The Fall Series

In the early years of my life in the United States guests from India to our home were entertained by being taken to the world renowned Niagara Falls. The parks around Niagara Falls were also a place where my parents, and three generations of family met for summer picnics. Niagara Falls was always beautiful and grand, but distant. In the last couple of years, after a hiatus of several years, I had a few occasions to visit Niagara Falls again. I started to develop a more intimate connection with them. Inspired, and in awe of their majesty and power, I returned to witness the Falls in various light and weather conditions. I got in closer proximity to the Falls and had photographic conversations with them from various tangents. Not only were the Falls a spectrum of light, color and texture, they were also a metaphoric spectrum of Gods energy and power. Seeing them also as a converging point of various cultures, they were symbolic of the uninterrupted energy that connects one man on this earth to another.

This fusion of thoughts bolstered me to turn to painting. The paintings manifested the physical and emotional power of Niagara Falls. The physical power was in the energy and grandeur of the water and in the momentum of the water as the mighty Niagara fell over the cliffs. The emotional power was in bringing people from all parts of the world into its parameter. These thoughts developed into the creation of conceptual images of buildings, temples and churches juxtaposed at various angles along the waves of Niagara Falls. The structures from various parts of the world stand
for the various cultures that converge at the Falls.

Included in the Falls Series are also smaller sized watercolors that were inspired by the new awareness of The Letchworth Falls, located not too far from Buffalo. The presence of Letchworth Falls as a source of inspiration for a series of paintings came about after my daughters wedding. The Letchworth Falls were a place where all extended families and friends had gathered and bestowed blessings on the newly married couple. While poignant thoughts of not having my husband at the wedding due to his demise a few months prior to the wedding prevailed, the happiness of the union of the couple balanced the elements of sadness and fulfillment.

The Letchworth series emerged a couple of years after the wedding in 2005. I made solitary trips back to the Letchworth Falls in the intervening years. Each time I soaked up the beauty of water, earth, rock, foliage and air in closer proximity and on a smaller and more intimate scale than at Niagara Falls. With the wedding occurring at the Letchworth Park, the Falls had been hallowed for me. What emerged were a series of paintings in which the physical elements of the park intermingled with my personal emotions and experiences.

Niagara Falls – 1
acrylic on canvas
36″L x 40”W

The rushing and roaring fall of the mighty Niagara provides the backdrop for the architectural huddle along the bottom edge of Niagara Falls 1. In keeping with the international spirit that is evoked when one visits the Falls, buildings from around the world are recalled and altered into imaginary structures. The power and strength of Niagara Falls is not just in the momentum of the water but also in its potency in drawing people from around the world.

Niagara Falls – 2
acrylic on canvas

36”L x 48”W

The diagonal plane of the water in Niagara Falls 2 has been intersected with conceptual buildings derived from Forts and Cathedrals. The quadrant of reference spreads from Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India to Florence, Italy. While the water has been painted with a brush, the buildings are created with a palette knife.

Niagara Falls – 3
acrylic on canvas
36”L x 48”W

Gathered like the pleats of a sari, the falling waters of the Niagara provide a backdrop for three columns. The conceptual columns are from all nations and cultures. The contrasting sounds of the roaring and rushing water and the relative stillness and silence of the columns make a statement about man versus nature.

Niagara Falls – 4
acrylic on canvas

40”L x 30”W

A trip to Ephesus in Turkey gave me the experience of witnessing the Library of Celsus. This is an ancient Roman building originally built in 110 AD and restored after a fire. The Library was built to store scrolls and later became a tomb for the Roman senator Celsus. A two story façade consisting of two stories of columns and walls with windows and doors is all that has survived. The double story of the Library at Ephesus translated to the height and depth of the Falls. Even though the monumentality of the latter far exceeded that of the Library, it was the solemnity, the classicism and the mystery they shared, that inspired me.

Niagara Falls – 5
acrylic on canvas
20″L x 20”W

A much smaller Painting of the Falls. Niagara Falls – 5 is an emotional response to the might and textural glory of water.

The Letchworth Series

The first of the series, Letchworth 1 is focused on the rapids of the river as the river picks up momentum in preparation to fall over the rocks. A multiple arched gateway stands over the rushing water. Letchworth 2 has two conceptual architectural structures over the river and foliage. The architecture framing portions of the park reflect my developing affinity to this collection of earth, rock, water, foliage and air.

Water, trees, and architectural projections make up Letchworth 3. Two cornices emerge from the right and left sides of the painting. Grisailles of figures bring my life experiences to the park. Letchworth 4 has conceptual columns lining a pathway. At Letchworth Park this walkway is lined by trees. I personalized the park by imagining these trees as columns. A columnar stacking of images of Letchworth completes the composition.

The five elements of water, earth, air, fire and sky were an integral part of the wedding of my daughter and son-in-law at Letchworth State Park in 2005. Four of these elements have been juxtaposed and built into a conceptual temple in the painting entitled Letchworth 5.

The Hindu segment of the multi – faith wedding also involved Agni – the sacred fire that is worshipped by devotees of the Hindu religion. Agni purifies all that transpires at a wedding ceremony and is the focus of the painting Letchworth 6.