Do you remember any impressions or incidents from your childhood days that triggered your interest in painting?
I was born and brought up in the city of Kolkata, where local art schools are very common. Most of the times, children of a particular locality go to the same art school. My mother admitted me into one such art school. On my first day, the teacher drew a small house and asked me to replicate it. As I was in the process of drawing, I realized that the doors of the house, did not have a metal knocker. I told my teacher that he had apparently forgotten to draw the knocker, which to me seemed very important. Amused at my query, he asked me to draw the knocker myself and I completed the drawing. This incident, is clearly etched in my mind till today and was one of the first impressions which triggered my interest for painting.
At what age, did you start sketching or painting in a serious way ?
During my college days I started to visit houses of professional artists. They taught me many things about the different forms and techniques of art. I took lessons from them in water colour and oil. But after I joined work, I got so busy adjusting myself to a new city and coping up with work pressure that I lost touch with painting for almost around 4 years. One fine day, I happened to pass by an art shop and spotted some canvas, colours and other painting equipments which triggered my passion again. Thereís been no looking back ever since. It has been 3 years, since I have started taking painting seriously.
What has been your motivation to paint ?
Once I complete a painting, I almost always find, that there are areas of improvement. So that gives me the motivation and zeal to start a fresh painting, so that I can better myself, with every piece of art that I create. I am also fascinated by the myriad colours of nature. As I try to capture it, it greatly awes me, to see the magic, that water and colour unfolds on a piece of paper.
To be an artist is not an easy path. Despite the difficulties, what sustains you on this path ?
Yes, being an artist is definitely not as easy path, especially when youíre too tired after work, yet you have to pick up a brush and complete a painting, if youíre on a commissioned project. Despite all these struggles, the most motivating factor is the joy of creation and when I see a white sheet of paper, I can almost do anything with it - Make the sky appear blue, with a tinge of vermillion, even though it is afternoon outside.
Support from family is crucial for an artist to flourish. What is your experience ? After all, your family would prefer that you spend time with them on a picnic or on a shopping outing rather than lock yourself up and paint.
Of course, the familyís support is very crucial for any artist. I still remember my mother, holding my hand and taking me to the local art school when I was 3 and a half years old and buying me all the art supplies, which at times can be expensive throughout the learning curve. Iím also very fortunate to have a wife, who supports my art work with constructive feedback and good food to keep me energetic. My first priority however, is always my family and yes I would definitely go out with them. And probably be having a sketchbook in hand, drawing inspiration from my family and surroundings during leisure time.
Could you elaborate on your journey as a painter so far ? What were the initial themes that you painted ? Did these themes or your style change over a period. Take us through this journey.
During the first phase of my career as an artist, I used to learn the techniques of old masters by copying their work. But as time progressed, I could develop themes of my own and paint around it. My initial paintings were mostly done in acrylic and pastel with a male/female protagonist at the centre stage. Gradually, I started to shift my focus from acrylic to water colour, painting more of Cityscapes, Bridgescapes and compositions based on poetries.
You interact with so many people in your professional career. Have these interactions enriched your though process and provided you with inputs for your painting ?
Yes, I do meet a lot of people in my professional career. I always find inspiration in colour combinations or dressing patterns of individuals which I sometimes, incorporate in my paintings.