Light of my life – my drawings
Artwork by Juhi Kulkarni
I have been an artist since early age and was very lucky to have my art appreciated by everyone. But as they say all good things come to an end. A year after I graduated with Drawing as my major, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis a painful ailment which resulted in my joints freezing which meant that I was not able to do what I loved the most, that is to draw. As when ever I began to draw due to repeated actions my joints would become stiff, my fingers would lose strength and the tools simply slipped off my hands. It was my worst nightmare and all my dreams shattered as I had nothing better to do in life or that I knew I could do.
Thankfully as I used to practice meditation I became aware that my mind was slipping into an artists block or what the psychologist say depression. I began to wonder what it is that holds me back in this life, what it is that gives me that immense joy, the sense of satisfaction, the sense of being alive and that is when I realized that it is only with drawing that I can survive. Though my photographic works were widely appreciated and I began to do a lot of shows, deep in my heart I had a strong inclination towards drawing, and that I had to draw more. And thus my rebirth happened, at first it was just being able to breath or scribble as we say. I began with a few random sketches.It was tough. firstly because it looked horrible, out of proportion and simply bad. My critical mind said it it was rubbish, useless and no good, my lazy mind coupled with my tired body was revolting in full force and telling me to quit, but there was something that light that was giving me an inner strength to go on,that came from the depth of my being and brought calmness, urging me to keep doing one line per day.
Suddenly I realized that it was like learning riding a bicycle, you never forget how to. My arms started becoming stronger and sturdier and I began to draw better, this has been going for past five years. Sadly this journey is always interrupted by sudden attacks where the stiffness returns and again it becomes difficult to maneuver my hand. Nevertheless, I started training my other hand to draw with the aim of “make use of whatever is available”, it happened so that now I could draw with the other hand too. Not that skillfully but still it was quite exciting, challenging and invigorating. Still my drawings were bad. I began to draw more, study harder and denote more time to my art. I realised that patience and perseverance does pay off.
Slowly but steadily, with practice in past few years I have started to draw better and with the help of the drawing academy I hope to get back my skills to be able to explain the complex, creative structures visually, as of now, they are wandering into the void of mind.