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‘Success is best when it can be replicated’ – Sundar Murthy, Grishma collective

Madanmohan Rao
17th Mar 2018
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Four artists jointly showcase the urban and natural colours of Bengaluru in this exhibition called Grishma. Creativity is about lifelong experimentation and learning, as they explain in this photo essay.


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 180 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Before Bengaluru became the IT hub and startup capital of India (and also the Silicon Traffic Jam!), it was renowned as the Garden City. Tree-lined avenues, botanical gardens, lush parks, and the seasonal blossoming of trees like gulmohar still bring lots of colour and freshness to the city despite rapid urbanisation.

The ubiquitous auto-rickshaw (even in the era of Uber taxis) and flower vendors are other colourful features of the city, as captured in Sublime Galleria’s exhibition this month titled Grishma (‘summer’ in Sanskrit). The Bengaluru gallery features four artists: Jayant Hubli, Madhusudhanan, Shankar Lohar, and MS Sundar Murthy.

See if you can recognise the landmarks of Bengaluru in this photo showcase of watercolours: MG Road, Vidhana Soudha, City Market, Cubbon Park, Bellandur and Nandi Hills. The paintings add a creative spin to these landmarks, beyond what a photograph may depict.

Watercolours are one of the toughest mediums for painters - and hence a reflection of mastery, according to Madhusudhanan; it is hard to undo what you have done, in contrast to acrylic painting. “Besides, the artistic flow during painting may take you spontaneously to directions different from what you may have originally planned,” he explained in a chat with YourStory.

As creativity tips, he suggests a lot of travel and immersion in different urban and rural settings. “See and admire the levels of beauty even in a simple village. Meet and talk to people. And above all, work hard – hard work never fails,” he advises.

Other techniques that artists can use are imposing constraints, such as painting with only two colours (see my earlier photo essay on ‘50 Shades of Black and White’ at Venkatappa Gallery). “I have also used blades to scratch out sections of paint in my works,” explained MS Sundar Murthy. Other techniques he has used are turning the painting upside down and then right-side up to alter the flow of paint as it dries.

Many art students take up careers as designers in tech and media firms (see my article on job prospects at the College of Fine Arts). Others continue to become professional painters or sculptors and set up their own studios, such as steel sculptor Balan Nambiar.

Sundar Murthy has gone a step ahead and founded his own academic institute, the Core College of Fine Arts. “Success is best when it can be replicated,” he explains. Success for an artist comes from multiple sources, ranging from personal satisfaction to audience appreciation.

“It is great when audiences tell you they like your work, and what in particular appeals to them. It is even better when they ask questions about how you created the painting. But I would like to help nurture even more creative people, and that is why I founded my art college,” Sundar said. Success for a teacher is when the students themselves succeed, he adds.

“Art is much more than gallery glamour. It is a lifetime of hard work, and you have to keep pushing yourself to become better and different from the rest,” he advises aspiring artists. “Art is lifelong experimentation and learning,” he signs off.

Now what have you done today to explore new tools and frontiers in your work and multiply its impact?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

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