Nimi Trehan, a long-time Potomac resident and artist, was presented with an Award of Excellence for her painting, “Unwavering,” in the on-line exhibit The Spirit of Resilience presented by The Healing Power of Art and Artists, an initiative of Manhattan Arts International.
The large, 40” x 60,” acrylic painting shows a stylized banyan tree of luminous greens, yellows and blues against a blue-black background. Other flora flourishes beneath the prop roots.
“In spite of the many natural disasters that the Banyan tree encounters, it remains unwavered, sending strong stilt like roots towards the soil, supporting tremendous growth and emerging stronger than ever,” Trehan wrote in her artist statement. “I have conveyed the beauty, strength and resilience of this tree through scintillating light, strong linear and organic forms, variegated hues and tactile textures.”
Trehan said during this time of coronavirus COVID-19 she has done a series of paintings with the resilience theme: “Surviving with Grace” is a diptych of water lilies done in bright pinks and greens.
“During tough times, I get my inspiration from the lotus flowers. … They grow in murky, sludgy waters with snarled roots. By mustering up their inner strength, they forge their way through the darkness, avoid predators, push their way into sunlight, emerging with grace and beauty … showcasing their glorious hues and sculpted leaves,” she wrote.
“You start with a word and so many ideas come to you,” she said.
Others in the series are “Tsunami” and “Prithvi” or Earth.
Trehan worked for many years as an interior designer at Walter Reed Army Hospital so, she said, she realizes the important part art and design play in healing.
Since retiring, she is a full-time artist. She said she paints about five hours a day with a “flexible” routine.
“I paint a lot at night,” she said. “I find the time.”
She also “forces” herself to take classes, she said. Right now, she paints with a group that meets virtually though the Women’s Caucus of Art, D.C. Chapter.
It’s the next best thing to meeting in person, she said.
Taking classes and entering contests are important, she said. Both are ways to share her work with others and to see work by other artists.
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