BENGALURU: Three leading watercolour artists are exhibiting their works at Chitrakala Parishath Art Gallery. Titled Reflections, the exhibition of 30 works by GN Madhu, Mopasang Vallath and Sunil Linue De ends today.The artists have tried to capture moments from rural and urban life.
Mopasang Vallath, who started with oils in his 20s, gravitated to water colours for its “uncertainty” and resultant “thrill”. This medium is what every child is encouraged to try for its simplicity, but experienced artists know watercolour to be the trickiest. Your painting is revealed to you as the colours dry and there is little you can do in the way of revision. There is a concern among art lovers that watercolour works begins to fade, especially if it is exposed to the elements like harsh sunlight.“Absolutely false,” says Vallath. “High quality art material and special watercolour paper are available now. We use them,” he says.
Sunil Linus De, whose works are largely observations of a changing social landscape like ‘Untitled’ of a rained-in street criss-crossed with badly laid wires or Beach where many and identical pairs of lovers meet, plays with the fall of light on his canvases. “The challenge of this medium,” he says, “is to keep the transparency without losing the freshness of the painting. In water-colour, the artist has a clear idea about what he is going to paint. In this medium, he or she has to keenly observe light and shade, colour value, placement of the object and composition.” In Untitled 2, of the street, an autorickshaw riding away from the viewer has been placed in the foreground.
GN Madhu takes a step closer to the subject. The viewer is invited to participate in the rush of a bullock race in ‘A game... where the real winners get whipped’ and to contemplate the sea in ‘Waiting’. He places urban indicators such as a scooter into frames, which keeps you anchored to the rational present even while you gaze at the mystical Padmanabha Swamy Temple. It is disconcerting social commentary, but easy to take with the haziness of watercolour transparencies.
Madhu says that he prefers to add these “twists” in composition, colours and light and shade than capture a “common scene”.