THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Confident brush strokes in myriad shades of blue spans across the canvas unleashing a visual magic that pulls you deep in and tugs at your artistic sensibilities. The artwork is just under progress and the renowned artist warns you that it could just metamorphosise into red as the work progresses. “I started with blue as the theme here was centered around the ‘expatriate’ but it will evolve,” says noted artist T Kaladharan as he went about smoothing another stroke in his canvas.
The artist who was the harbinger for an art movement in the 80s with the ‘Keralakalapeedam’ in Kochi, is in the city as part of the painting camp being organised by the Lalithakala Academy in association with Loka Kerala Sabha. Titled ‘Sargayaanam’, the national level painting camp which is being held in the Kanakakunnu palace showcases an illustrious list of painters. For him ‘painting’ is the harmony of colours and the effect it conveys to one’s senses.
“Art is never felt as a necessity and this must change. The absence of a painting in your home might not make much of a difference but the presence of one can and it adds great value. It is nothing short of an asset,” he added remarking about the general perception of art among the public.
Appreciating art should evolve, it cannot be induced, he added. He also reiterated the importance of the need to support art galleries. “The asset of a nation is its art and culture. The government ought to start an art gallery. We should be proud of the great artistic tradition, showcase it and further open up more platforms for budding artists,” he said.
“You have to keep working. Painting spiked my interest and I have been painting ever since,” he adds. “I was lucky enough to get good teachers.” Kaladharan treaded into the medium of art through Kerala Institue of Arts, Kochi. He fondly recalls the great teachers like M.V. Devan, artist Namboodiri, Kanayi Kunjiraman and the likes who helped him in learning the art. “As an artist, you evolve over the years. Your own style evolves after that and that is important,” he said.
The artist who has bagged a plethora of recognitions never tries to base his work on any theme. “It puts a lot of constraints as you have to stick to the theme. Rather, for me, the painting just evolves and speaks for itself. The title only comes later,” he added.
His school of thought ‘Orthic’ brought in several changes in art. The name evolved from ‘Onnu orthu nokkiye’, the artist with more than 40 years of experience in the field says. His favourite medium is glass and it was while working on a set of paintings that he was invited to join the camp. Even while agreeing that painting in glass is challenging on many fronts, the artist said that transparency of glass adds another dimension to the work. His paintings have always been noticed for the vibrant mix of colours which create a visual symphony invoking emotions hitherto unknown on a spectator.
Drawing remains the base for a host of jobs such as graphic designing, animation, architecture, interior designing and many others, the artist remarked pointing to the sea of opportunities awaiting the students.
The artist says that for those with a flair for art, the time couldn’t be better. “There is a drastic change when compared to our times and the children and youth must make use of such events where they get to interact with artists,” he added citing the dearth of visitors for the camp.
“Keep drawing,” that is the bit of advice the stalwart has to give for budding artists. “Sketch, observe and keep drawing”, he says as he tries to perfect another stroke of in his canvas.