. I also make wine and a variety of liquors at home to enjoy with my friends.

My other activities include visiting local art galleries over the weekend or going out of town to enjoy nature. We love traveling in the USA and to other countries The Tuscany series of my paintings are the result of our travel to that region of Italy.

My paintings have been shown and sold to private collectors by galleries of
Atlanta. A number of my paintings have been sold to raise funds for charity at Buckhead Club, Swiss Hotel, the World Trade Center, PierceMartin Gallery and at Lenox Mall.

At present, some of my paintings can be viewed at the Georgia State Library building at 3705 Brookside Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022.

-Suhas Sengupta