Attending the Harding Meyer workshop on portrait painting was a great experience. It was a full body immersion in public painting. All my painting projects so far have happened behind closed doors in the comfort of home, curtained away from prying eyes. That’s how my art works. I am happy to slog late in the night up until the wee hours of the day when everyone is asleep. I tend to like the calm and distraction-free environment of the night when it comes to creating art. Harding’s workshop turned it on its head and I had to create a portrait in the full view of all passers by. I needn’t have panicked as I quite enjoyed the workshop and all the fellow artists were very open to criticism and comments. There were generally no hypercritical sessions.
For me, personally, it is a kind of a cross roads. Photography or painting? It is a question for some other day. For now, I am going to enjoy doing both.
The Yellow Couch, Katara, May 2013
I liked this yellow couch as it was located right against the doors of the electricity junction. I guess that’s why it was rarely occupied.
The looking glass, Katara, May 2013
Curious passers-by glanced continuously at our canvases as we were working furiously to complete the portrait in the week, in time for the opening of the exhibition. The most curious was this young girl, all the way from far east.
The opening of the exhibition was a grand affair and was well attended by art aficionados of Qatar.
Harding’s portraits, or ‘faces’ as he prefers to call, had quite a presence and left all the astonished viewers staring at the details for a long time.
Hassan Al Mullah, Katara, May 2013
Some of the well known artists of Qatar were in attendance and they had a great time enjoying Harding’s art and participating in the usual banter.
The World Press Photo was hosting an exhibition right next door of amazing pictures from its award-winning collection. Paul Hansen’s winning image was heart rending.