Vasu Tolia is a visual artist hailing from Michigan who has a passion for painting and sharing her creative moments with the world. Her preferred mediums are acrylics and mixed media. She uses energetic strokes, vibrant colors, and different techniques to portray her muses. Vasu’s inspiration comes from simple events, people, and nature, which she uses to create artworks that are usually in nature, figures, or abstraction.
A picture of Vasu Tolia in her studio
From Medical Profession to Artistry
Vasu’s interest in art began as she considered retirement from the medical profession. After years of teaching, mentoring, patient care, and research, she thought that creating art was a natural extension of continuing to be productive. Her love for visiting museums and galleries led her to consider art a pastime. She learned the basics of painting, and as her paints and strokes started to take forms that appealed to her, she became enamored with making more and better paintings. Pursuing this passion led her to make it her new profession.
Exploring Dualities in Art: Tolia's Creative Process, Themes, and Mediums
Tolia's creative process is usually not overtly political, but pressing issues do intermittently provoke her to create paintings with a message. Her works may have more than one message, and she loves to explore such dualities by blurring their boundaries. She usually paints in a series, creating at least six to eight artworks on a particular theme or style. Tolia decides on topics to portray based on her thought process, using materials acquired during travel, reading, and life in general as her main resource. She loves acrylics the best, finding them very versatile and forgiving. She also uses charcoal, pastels, oil crayons, pens, and other tools.
One of her recent themes has been to depict an Indian icon, the famous demigod Ganesha, from the perspective of abstractionists and expressionists. The painting shown here, Ganesha, is in the Cubist style of Picasso. She had made several in this series.
Empowering Women Through Art
Tolia's latest series, "I'm Every Woman," is her dream project for a solo show at the Brewery Park Gallery in Detroit in September 2023. It draws in part from the many types of professions, roles, and even subjugation that women have to endure. Each of these figure paintings embodies a character that may ooze energy, purpose and freedom, or it may fill the viewer with a sense of calm and gratitude. Here are a couple of examples of her styles in this series.
Abstracts: One of her favorite pieces is "Awakening," which she painted in a moment of pure joy and inspiration. The painting here is called Restless Wave, and she is trying to show earth, ocean, and sky in it.
Tolia balances her artistic vision with the expectations of clients or patrons who commission her work by creating several sample images for them to review and proceeding after their approval; however, they know that the final product will be her own depiction as the painting evolves. She has not had any clients who were disappointed with their pieces. Tolia approaches art by venturing into uncharted territory, which she perceives as a challenge and meets with increased awareness. She feels stimulated to continue to evolve and create variations in her work.
In conclusion, Vasu Tolia believes that a lot can be achieved in every phase of life. Life after retirement is just a new beginning to be embraced to give an outlet to all the energy and passion one has for life. She tries to keep moving forward and overcome her hesitancy and uncertainties. Tolia flourishes more when she’s challenged and feels stimulated to continue to evolve and create variations in her work.