Monday, April 7, 2008

Interview with Rukshana Hooda

I'm not sure why it is, exactly, but ever since I met Rukshana in an Etsy chat room, I've felt a connection to her and her art. It's more than just liking the things she creates. A spark actually went through I've known this person before. Bombay (Mumbai), India is over 7000 miles (11000 kilometers) from my home in Bangor, Maine and, as I think you'll see, Rukshana's openness and willingness to share her insights bridges that gap beautifully. So, it is with great pleasure and enthusiasm I bring this interview to you.

Rukshana is a visual artist: a simple, down-to-earth, sensitive human being in love with nature. "I love to paint with acrylics, charcoals, on canvas, thick cartridge, teak, fabric and create texture through various interesting mediums. I can always admire everything in nature." she tells me, "The simple things always fascinated me more, like birds chirping, the sunrise, the sunset, the skies with those wonderful hues, the trees, the horizon...and this is so true: We all live under the same sky, but our horizons differ."

Rukshana graduated with a Fine Arts degree (as a Textile Designer) from Sir J.J. School of Art and Sophia College. I simply love and adore the people here," she says of Mumbai, "their simplicity, their daily chores, the village life, all this has played an important role in my thinking, my paintings, my lifestyle. I would love to work and help them. When traveling, how I love to listen to these common people, their life, their thoughts, their vision (again which is so simple!)."

"My genre is very varied from abstracts, landscapes, charcoals, Moghul Art, human forms, Warli, history and always is inspired by Nature around me. Its beauty, its serenity and solitude is sometimes Heavenly to me. Nature in its own self has always stayed absorbed in my expression. Beauty has no form. Still, I try to capture and create on my canvas."

Rukshana has been painting and drawing for as long as she can remember, but employment in a totally unrelated field caused her to give up doing any form of artwork for many years. "I was a front office receptionist in a five star hotel, then worked as an honorary teacher in an orphanage, conducted classes for art, craft and calligraphy for 14 years, so did a bit of social service." In recent times, Rukshana rekindled her interest in art and, inspired by friends and family, decided to showcase some of her works online. "Painting is something I must do and it is a major part of my life. I love flowers and abstract art. Hopefully, my artwork speaks for itself. Creativity is...seeing something that doesn't already exist."

"We are learning every day," Rukshana says, "and hopefully till the last breath! Life is like a river. Life itself is a challenge. Life is knowledge. Life is a teacher. Love is life." Rukshana loves the challenges life brings. "Sometimes, I wonder how boring it would be if everything always went right. We'd have nothing to look forward to, to work for. Nothing to do. Nothing to aim for. Nothing to wish for. I love LIFE. It is beautiful. The toughness of it makes you. Though maybe some feel it breaks you, actually, I feel, LIFE shows us different roads, one more brightly than the other: new, mysterious, adventurous." However narrow or steep the road, Rukshana believes there is something to learn from moving through life; something that changes you along the way. "Change is compulsory...a necessity...inevitable." These thoughts, this vision is something Rukshana tries to capture on canvas.

Rukshana believes art is to be cherished. "It's creative," she says, "like writing a book. Like how an orator talks, a writer uses the pen...the artist paints. Each one speaks volumes about their field. Love for beauty is Taste. Creation of beauty is ART."

Rukshana also believes people should invest in art and buy original works from known, famous or new artisans. Of her own art, she says, "I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to express myself through painting. I love that people say my artwork enhances their lives and that it inspires them. I am blessed to have an encouraging family, great friends, wonderful well wishers, clients and colleagues...God bless them all!"

Reading and music, to Rukshana, is food for the soul. "Knowledge is a must and without music, the soul is dead. I can't paint if I am not listening to music. I feel something amiss, so both reading and music play a very vital role in my life." Some of Rukshana's favorite books are Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, and these books by Brian L. Weiss, MD: Many Lives, Many Masters, Through Time into Healing, Same Soul, Many Bodies, and Only Love is Real.

For Rukshana, the most simple footwear works best...never too tight, very light and neat. She loves walking, so her shoes must be comfortable enough to walk in or stand for hours. Not elaborate or artificial. Not ornate or luxurious. Not complicated. Not flashy. But, Yes, sophisticated, elegant and not complex! "No heels for me," Rukshana says, "I've had a slipped disc--twice--and it teaches me to be down-to-earth!"

Rukshana is a member of the following groups: - a business networking site - a group dedicated to green living, health, human rights and more - a web portal that helps people navigate the Web in a way that reflects their beliefs and values, join causes and share information about how to make a difference

Learn more about Rukshana and her work at the following sites:

Rukus Gallery
Rukshana Hooda
VAST Gallery


Jean Levert Hood said...

Ruks work is beautiful, and what a delightful person she seems!

The peacock feather is amazing!

Mystic Silks said...

Beautiful art work!And, a person of great depth.