Mohan Sundaresan (Cannabis Art)

I was born in Bangalore, a city in Southern India, on October 22, 1946: 73 Years old. At a very early age I started painting toys that we made, as my family could not afford to buy us toys. After high school I moved to London and lived a carefree life doing odd jobs and enjoying the nightlife. After five years in London, I moved to Vienna, Austria to work with my cousin in the textile industry. That is where I learned about colors and designing. I met and married an American girl whose father worked for the UN in Austria. After 17 years in Vienna, I moved to California, and presently live in La Jolla, San Diego County.

My technique is unusual as I weave my paintings together after I cut them up. First, I color two canvases of equal size. When the painting is complete, I cut random strips on each canvas and turn them over paint side down. Then, I carefully weave the strips together, glueing each weave in place after cutting a little slit in the strip to make it lie flat. I place a sphere in each of the paintings and weave outwards from the sphere until the two paintings are one piece. The sphere in all my work represents a gem which we are all born with inside us. The gem just needs to be polished.

In 2018, I was given a commission to make a cannabis leaf painting. The weave was very complicated and it was difficult to get the leaves in each painting to line up after I cut them. After several tries, I figured out what to do and have been painting abstract cannabis leaves of different shapes and colors. Cannabis has helped me quit alcohol and eases my chronic back pain. I support the legalization of cannabis and the cannabis movement.

I started painting on 100% hemp canvas last summer. Presently I am working on my 5th or 6th piece on hemp canvas. The first one that I did was 9’ by 5’ and has two sides. It takes anywhere from three to six weeks for me to complete a piece.

Painting and weaving are what I do for fun. I spend many hours in my studio working and listening to music. Some of my favorite artists are Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. I also enjoy walking my dachshund Dizzy along the coast and meeting new people. Cooking is another of my passions. I love to cook Indian food.