Conducted by Milind Sathe
Do you remember the time when you developed interest in drawing or painting? Was it early childhood or in later years?
It was from early childhood ever since I was 3 years that I started drawing. My father who was a carpenter and himself very good at drawing recognised my interestand encouraged me. In fact the family shifted from a small village in Gujarat to a Talod which was a bigger place so that I could be provided with better education.
So, how was further education like?
Shifting to Talod for high school certainly helped. I completed B.A. from Gujarat University, did the Art Master course and earned the Diploma from Sir J. J. School of Art.
How did your professional career begin?
My first job was at the same school at Talod where I studied. I served as an art teacher for two years. My next stint was at Government Fine Art School where I joined as an art teacher and later rose to be the principal for 5 years. It was at this point that I was offered a job at the leading daily in Gujarat - “Gujarat Samachar”. I joined the newspaper as an illustrator and cartoonist and retired in 1987 after serving the paper for 26 years. This was a very satisfying stint and helped me settle down and concentrate on developing myself.
More about your professional career and yourself?
I started painting in 1987 and continue to paint till date. I am 81 now but I continue to be as interested and driven to do my work as I was when I started. I have evolved my own style of painting and I am committed to it. “Heritage” happens to be my favourite subject and I often use watercolour washes in my work. I also enjoy painting themes related to “Krishna” and “Shiva”.
I am deeply committed to my family. My children and grandchildren have turned out to be as enterprising and hard working as I have been if not more and I am proud of them.
Would you like to name anyone in particular who influenced you and your approach to art?
My guru Shri. Rasiklal Parikh was a big influence on me. He was a contemporary of N. S. Bendre.
Would you like to say something to the young artists who are aspiring and emerging on the art scene?
I would say that artists today have far more opportunities than in my time. Apart from opportunities, artists have started getting the respect in the society which was hard to come by in the earlier days. They should therefore make the most of all the opportunities and the positive atmosphere which appreciates art and artists.