Mumbai, Inida based artist Danette Gomes caught our eye with her vibrant, lush artwork often depicting verdant scenes full of greenery both in cityscapes and nature. Accustomed to painting and drawing growing up, it was a switch from Science to an Interior Design degree in college that led Danette to return to painting full time and in an special chat with Pacific Roots Magazine she explained that she “can get enough of it!” We also can’t get enough of her gorgeous scenes!
Excerpts from interview with artist Danette Gomes
Are there specific themes you are continuously featuring in your art?
Danette: For the past year or two, the themes of my art have gradually changed. I originally drew a lot of architectural sketches but now I draw scenes that bring out a particular feeling. In the process I hope that it resonates with someone else too. Other than that I love drawing plants, flowers and lettering out quotes every now and then.
What are your preferred mediums?
Danette: Watercolour all the way with a touch of pencil colouring that comes in handy for shading and depth. It’s a medium I’ve grown up with, having learner techniques and tricks from my parents. But from time to time I try experimenting with different mediums like oil paints, chalkwork and soft pastels.
Silence or music while you work?
Music, mostly. A good Fleetwood Mac album seems to always do the trick!
I learned about your work through your “Rooftop” illustration. That work really captivated me – the shapes, light, greenery, buildings- all of it. What was the inspiration for that work?
Danette: Thanks! I’m glad you liked it! Where I live, in fact my house itself, has plant filled terraces and sloping roofs over bright quaint cottages. Unfortunately in recent times though, the cute little cottages are being replaced by modern tall buildings, hoardings and such. I guess I was trying to paint what my ideal city would be like- greenery everywhere, old school architecture and spaces where mornings can be really enjoyed!
Can you tell us more about the #urbanjungleweek series?
Danette: The #urbanjungleweek was a week long challenge of prompts that I happened upon on Instagram. I loved the prompts because it meant drawing lots and lots of plants. Hopefully, with art like this we are inspired to add a little more green into our lives.
As an artist who is interested in green city issues, what have some significant moments been on your travels and experiencing different aspects of Green City lifestyles worldwide?
Danette: I live in a metropolitan city where concrete is more common than greenery. While on a trip to Havelock Island I realised that not a single shop there offered plastic bags but rather cloth bags, something that Mumbai (where I live) has been trying to achieve for a long time- unsuccessfully. On other trips, I’ve realised that smaller communities are doing a far better job at saving the planet than cities. In fact any trash that comes into these places mostly come from tourists from said fancy cities. The need to be more ecological doesn’t seem to seep through the mindset of some people, because its something we don’t understand or see first hand the impact of.
How does the theme of ecological living enter your art and what are some issues of particular resonance for you to work with?
Danette: I believe any place that’s greener is happier. Your home, your workplace, even your way to work! I haven’t really thought of my art being used as a platform for ecological issues, but I think I definitely want to start using it to create awareness. Subtly though, plants always have a way of ending up in most of my art.
Check out Danette on Instagram at @dan8gomes
Feature & Interview by Annika Lundkvist at Pacific Roots Magazine Editorial Desk