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Sachi Shah

watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper
36″ x 24″


Yves-Olivier Mandereau
Ceramic Artist

Artist Statement
“This was piece was in response to a prompt I was given my sophomore year of high school, which asked to depict something I fear and something I love. During this time, I developed a deep passion for meeting new people and forming new relationships.

However, with that came the fear of time; in a community where people are constantly moving, these relationships perished as our time quickly fell apart. The painting represents the burden of time crumbling, and relationships decaying through the rusting of the clockwork and sickly green hue of the skin.”

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Video Transcript

“Looking at your time piece, I appreciate your use of color. I especially like the use of the green on the skin of your male subject. I think that it’s bold and creative and I even think that you can go even further. But it stands out and I appreciate that choice.

One thing that this piece can use is depth. At the moment, it feels really flat. Everything is really close and there’s nowhere for me, as the viewer, to move around. I’m especially getting lost in the huge black space on the right.

One way to address this is to imagine how these gears and your subject matter exists in space and, how the content is spread out through space. And as you plan that out, then the viewer can then navigate the piece and explore depth. And then that will ultimately help the composition as a whole.

Lastly, I think that your use of watercolor and gouache are great. I especially like the clock and the white space around the numbers, and I think that the texture around that is really great.”

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4 responses on "Sachi Shah"

  1. This piece is so grand. I think the radial composition between the clocks and the gears helps convey that grandness. I think a little bit of Futurism in art which was all about the majesty of technology and the man made.

    So I get the idea of time passing, but not really the sense of relationships decaying. I want to know who this figure is and what his relationship is to you. If you’re interested in how time, decay, and relationships can be depicted without using classic symbols like clocks, check out paintings by Ellen Altfest.

    Also, I want to commend you on your use of gouache! Your colors are especially in the gears are very rich and strong, and gauche and watercolor can be very difficult mediums to work with. Nice job!

  2. I’m most impressed by your use of watercolor and gouache, how you’re letting the watercolor in the figures flesh show the brightness of the page, and the opacity of the gouache to lay down some serious color. I would definitely echo the need for subtle contrast in this piece: I think you’d really like this painting of Saint Sebastian by Trophime Bigot: really look at how he’s using that single light source, and notice how the body of Sebastian goes from super bright and slowly forms into the shadow.
    Conceptually I don’t really get the idea of time as a force pulling people apart; because of the figure, I get more of a “Dorian Grey” vibe. I love the imagery, but that fine line between intent and result is always something a visual artist needs to think of!

  3. This is a really ambitious painting, there are so many components to the clock, the dramatic pose of the figure, the gears, it’s terrific the way you’ve tackled all of those pieces together. The composition is so dynamic and exciting, there’s never a dull moment in this piece. The green tones in the figure are really striking and unusual, definitely gives a very particular mood to this piece. I think I would think about getting more dramatic lighting on the figure, right now the lighting situation is unclear, and in some areas, like the rib cage, it makes the figure feel a bit flat. You clearly have a strong command of your brushstrokes, but lighting would beef up the fleshiness of your figure even more!

  4. I also really enjoy the colors in this piece! There’s a great complexity to the way you exaggerate and blend many different hues in the highlights and shadows, especially in the figure’s skin, however I think more attention could be payed to the way you’re using value… You certainly have captured an excellent range of lights and darks, here, but that same range is present in really every object in the image, and so it all sort of competes for our attention. I would love to see this same piece but with a little more of that depth that Yves-Olivier mentions – perhaps knocking that clock further into the background, or silhouetting the gears in the foreground against the figure. That extra element of mystery would go a long way in a painting like this which is already so moody and evocative.

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