Introspection, imagination, inspiration – how these Chitra Santhe artists perfect their work

In our third photo essay on Bengaluru’s popular street festival for art, we feature more stunning works along with artist insights on their creative processes.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 425 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Held by tradition on the first Sunday of the New Year, the 17th edition of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath’s annual Chitra Santhe featured over 1,500 artists. See Part I and Part II of this photo essay series, as well as our coverage of five earlier editions of Chitra Santhe: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

The artist lineup includes T Narayan, Asit Das, Manjula MY, Vishnu Kumar, A Faisal, Runjhun Kejriwal, Naveen Kumar, Srishail Patil, Satish Pujari, NK Baskaran, Shilpa Prajapat, SAV Elaiyaraja, Pradnya Khandgonkar, Shwetha Kishore, and Umesh Prasad.

“Creating art for me is more of a self-introspecting period of time. The artworks I create are also being appreciated by wider audiences, and that is another positive aspect to it,” explains Manisha Mohnani, in a chat with YourStory.

She has displayed over a hundred works till date, in art shows and festivals in India and abroad. “I keep making sketches and creating paintings throughout the year, on a few concepts or theme lines. I use different formats and mediums,” Manisha says, explaining her creative process.

She is currently working on a series titled A Memoir of Love, which will be featured at the end of the year in Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. Her artworks at Chitra Santhe were priced from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 50,000. She says she draws inspiration from a number of sources, which are absorbed in her emotional state and expressed in her artworks.

“The experience this year at Chitra Santhe was as good as last year,” Manisha enthuses. The feedback about her artworks and practice from the audience was appreciative, and she sold quite a few pieces of art.

The art fair also featured self-taught artists like Deepthi Bhide. As trends in the field, she points to the rise of accessibility to art from across the world through social media like Instagram, along with online promotion.

“There are so many posts and tutorials that we can learn from online. As a result, art in India is evolving and spreading its wings, and has potential to reach much greater heights,” Deepthi enthuses.

As a parent with a fulltime job and a young child, she jokes that success is being able to do any artwork at all. She urges Indian artists to pay more attention to promoting their work online.

For Chitra Santhe, Deepthi prepared a range of abstracts and pocket paintings. The 3X3 pieces are compact and also extremely satisfying for artists with time constraints, she explains in jest. They were priced from Rs 50 to Rs 2,000.

“The experience at Chitra Santhe was wonderful. It is an experience to cherish forever,” Deepthi gushes. She got comments that her pocket paintings were cute and different, along with suggestions for new features. “Overall the audience was very encouraging,” she adds.

As words of inspiration for aspiring artists, she cites Dory from Finding Nemo: Just keep going. “Take a leap of faith, there will be someone to catch you – or better still, you may learn to fly,” Deepthi advises.

For Jayanti Bhattacharjee, art is the reflection of life and daily experiences. “I try to explore emotions and moods through my portraits. At the same time, I love to capture still life using a range of forms and mediums,” she adds.

She has created around 200 artworks so far, and exhibited at Chitra Santhe for the second time. As trends in India’s art scene, she points to the rise of modern art and new kinds of artistic languages.

Jayanti explains that art for her is not just about awards or sales, but inner bliss and satisfaction of her soul. She calls for more awareness and appreciation for art in India, especially with regard to rural artists.

Knowing that at festivals people like to buy art at affordable rates, Jayanti prepared attractive but smaller works of art. They were priced from Rs 200 to Rs 8,000. For her next exhibitions, she is working on a series of female portraits.

“Festivals like Chitra Santhe give artists lots of appreciation and encouragement. Seeing and learning about different art forms from other talented artists also helps with ideas for next projects,” Jayanti explains.

She urges audiences to be more generous in buying art, and understand the hard work and imagination that goes into a work of art. She also offers tips for aspiring artists.

“Make yourself more aware about the world of art and beyond. Be more experimental so that you can explore new ideas and expand your horizons,” Jayanti signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and explore new dimensions of your creative side?

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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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