Painting to ‘save’ Chettinad

Hailing from Chettinad, L Sendhil Kumaran is a renowned painter. He did his schooling from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, one of the oldest fine arts colleges in India. 

Published: 28th May 2018 10:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2018 05:27 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU : Hailing from Chettinad, L Sendhil Kumaran is a renowned painter. He did his schooling from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai, one of the oldest fine arts colleges in India. 
For the last 20 years, he has been working on animation and design as a senior user experience architect at Infosys, while also pursuing his original passion. The artist’s hometown is known for its 19th century mansions with wide courtyards and spacious rooms embellished with marble and teaks. “My hometown has been my biggest inspiration and through my paintings I want to draw attention towards age-old architecture. Presently, we are demolishing many heritage structures and constructing new buildings without any thought.”

According to Kumaran the architecture of Chettinad is slowly dying and and his paintings aim for their better preservation. Kumaran’s water colour paintings are being showcased at Crimson – The Art Resource, on Cunningham Road, till May 31.  “My paintings are my way of expressing the exclusive architecture of Chettinad and how they explicitly define my motive of preserving what remains of their 
beauty,” he says.

The exhibition includes 30 paintings from his collection of 100 which follow a similar theme showcasing a plethora of different designs and structures of buildings. He has done various group exhibitions and this is his first solo exhibition.He recalls a particular painting from his collection that showcases a 19th century building. “It was built using a type of limestone known as Karai and the walls are polished with a paste of eggwhites to give it a smooth texture,” he says. A fond memory he shares is of his art professor from his college who demonstrated and introduced him to water colour paintings.  

Over the years Kumaran has witnessed the evolution of art – from traditional paintings to oil paintings and now to digital ones.A member of the Art Community at his office, Kumaran sticks to water colour as his medium for paintings. “Water colour as a medium suits my attitude as it requires the painting to be completed in one sitting. It is not only fast but is also able to capture my intuition,” he says.

Since his involvement is more towards outdoor paintings he has to somehow manage and finish his paintings quickly. “Outdoor paintings are a bit critical as the light changes constantly and the shadow moves after a while. So you have to quickly render the exact movements to capture the mood. Time is very vital,” he says. Aged 45, he feels like he is just a student who has graduated from college. One major challenge for him is to be able to reach out to more people and take his artwork to art collectors and galleries. His next target is to capture the art and architecture of Bengaluru. 


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