My Mama – my infinite teacher of art.  Since her passing in October 2021, My brother and I collated all Mama’s artwork, sifted through her various portfolios, and discovered many art works we had never seen before. I  then cleared her home, and most of the paintings come back to my home or to my brother Ram’s home.  Over time, as I navigated the intense grieving process, I was fascinated, and astonished at Renée’s talent, precision, detail, colour palettes, her eclectic portfolio of so many varied subjects.  Yet growing up surrounded by Mama’s art, it became “part of the furnishings”, with no great attention being given to them.  It was only when I began painting seriously in July 2017, that I realized what an amazing talent and gifted artist she was, and how challenging drawing and painting is.

Over the last year, my “model of mourning” has manifested in curating all her artwork into portfolios, then onto my website.  This is still a humungous task – consisting of digitally photographing Renée’s original non-digital photos of all the pieces she had sold – rough count – around 400-450, uploading, cropping, resizing, categorizing, cataloguing, searching for owners of some of her work to get photos, measuring, pricing , and more – and yes the shop is coming!!

One of the sketches we found fascinated me.  Where did these ideas come from?  I was inspired to paint my impression and version of this in oils. This began a journey into my own grieving process, as this first painting morphed into a series of 12, called “The New Path“.

On the left is Renée’s sketch mentioned above .  Here is “Nous Deux” by Mohini

I am now led from within, initially to “copy”  some of Mama’s paintings. I now see from the first attempt that mine is not so much a copy, as my impression or version of hers.
Enter The Teacher : when I look at these two paintings side by side, I see my errors, in visual perception, spacial awareness of the subjects the landscape, colour, perspective, distance, precision and maybe more. This is a very exciting discovery : the teacher comes to me in the presence of my beloved Mama, from the heavenly realms, to instruct me, and to help me move from the internal expression of grief, to the external expression of mourning.  Thank you SO much dearest Mama.

Left/1st – “Workers Break”, by Renée SOLD   Right/2nd Workers Break” by Mohini
©Mohini Chatlani. January, 2023