In his exhibition, artist Paresh Maity attempts to capture the exact moods and experiences of nature and seasons with watercolours.
His obsession with water bodies and the passion for understanding watercolours deeply intrigues one to visualise his artistic sensibilities. Known as “one of the finest watercolourists in the country”, artist Paresh Maity recollects his love for watercolours in his retrospective exhibition, ‘World of Watercolours’, currently on display at Lalit Kala Akademi.
Comprising around 100 paintings — which are themed around nature and landscapes — the exhibition is a nostalgic portrayal of Paresh’s childhood and the serene environment he grew up in.
“These paintings span 40 years of my work and I wanted the viewers to experience my journey and attachment with water bodies and watercolours,” says Paresh.
The exhibition, curated by Sunaina Anand, comprises paintings as huge as five by eight feet, which bring life to Paresh’s neighbourhood in Tamluk, West Bengal.
“I grew up surrounded by canals and lakes. I made my first painting at seven… Artworks like clay modelling and painting always appealed more to me than studies. I still remember how I tore a piece of paper from my notebook and made my first landscape painting with tube colours,” says Paresh while recalling the time he discovered his love for watercolours.
He eventually grew up falling in love with nature, the wind, the storm, the moonlight, the night sky and the morning glory. For him, paintings mean splashing watercolours on paper, trying to capture the exact mood and experience of summer, spring, winter and autumn.
He says, “For me, all art is an imitation of nature. I am a nature-oriented man and nature is the biggest inspiration for all my artworks.”
However, he feels that watercolours are the most difficult medium to work with. “One needs confidence to work with watercolours. Big-sized papers are not easily available, so the size of artworks becomes a limitation. Then, water has to be handled carefully. If the temperatures are higher than normal, then water dries quickly. Thus, very few artists work with watercolours,” says Paresh.
At 52, having showcased his expertise with watercolours in numerous exhibitions in India and abroad and won critical acclaim for the same, the artist feels that there is still “a long way to go”.
“After completing a painting, there are times I feel accomplished and there are also times I feel completely disappointed with it. And this disappointment motivates me to carry on and create something better and more engaging. I wish that I am able to paint till the last day of my life.”
The exhibition is on display at Lalit Kala Akademi till February 15 and will move to Art Alive Gallery from February 20 to March 31.