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Share a Story Month: May 25th: "The Life of a Woman"

May 25, 2022 2 Comments

Share a Story Month: May 25th: "The Life of a Woman"

May is "Share a Story Month" and today, Skylark Galleries painter Smita Sonthalia tells the story of her series of paintings covering the phases of a woman's life from childhood to old age. 

“As a woman and a mother, I wanted to make a series of paintings to honour and celebrate ALL women in the different phases of their lives. From childhood to motherhood, from youth to old age. I wanted to portray a woman’s mind, drawing from my own experience, imagination and dreams.

I paint in acrylics on canvas and I like to blend contemporary painting techniques with traditional styles from Indian folk art such as Madhubani and  Pattachitra. I will point out the techniques as I show each painting.


In the first painting, Little Princess, I have tried to show the feelings of a girl who wants to paint her world pink!! Her world is full of toys, dreams and stories. In the background I have used the pouring technique to give a sense of freedom. The bold black lines of the main figures in this and every painting are inspired by Madhubani folk art. I have also used the transparency technique.

little princess, painting by smita sonthalia, from her series "life of a woman"

"Little Princess"  60 x 50 cm


The second painting A Free Bird, features two young friends looking so happy together, I have used bright pink and purple to illustrate the ambition, passion and girlhood of the age of youth. I wanted  to show that the young woman has her own world and wants to lead life in her own way. In the background I’ve drawn birds on top of the pouring using fine pen work to create a sense of transparency and a dreamy world. 

free bird, painting of two female friends in contemporary and indian folk art style by smita sonthalia

A Free Bird 76 x 61cm


The third painting The Soulmate expresses a new phase in a woman’s life when love starts knocking at her heart. She carries memories of her past and is also ready to embrace the future with her soulmate. In this artwork I have tried to link the past and the present of the woman’s life. The flowers on her dress remind her of her youth, the red and gold colours represent the love, togetherness and festivity of meeting her soulmate. In the background there is pouring again and some detailed Madhubani flower motifs.

the soulmate, a painting in contemporary and indian folk art style by artist smita sonthalia

The Soulmate 50 x 60 cm


In the fourth painting The New Mother, I wanted to celebrate the most beautiful phase of a woman’s life, motherhood. We see a young mother carrying her baby on her back. She experiences feelings of joy and jitter. Joy of having her baby in her arms and jitter because she is anxious about fulfilling her responsibilities towards the child. She nurtures her child but at the same time she is looking back to her previous life. The background is filled with pouring and symbols of butterflies which shows her bond with her past. I have also used the transparency technique.

new mother, a painting of a mother with baby on her back by artist smita sonthalia

The New Mother 50 x 60 cm


In the final painting The Declining Years I have tried to portray a woman’s feelings when she reaches the door of ageing and struggles to find hope in her life. It shows how she tends to live in the past. Fallen leaves and dry branches in the background symbolize how disheartened she feels in this stage. She has less independence and has to rely on others. I have used colours such as grey and dull violet to express these feelings. I have used the pouring technique in the background and Pattachitra for the figure as I have in all the paintings  

the declining years, painting in acrylics on canvas of a woman in old age by artist smita sonthalia

The Declining Years 50 x 60 cm

Click here to see Smita's whole collection

2 Responses

Vivien Phelan
Vivien Phelan

May 29, 2022

Lovely collection but feel I must comment on the explanation on the later stages of life.As an older person I would like to say that there is always hope,there is always a future until the very end.

Mrs Stella Tooth
Mrs Stella Tooth

May 25, 2022

This is such a beautiful collection Smita. As a woman who has or is passing through these stages, they ring an emotional bell.

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