WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 171 of 207

It turns out, Mehta says, that her style did emerge, and with it, an unusual technique. "I just started painting what I wanted to paint, and it took off." Mehta works from photographs, most of which she takes herself. Some are posed, some not. Then she draws the image directly onto cradled board or canvas, or she might draw on paper, then use transfer paper to copy that image onto the surface. She begins to apply oil colors, one at a time, approaching the image as a series of shapes. To free her to approach the subject in a looser way, she turns her work upside down. "It helps me simplify the image into shapes," Mehta says. "I find that it clears my mind." The result is still representational, but with a modern, abstract qual- ity that could be reflective of Mehta's background as a printmaker and graphic designer. Although she had a creative bent as a child, she did not begin painting until five or six years ago, when a neighbor invited her to enroll in a painting class at Newton North High School. "I was scared to death," Mehta says. "I walked in and I assumed every- one could paint better than I could. But the teacher was fantastic and helped me to relax, and I realized there was a real range of talent." Mehta entered a competition and won second place with a photo- graph of her young daughter at the beach. She took three sessions of classes with the same teacher and decided to learn more about the craft. She found a mentor in Kehoe, who teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and who has exhibited around the country, including at Wellesley College's Jewett Arts Center. "She's tough, and you have to have a thick skin, but I had so much respect for her," Mehta says. "The beauty of going into art when you are older is that you are less afraid. What's the worst that can happen?" 170 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 artist profile "a modern, abstract quality"

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