Personally, I’m always captivated by the topic of Balinese painters and their palettes. From the first time I visited a painter’s studio years ago, I have been floored by the variety of materials these artists use, and have also been seduced by the allure of their creative spaces. To me, looking into an artist’s studio is a bit like opening a friend’s refrigerator: I’m going to learn a lot about them very quickly.

Artist Studios - I Made Djirna working in his private studio
Made Djirna working in his private Ubud studio.

Now, if you’ve ever wondered how artists or painters organise their studios or painting spaces, where they store their canvases, how they keep their brushes, and how tidy they are, then you should join the newly-launched Artpreciation, an art programme that will take you to the private homes and studios of some of Bali’s most prominent artists such as I Made Djirna, Mangu Putra, and Made Wianta.

Artist Studio - __DIA MENATAPKU__ a painting by Mangu Putra
Dia Menatapku (he stares at me) by Mangu Putra

For example, as you pass through the Balinese gate into the studio of I Made Djirna, it is like treading on the soul of a sensitive, creative painter who uses the brush and canvas to portray his tempestuous emotions.

In the book “Selected Works of Made Djirna,” one can learn that the prominent Balinese artist is very experimental with his works, applying diverse materials, techniques and styles.

If you have a look at Djirna’s versatile works that are scattered around his Kedewatan studio, you can see how his artistic motivations are very much influenced by his emotions.

balinese artist
Celebrated Balinese Artist Made Wianta

Mangu Putra, an established painter who was formally educated as a graphics designer, draws his inspiration from intense contact with nature – as seen in many of his works, especially the earlier ones.

The natural world, such as mountains and coasts, are depicted as identifiable objects. Some of his works with abstract designs imply natural images, such as the character of water and the texture and colours of earth or stone.

Yet, his works are not mirrors of direct observations with the naked eye. Natural objects are shown as if through sophisticated technological imagery, so that they appear artificial, attractive, provocative, and even fantastic.

The famous Made Wianta is most of the time possessed of an intense concentration of energy, bubbling and constantly moving. You will be amazed by how Wianta’s constantly active brain works – Japanese researchers were so intrigued by this that they flew Wianta to Japan to study his brain.

Wianta is a multi-modal artist. His mastery of colour and form on canvas is matched by his mastery of words in poetry; body movement in dance and sense of rhythm in music. On a few occasions during the visit to his studio, you’ll find yourself tongue-tied, amused and even flabbergasted.

Komplek Pertokoan Nakula Megah 5 Unit J
Jalan Nakula Timur, Kuta
Phone: 0811 380 850

Namhar Hernanto

Namhar Hernanto

One of NOW! Bali's previous but long-standing editors who enjoys all of Bali’s offerings. On weekdays he enjoys deliberately getting lost, taking the wrong turn in distant villages, seeing what travel treasures he may find. Weekends are for indulgence, where you may catch him imbibing on a classic cocktail or savouring the pleasures of a fine dining establishment.