Not Your Mother’s Pastels: Sangita Phadke
In their recently opened group show, “Not Your Mother’s Pastels,” acclaimed artists Phyllis Randall, Marshall Noice, and Sangita Phadke take viewers on a journey. We are given the chance to explore the natural elements of the Southwest, rendered with Randall’s command of light and color; to marvel at the many landscapes of the U.S. National Parks, portrayed whimsically and truthfully by Noice; and, with the help of Sangita Phadke, to take a trip to the farmer’s market, like none other we’ve taken before.
Indeed, Sangita’s paintings of fresh produce, blooming flowers, and raw, unbroken eggs are anything but ordinary. Inspired in part by her passion for locally grown foods, Sangita’s paintings are more realistic than most photographs and also more meaningful. “My series of paintings pay tribute,” she says, “to the land, the people who harvest our food, and of course the delicious and beautiful products of their care and hard work.”
Her subject matter is at once commonplace and spectacular, human and beautiful. It is Sangita’s incredible talent and overwhelming faithfulness to the vegetables, fruits, and flowers she paints that inspires the viewer to stop and, of course, pay attention to their beauty, too.
Sangita’s gift to this viewer is “an experience in taste, flavor, fragrance, color, and a sense of place.” No detail is spared in her paintings. The familiar texture of a lemon is conveyed meticulously. The moistness of its skin, the slight discoloration near its stem, the scratch that mars its left side—these details are captured with care, as if they alone distinguish this lemon from all the rest, as if they are essential to its makeup.
In Sangita’s paintings, the details are essential. Using the peculiarities of each fruit or vegetable or flower or egg, she decides on a personality and an accompanying story line. A pear becomes the star of a Broadway play. Six lemons and a lime form a citrus family. A flawless and shimmering pink tulip becomes a debutante.
This aspect of whimsy, combined with the realism of her paintings, creates a one-of-a-kind experience that has earned Sangita much acclaim. In her five years of painting, the self-taught artist has been awarded the distinction of “Master Pastelist” by the Pastel Society of America and has been inducted into the Master Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies. Her paintings have been featured widely in magazines and in prestigious venues around the world.
Now her marvelous pastels will grace the walls of Waxlander Gallery, where they will inspire an appreciation for an integral part of the human experience. “’Food,’” Sangita points out, “is an ‘experience’ shared by every culture. Whether it is a spicy chile or a sweet apricot, it evokes a sense of respect for the land and its people.” And while Sangita’s paintings encompass many senses—taste, touch, sight, and smell—it is this sense, a sense of respect, that viewers will carry with them when they walk out the gallery door.
“Not Your Mother’s Pastels” opened at Waxlander on June 5th and runs through June 18th, with an Artists’ Reception on Friday, June 8th, from 5 to 7 PM.
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