Upon looking at Shirish Deshpande’s portfolio, your first thought might be, Wow, he’s a great abstract artist. And although that’s certainly true, if you keep on scrolling, you’ll find that he’s so much more.
Equally gifted at using ballpoint pen to create precise pointillist pieces as he is creating shimmery, realistic landscapes with oil and acrylic, Shirish’s work doesn’t disappoint. In fact, he was listed ninth on the list of top 100 ballpoint pen artists of the world in 2010! But it’s his abstract work where I believe you really see his spirit shine through.
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“In search for a permanent cure for severe back pain, I came across a healing program based on yoga and meditation,” he said. “This required me to focus my attention on the pain by going deep inside to the area where I felt actual pain, and soon I started having some visualizations filled with vibrant energy.”
Inferno, no doubt, is tied to these visualizations. Highly dynamic and texturized (as all Shirish’s abstracts are) this one has the passion and energy of a man at the pinnacle of his life.
Clusters of bright red hues float in and out of the painting like clouds, attempting to conceal brilliant blues, greens and purples in the distance. Based on his story, it reminds me a little of looking through immense, penetrating pain to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Swirling white lines add even more energy and flair, making the painting come alive with movement. It’s truly a beautifully dramatic piece.
On a different visual path, A Rainy Day seems to urge us to take time for ourselves. Steely blues and muted greens steal the show in this ballpoint pen piece created with tiny dots and cross-hatching.
Similar to the way Georges Seurat was able to make colors pop by putting complimentary hues next to one another, Shirish creates all the colors of the rainbow in the splashes of water and puddles left in the streets by monsoon rains.
“This is how my home town, Belgaum, looks,” Shirish says of the drawing. “The life is cooler, slower, and wet.”
It cleverly reminds me of when oil mixes with water, and you can see swirls of beautiful, iridescent color in it. The same magical presence of combined color is found here.
And finally, in Way to Chorla Ghats, anything seems possible once the traveler turns left at the next bend in the road. Highly pigmented orange and pink hues make up the colorful foliage, creating a luminous autumn journey, no matter how far or how close you’re going.
As we crest this hill, the leaves seem especially vivid, bathed in the sun’s warmth which sets them afire. It forms a beautiful contrast to the cooler blue shades and misty hills below.
Of course, there are many other wonderful pieces created by Shirish not seen here (Morning at CST and Jungle Stream are just two which I highly recommend). View them all by visiting his Facebook page today.