Painting my Hometown

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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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