BENGALURU: Employing a minimal palette, letting the colours flow, creating accidental splurges, enabling the painting to evolve with tonal gradations, along with light and shadow playing a key role in creating the mood and atmosphere. An artist with two decades of experience, Mridul Chandra, believes this. For the first time, she will be displaying her watercolour works ‘Ochre and the Iris’.
“It’s an unforgiving medium but the key is not giving up too soon which many do,” says the artist, who previously worked with acrylics and oil until six years ago when she decided to make the transition just out of curiosity. “I started lingering with the medium and soon went with the flow.
Watercolours require you to be spontaneous – you have to be conscious of the colours you are using and take note of the kind of colours coming together. You need to be careful about the amount of water on the brush. Too much or too little can change the look of the work. It’s like cooking. In acrylics or oil work you can sometimes go over them,” says the artist who worked with architects for the 1982 Asian Games.
Chandra, who worked on her collection of about 32 works from April, is inspired by her travels to the Kochi harbour to the Kumbh Mela. “Nature and travel have held a deep interest in me. Painting from this vast canvas has been the ultimate challenge, expressing what is in front of me in a personalised semi-abstract expressionist manner. The eye searches for a way to depict the real in an unreal suggestion, leaving you in a state of being in the ‘here-and-now’,” says Chandra in artistic prose.
She goes on to explain that being someone who spends time extensively in nature, her works are to do with the outdoors and nature. Chandra, who studied in ‘Sir JJ School of Art Mumbai, says she titled the exhibition ‘Ochre and Iris’ because “ochre is the first colour on my palette and iris is the vehicle in the eye to see the world.”
To Chandra, art is therapy more than anything else. “It’s therapy for the mind and body, which gives me a high, and anyone who attempts it. It’s just like the runner’s high,”
‘Ochre and the Iris’ will be held at MKF Museum of Art, Lavelle Road, from October 19 to November 10. Timings: 11am to 7pm (Monday closed).