Shrey Purohit: Ingleside’s Open Air Landscape Painter

Paintings by Shrey Purohit. Tiles, clockwise from top left: "Beemer on Ocean Ave," "Afternoon at SFFD" and "Warning in the Sky."

INGLESIDE, San Francisco — Shrey Purohit paints landscapes of the Ingleside and surrounding neighborhoods the old-fashioned way: with canvases on an easel in the open air, capturing the fleeting daylight in water-mixable oil paint.

Shrey Purohit. Courtesy photograph

Purohit has become a fixture in the neighborhood as those out for a stroll spot him working on his paintings, which he also posts to Nextdoor and Instagram. His posts on social media are quite popular.

Purohit, a 23-year-old art student originally from Mumbai, started painting landscapes as a way to get out of the house.

“When the pandemic began, after being indoors for the first month, I longed to be outdoors and record my surroundings,” Purohit said.

Having moved to Ingleside three months ago, Purohit took his practice of landscape painting with him, and the neighborhood is now his inspiration. One of his favorite buildings in the neighborhood is the City College of San Francisco’s iconic Science Hall. Purohit has painted two landscapes that feature the building.

“The sunlight on this large building at golden hour really makes the building glow against the majestic greentrees that nest it in the calming blue sky,” Purohit said.

Purohit was painting during the “Red Sky Day” on Sept. 9, when the sky turned dark red due to wildfire smoke. 

“I painted the sky from my window, as I knew that day would be integral to documenting 2020 and the other layers of problems Californians have had to deal with,” Purohit said.

Capturing life as it happens — the good with the bad — is the purpose of the style of painting that Purohit practices.

“In my moments of gloom and self doubt, I think of Vincent Van Gogh while painting and how he painted everyday creating and going through the difficult periods in his life without commercial success,” Purohit said. “I dedicate all my work and time in the pursuit of happiness and spreading joy to my fellow neighbors on this planet earth through my paintings.”

For more information about Shrey Purohit, visit https://www.instagram.com/shreypurohit.