Preeti Sen is an artist based out of the city of Joy, Kolkata. Besides being a professional in the corporate world, she is passionate in expressing her ideas on canvas. Recently she has been to Paris – the dream city of Spring 2022 and was invited by world renowned Artist, Alex Hillcultrzto paint the grandeur of Monuments and Statues narrating the history that dates centuries behind.
It goes without saying, Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture. Its19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Preeti Sen blends together layers of texture and colour in order to create her vibrant portraits, which range from friends to strangers met during travel. As every stroke of colour provide immense joy to her inner soul and it actually catapults all her stress to a feeling of sublime joy, her practice has become even more focused due to the life-altering pandemic.
Susmita Gupta (Writer and editor) in a Candid conversation with the phenomenal passionate artist Preeti Sen.
Susmita – Let’s start with your inclination towards painting. What originally brought you to art?
Preeti –I have always appreciated art and beautiful things in life. So far last two years during Covid, I was fortunate to take my passion to new heights. Connecting with senior artists across the globe and participating in online exhibitions gave my thoughts, and wings to leverage more and learn new techniques of painting. Although, I have been practicing oils, acrylic, and mixed medium urban sketching &watercolours were equally fascinating.With my repertoire of life’s enriching experiences, I try and give shape to my humble creations. Adding colours and various feelings through canvases have come very naturally and instinctively.
Susmita –Please enlighten us about your recent experience of adding colours in the dream city of Paris.
Preeti – My adventure began with the strokes of a pen and a 450 GSM small sketchbook waiting in the lobby of the Airport to embark upon my journey. This time the interest was towards exploring orchestral sketching. Finally, I landed in the dream city- Spring 2022 to paint the grandeur of Monuments and Statues narrating the history that dates centuries behind. The City of Lights dazzle and bask in every way.
Nowhere else on earth makes the heart swoon like the mention of Paris. The city lures with its magnificent art, architecture, culture, and cuisine, but there’s also a quieter magic waiting to be explored: the quaint cobbled lanes, the sweet patisseries around the corner, and the cosy little bistros that beckon with a glass of Beaujolais.
The first day was indeed exciting to visit Eiffel tower, City tour &Seine River cruise. It was a wonderful learning experience to sketch on the streets, in café, and in the Ja deim da Luxembourg Garden, where each statue has a secret story and the ambiance echoed with the chirping of birds and history in manifolds.
Susmita – You are appreciated by the world-renowned artist Alex Hillcultrz. How astounding you felt painting more to your dreams?
Preeti – It was a great honor to receive such an encouraging response from world-renowned Artist, Alex Hillcultrz. Alex Hillkurtz was born in England and grew up in California where he is a renowned storyboard artist for feature films, television, and commercials. His film credits include “Argo”, “Almost Famous.” He believes that in our too-crowded lives, sketching and plain air painting invite us to move at a more deliberate pace… a true sense of place, and sometimes unexpected stories are revealed.
Now, the story of my canvas took a new leap, the big moment when Alex came to visit me. It was such a wonderful moment. I welcomed him in our very traditional way as we do in India to our Mentors, presenting shawls and handcrafted souvenirs as a mark of respect. Reviewing my paintings, we exchanged ideas and thought processes, Alex unveiled a series of my paintings. It was indeed a great learning experience when Alex explained the whole perspective of light and shadow. Getting the right shades in my palette. Creating the magical warm tones and leaving the shadows to follow was truly incredible.
Susmita – You have visited various antique places too. How thrilled you were to discover something unique?
Preeti – Visiting the historic Art Store – Senneler was so exciting, great to be in that original store from the 1880’s frequented by the Masters. It’s small and intimate. I found what I was looking for, got some nice assistance when needed. Interesting charcoal pieces, and quality sketchbooks of all sizes. I like a more squarish (but not square) sized sketchbook that they had. I also enquired about their mammoth-sized wooden drawers –yes, all originals from 1887!! A thrill to be there. I was excited to see handmade artist-quality cotton papers from India.
Visiting Louvre was another exciting moment, thoughts of historic era started pouring in, yes, the very first sight of Monalisa… the creations of Great Artists. Each era has a different story. Definitely, day is not enough for an Artist like me to be satisfied. There are plenty to explore. The love for Paris, doesn’t end here. The mystery was more to walk through the lanes of Montmartre. very lane possibly talking about the Greats- Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monnet, Picasso, and many more. I kept wandering and it took me to the WALL OF LOVE – my elder Sis(Didi) whispered, Do you see its written in Bangla too – “Ami tomake Bhalobashi.”(I love you)
Preeti Sen can be contacted – www.preetisen.com