When art meets art

I started painting a year and a half ago. I’m still an amateur, still figuring out who I am as a painter and what my voice is. But as a writer and now a painter, I find that these two artistic worlds of mine collide.

I just sold my novel The Copenhagen Affair, which will be released in October 2017. This book is a comedy-of-manners pitched in the vein of Le Divorce set in high Copenhagen society, in which a woman, just-emerged from a nervous breakdown, is dragged by her husband to Copenhagen for a year, where he has been sent to buy out an IT company; amidst designer furniture, fabulous dinner parties, even more fabulous cafés, and way too many bicycles, she finds herself unexpectedly coming alive under the city’s gray skies—and the gaze of her husband’s corporate nemesis.

Obviously, instead of sitting my butt down and working on the book, I found myself working on a painting instead. I used a palette knife for the first time as a tool to paint (thank you YouTube for the tutorial). Without realizing it, I painted The Copenhagen Affair – a woman standing on the colorless side of the world, watching the colorful and waiting to go to the other side and claim the colors for herself. She’s hesitating and she’s unsure under the gray skies of Copenhagen.

copenhagen affair
The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi (80×80 cm, acrylic on canvas, April 2016)

I was going to paint Nyhavn – the colorful and wonderful new harbor in Copenhagen and I did, but my story inserted itself into the painting in the most delightful way.

The same thing happened as I was working on getting my latest, A House for Happy Mothers ready for publication. I had just been to Sydney and got hooked to dot painting. I came home and made a couple of dot paintings – and one emerged that was what my book was about, two mothers, giving hope to one another.

I am so pleased to have found a new artistic medium to express myself, a medium that is still about storytelling but here I use paints instead of my words. Either way it’s my imagination that propels me to tell a story because at the end of the day that’s who I am – a storyteller.

Two Ladies by Amulya Malladi (100×80 cm, acrylic on canvas, January 2016)