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  • Stress reliever evolved into passion

    artist feature pic 2

    Maninder Kahlon enjoys painting images that focus mostly on nature. Although he began painting using acrylic paints, he has now transitioned to oil paints, as it allows him to blend and perfect the image before it dries. Photo by Emily Rogers

    For emergency physician, Maninder Kahlon, painting transformed from a way to decompress after a hectic day to pure passion.

    Kahlon has been painting for roughly three years and began painting with his spouse as a way to relax. However, he quickly fell in love with painting.

    “I almost became manic obsessive about it. I would be up until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. painting, learning and trying to get things right,” Kahlon said.

    Although Kahlon began his painting journey using acrylic paints, he was drawn to oils.

    “I find oils are easier, and more natural to blend, because nature has so many different colours, there’s a lot of blending going on,” Kahlon added. “When you start painting, you start to see the world differently.”

    Since Kahlon is new to painting, he enjoys having an emphasis on nature in his paintings but is currently trying to find his niche.

    “It’s a challenge because I have so many ideas in my head, I want to paint them all,” Kahlon said.

    “As a new artist, I’m a learning artist, and I don’t want to narrow down my spectrum just yet,” he said.

    Adding, “This is going to be a marathon for me. I’m sure I’ll find a field, but for now I try to challenge myself and paint whatever comes to mind.”

    When Kahlon first begins working on a new piece, he spends the majority of his time thinking of an image to create.

    “Having an empty canvas is the hardest part of painting for me,” Kahlon said.

    “For me, my head gets crammed with a million ideas. I want to paint them all on the canvas.

    “A lot of the time, I stare at the canvas, I’ll leave the room, come back, more staring, more thinking, I’ll close my eyes, look at pictures, go for a walk and think about what I’m going to paint,” he said.

    Adding, “I take longer to think about what I’m going to paint, then the time it takes to paint itself.”

    When Kahlon decides what to paint, he begins with the background and will take his time to make adjustments throughout a few days.

    “I don’t consider myself a sketcher. I find painting easier than drawing. I find it easier to go ahead and start painting without any sketch,” Kahlon said.

    Once the background and main focal point of the painting is completed, Kahlon will let the paint dry.

    “The difficult part of the oil is you can’t lay colours on top of each other. It can take several days for it to dry,” Kahlon said.

    “Sometimes it can be quite frustrating if you want to lay colour on top of another colour you have to plan two or three steps ahead thinking about what colours you’re going to be painting,” he said.

    Moving forward, Kahlon wants to work on multiple pieces at a time. However, he finds it difficult because he gets attached to the painting he is working on at the time.

    “At the moment I almost don’t want to think about anything else, I want to give it my 100 per cent focus,” Kahlon said.

    A significant reason Kahlon decided to join the Chestermere Fine Art Guild six months ago was that he wanted to be surrounded by artists with many years of experience and wisdom.

    “There have been so many times when I would go to the guild, and I would think ‘This is a masterpiece,’ then there would be so much positive criticism I would go home and think ‘I’m nowhere near an artist,’” Kahlon said.

    “All of the criticism has 100 per cent helped me become a way better artist than I was six months ago.  I’m very thankful for their support, and their passion for trying to help new artists grow into something better,” he said.

    Although Kahlon began painting as a way to relieve stress, painting has evolved into something much more significant.

    “It’s something that I see myself doing when I’m 80-years-old. It’s a way for me to put my feelings and my thoughts onto a canvas and show it to the world,” Kahlon said.

    “It’s turned into something very personal, and I’m taking it as a challenge,” he added.