Featured Artist: Chandrani Chaudhury Ray * Imurj
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The Pink House on Academy Street

Featured Artist: Chandrani Chaudhury Ray

I sat down with Chandrani Ray to learn a little more about her work and her experience in the Something for Everyone gallery…
1- How would you describe yourself and your artistic style?
I am Chandrani (Rani) Ray, an urban sketcher and a watercolor enthusiast living in Cary NC with my family.  The bustling art and culture of my hometown of Calcutta India, injected a certain aesthetic and creativity into my soul. Much of my work is inspired by nature and travels around the world trying to capture the character and story of the  villages, the city corners, the alleyways and the landscapes that my travels have taken me to. I am a constant learner. I have taught myself a great deal by studying the works of masters like  Paul Cezanne, Alfred Sisley, Edward Wesson, Edward Seago, Jean Jacques Sempe, Satyajit Ray and Gaganendranath Tagore. I have also taken local classes and workshops and exhibited in a few juried shows in Raleigh and Cary.
I love drawing architecture and landscapes and it’s delicate interaction with light and shade. Trees and buildings are the inadvertent heroes of my stories. I have a vision about where I want to go with my art. I am still on the journey, so I feel my artistic style is constantly evolving. What I have learned until now is that after the initial inspiration and the beginning of a sketch, the artwork takes on a direction of its own and the result is almost always gratifying. I am always hoping to evoke an emotional response from my viewers.
2- Does local Raleigh culture inspire or influence your work?
Oh yes! It absolutely does inspire my work. I am a member of the Raleigh Urban Sketchers group that meets in the city to sketch various locations. I love sketching in the Warehouse district, with it’s art galleries, restaurants, the station and beautiful architecture is always teeming with energy. We sketch here all the time to capture the feel of the place. The Historic neighbourhood is another favourite. Raleigh, in a way, is a muse.
3- What is your favorite medium to work with & why?
As an artist I have always loved watercolor for its fresh luminous perspectives and pen and ink drawings for its dynamic mark making. I was very young when for the first time I saw drops of color dancing to the tunes of water on a wet paper and fell in love with the medium. It was magical!
While sketching urban scenes, I try to apply watercolor techniques to my pen and ink drawings and the result is a painting with a completely different mood and vibrancy.
4- How would you describe your art that is on exhibit at Imurj?
My artwork on exhibit are urban sketches done while on vacation or on my usual sketch-walk. I love painting architecture and the way light and shadow interacts with it. When I sketched The Pink Lady on Academy street in Cary, just loved the way the light fell on it revealing only a part of the building.
Writer: Torie Tracy