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Paint, eat and enjoy in Bali

A few days ago I went to Bali with a group of talented artists from Norway and Sweden. The mission was to paint, eat and enjoy. We did all that and beyond with Nyoman Sani. We experienced so much that it is hard to describe, but I will try. When it came to painting we wanted to learn more about Taksu, the Balinese philosophy of finding the heart and the soul in the painting. A few of the students wanted to become more free and expressive in their own artistic language. We started off with two questions regarding art that has left a mayor impact on you, and which ones of your own work that you are most pleased with yourself. After this we went on to working with a self portrait. Not everyone was happy about this task but I can only say it once again it is a good learning experience and if you have not tried yet I urge you to try.

The next task was working with only colors and no motifs. In both assignments interesting things started to happen, and as one of the participants said there is a meaning to what you put on to your canvas but sometimes it takes you a bit longer to see it.

We ended the day with sketching by the sea, and eating fresh seafood while listening to music and enjoying the traditional dance. The light just before sunset was warm and rich, perfect for photographs and painting.

Balinese dancer

The second day was filled with activity. After looking at a traditional batik painting we headed for painting and lunch in the rice fields. Where we used oil pastels and watercolors, and a lot of interesting art was created.

In the afternoon we went to Seniwati Artspace and meet Ni Nyoman Sani, her husband I Ketut Sutawan an the artists behind the exhibition Finding the me in me. We were welcomed with open arms and after a round of presentation we started working together. It is hard to describe in a blog post how moved we all were that we could all share our art and how brave Balinese female artists were in their expression. The workshop was followed by sharing. When we went to look at the art of Ni Nyoamn Sani and I Ketut Sutawan the artists hung all the creations from the workshop alongside the exhibition.

The studio visits were very interesting when we heard Sani express her soul behind her painting everyone felt close to knowing what Taksu means. Sanis art revolves around the Balinese women and their heart and soul. As she says it is sometimes necessary to be both smart and soft, and she herself is both very clever and beautiful. Her art has soul, passion and interesting themes.

Her husband I Ketut Sutawan is also a very interesting contemporary artist that comes from an artist family. Ketut works a lot with different animals in his paintings. His father creates magnificent wood sculptures.

After the studio visit we all meet up for the art opening of the exhibition, and watched a heartbreaking and heartwarming art performance.

The exhibition shows that the female contemporary artists in Bali have a strong and interesting voice. I will be trying to keep an eye on how they develop and look for opportunities for them to show their work on more arenas.

I am grateful for the experience and we all came back full of inspiration but also very thoughtful and reflective. This was a journey of Taksu, of heart and soul in the painting.

The last day was spent walking in the village, sketching and having a cold drink by the sea while listening to music.


Sharing in Seniwati artspace

So the next time you go to Bali visit the ladies in Seniwati, you will not regret it.

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