It has been my dream to paint my hometown, again.
I am a long way from Kathmandu, my hometown and my visits are usually short and far apart to have much time for painting. Although I have always enjoyed painting on site, I finally decided to try a different route since I was staying at home for a week to recuperate.
I have collected many pictures from my hometown during my visits. When I visited home after the earthquake in 2015, it was an emotional one. I brought many pictures of the places I used to visit growing up, most of the temples were either destructed or being repaired.
It was hard to choose a picture to paint. My usual subject temples in Durbar Square are either gone or being repaired. I decided to choose a set of nontraditional buildings nearby. Instead of starting the painting in a clean state, I decided to reuse the painting from Northampton which was not working.
Here is the first transformation. The building colors were true to the picture, buildings were colorful and have many modernize windows. I struggle to paint from the picture, but I was very happy to get this started.
Revisiting the painting in a few days, I decided to update unrelated colors to a more muted colors and merged the two buildings into one. I looked through other pictures and found inspiration from a traditional window in Kathmandu called “Sanjhya“, a carved large wooden windows usually, contains 3 or 4 openings. I also introduced right-hand side building to have “falcha” – an open space on the first floor popular in a traditional Newari culture.
As I revisited the painting for the fourth time, I started to think about what used to inspired me to paint when I was growing up in Kathmandu; temples and alleys. I introduced a narrow alley between those buildings based on a few pictures. The buildings and the rooftop of different shape and sizes creates unique lines and shapes creates an interesting space.
This place is starting to look familiar to me, I could relate to it.
I can imagine being there, it is my hometown.
I am very happy with this progress although it took me many revisions and looking through multiple sources. I am looking forward to adding some final touch to complete this picture.