In the early nineties I changed my medium from oils to Tempera and then gouache, realizing that the dominant medium for painting in Asia, and particularly in the subcontinent, was water based. However, I found these mediums hard to preserve and discovered medium-viscosity acrylics which suited me perfectly.
A change in medium brought about a subsequent change in style as well. Though my subject matter is traditional, the treatment is contemporary. I mostly use a bird’s eye-view in my paintings. Not only do I find it more challenging, but it also reflects how I like to look at life. This aerial perspective somehow makes it easier for me to understand our existence. I enjoy painting detailed motifs and strive to make my work expressive and visually interesting by balancing intricate details with flat areas.
My initial portrayal of women has also evolved over time and I recently find myself focusing more on nature. I believe this to be a reaction in terms of the deteriorating socio-political conditions in my country. At times it seems as if all one sees on electronic media or in newspapers is dead or mutilated bodies of innocent children, men and women. In an environment that is prevalently negative, I avoid focusing on the human form. I need to paint beautiful and serene subjects, not only for my sake but also for the sake of my audience. Nature is not only a symbol of freedom and hope for me, but also an exotic escape from the mundane.
I have attended many artists residencies and/or exhibited my work in the US, Japan, Norway, Estonia, Italy, Turkey, India as well as my own country. In Sicily I painted a 3.5X14 metre mural and a carpet on the floor in California, USA.
After completing my MFA, I started teaching at the local university. My last job was to develop an art curriculum for a very large school system and training their art teachers. I have conducted numerous art workshops and demonstrations for art teachers in Pakistan.