The Indian Artist, Final Year: Big Milestone!

Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope that you are all well. I wanted to take this week to share my most recently completed painting. This is one that I started back in February of this year so it is legitimately months in the making. I used my Thanksgiving Break to finish it up and am very excited to share it with you all and what I learned from it. Enjoy!

This painting, titled Five White Horses (4′ x 5′), is a recreation of the infamous cover of the Bhagavad Gita and is completed in oil on canvas. This is a rendition of an original piece by Bijay Biswasl, one of my all time favorite artists. I made many changes and personalizations from Biswaal’s original work such as a change in the orientation and composition, manipulation of the size, changing of colors, and creative liberties over certain details to be more accurate to scripture. This is the largest piece that I have completed to date and though it was not the most challenging technique-wise, it pushed me greatly.

If you are interested in learning about the origins of this piece and the meaning behind the five white horses, check out this older post. This painting was the epitome of “it looks worse before it gets better” and a masterclass in patience and perseverance. Personally, I have no trouble starting my work; however, it is once I surpass the initial excitement and adrenaline over a new piece that I have the most trouble. I was able to get this painting to the 75% mark fairly quickly. It is the last 25% that takes the most effort and push. I’m a firm believer in the fact that inspiration is completely overrated. The best and most successful artists know that they cannot rely on inspiration. It takes brute force and discipline to create work. I am not saying that I am a successful artist by any means, but I know that importance of forcing myself to sit in front of the easel and just work.

It was an absolute pleasure to create this painting and I am so proud of the final result. Of course, as with all of my work, there is so much more that could be done, so much that could be made better. But I felt that it was time to stop, at least for now. Who knows, maybe I will come back to it one day and make some changes! Tune in for that!

As always, if any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me! Thank you for reading!

Until next week,



Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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6 Comments on "The Indian Artist, Final Year: Big Milestone!"

Jeri Preston
2 months 19 days ago

Riya, I’m following from @umichcampusinfo (where I now work), but have followed since our days together in Honors. Congrats on your work and achievements. Jeri Preston

Julia Johnson
2 months 28 days ago

Hi Riya! I love seeing the progression of the piece and I can’t wait to see what you work on next! Have you ever had a piece where you were inspired and motivated to finish it all the way through? Have a good week!

2 months 28 days ago

Your painting looks great!