Artist Vasu Tolia offers a visual journey through her vibrant mixed media portfolio. See more of her work by visiting her website.
I am a contemporary painter from Michigan. I migrated to the United States from India to further my professional advancement as a physician. Following a very successful medical career, I learned drawing and painting to continue my creative endeavors after retirement.
While I have always loved art, I never really had an opportunity to acquire such skills in school or college. I saw my mother do pencil drawings whenever she visited me. As I leafed through her drawings recently, I was very impressed with the geometric drawings and color schemes of her small works. They could have been studies for larger artworks. I commented on this in the book I published about my latest solo show.
Visual art is my passion now. Although I started with traditional representational art, my imagination and ideas are beginning to lean towards the abstract.
I mainly use acrylic paints, papers, collage and found materials in my artwork. They are done in layers with drawing, scraping and layering marks of charcoal, oil pastels and pens.
The use of vibrant colors, organic and geometric shapes is my hallmark. I draw the viewer into the stories I create while on a visual journey of strokes, lines, and brilliant colors inspired by people, nature and travels. I also love to create art for healing; these concepts are embedded in my mind.
My second solo show, Woman’s Journey, depicted the various roles a woman is capable of.
Recently, I undertook the theme of emotions and abstracted them on canvas. This series is called Symphony of Sentiments and was on display at Livonia Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibition included 30 paintings and 22 poems as artworks depicting human emotions. My paintings depict spaces that are real and imagined.
Perceptions are revealed as dreams with a reminiscent quality. Sentiments are woven with strokes, lines and spaces that provoke a reaction in the viewer. Patterns emerge within these paintings as decisive strokes that entwine and intertwine to create geometric and organic narrations.
I have received many awards in local, regional and national competitions. These include Best of Show several times and Artist of the Future awards. I’ve also been published in several magazines and interviewed on radio and on YouTube by NAWA. One of my paintings was featured in the TOP 20 Covid Art in Washington Post in 2020. The CDC approached me about using this painting on the cover of Oct 2022 issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases. Three of my paintings were acquired by the Baker College (Royal Oak Campus in Michigan) and will be on permanent display from September, 2022. My paintings and commissioned artworks are in many private collections.
My artwork has been shown in group exhibitions in the Metro Detroit area, California, New York City and in many online national exhibitions. I participate in fundraising by donating my art to projects related to healthcare, children and women’s causes. I’m on the board of Friends of Asian Art and Culture at the Detroit Institute of Arts and serve on the board of two local artist groups.
I am also a budding poet, writing poems on different subjects. Energetic strokes inject a lyrical quality to my creations that have inspired many poets in several Ekphrastic events.