Author Archive

F.N. Souza: Personal Life

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 | Author:

imagesSouza was born in the village of Saligao located in Goa. Souza was born in a catholic family. He lost his father when he was only three months old. Scraping through life, Souza later studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art, but was suspended in 1945 because of his support for the Quit India Movement.

What threw Souza into fame was his autobiographical essay ‘Nirvana of a Maggot’ which appeared in 1955 in a magazine edited by Stephen Spender. ‘Words and Lines’ was his other great book which was published in London in 1959. In 1967, Souza settled in New York. Souza has also been a part of the Commonwealth Artists of Fame exhibition which was held in London in 1977. He has also participated in several other exhibitions which include one-man shows in Paris in 1954 and 1960 and in Detroit in 1968. In 1987, his retrospectives were held in New Delhi and Mumbai. He also exhibited his work at the Indus Gallery in Karachi in 1988. In 1996, his paintings were displayed at New Delhi again. In 2005, as part of their British Art Collection, the Tate Britain devoted an area to Souza’s works so that Britain art lovers could appreciate his work time and now. Souza’s work also had hints of Expressionism and British neo-romanticism. F. N. Souza also received positive appreciation from John Peter Berger, an art critique. Berger also said that Souza’s style was deliberately eclectic.

In his last days Souza painted many pictures under the title “Goa portfolio” where he also wrote a lot of inspiring prose.


Sunday, May 17th, 2009 | Author:

pic_fn_souzaIndian Art is a beautiful reflection of Indian history, religion and philosophy which so many eminent painters have contributed to. F. N. Souza’s paintings form a niche of their own. Spectators often felt that his paintings screamed at the onlooker. They appeared unreal especially with the bare faced bold lines and criss-cross designs that were surrounded with the glossy borders.

Many often felt that his paintings mocked at the person looking at it because his paintings carried enormous weight and were very pressing. It seems as if Souza is in a hot debate with the painting and is attacking the canvas with his colours. Souza’s paintings were inspired by ancient Indian classical sculptures at the same time they were also enthused by the art of expressionism of Rouault and Soutine and fortitude of Cubism.

 His paintings contained beautiful landscapes, symbolic imagery, popes, priests, churches, crucifixes etc. They say that looking at a Souza’s painting you will always look for something because his paintings leave you with an aura of mystery, captivating the mind to find reason and thought about every line that one sees on the canvas. In fact, lines are Souza’s forte.

His paintings generally stir you up. They provoke you to contemplate about them for hours. Souza’s paintings are something that stays with you for long. They mingle in the mind trying to capture what the painter is trying to depict. Even a simple portrait by Souza has something exceptional that itches one to analyze.

Studio3 – Umakant Tawde

Saturday, May 16th, 2009 | Author:

Studio3 – presents “Stillness Speaks” an exhibition of Buddha paintings
by Umakant Tawde at Jehangir Art Gallery, 2nd AC hall
from 3rd June to 10th June 2009

3-Nagin Mahal,Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020.
+91 9819345048. 22045048.

S. H. Raza: Personal life

Saturday, May 16th, 2009 | Author:

sh_raza_20070226S.H. Raza is one of the distinguished Indian artists of the century. His works basically include real and abstract landscapes blossomed with vibrant colors.

Born in Madhya Pradesh, Syed Haider Raza studied painting at the Nagpur School of Art. He later moved to Mumbai to study at the J.J. School of Art. He was one of the founder members of the Progressive Artist’s Group. In his early days, he struggled to develop a modernist language. Before leaving for France, he had many exhibitions of his art works in India. The Govt. of France granted him a scholarship in 1950. He studied painting in Paris at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1950 to 1953. S.H. Raza was awarded the title ‘Padma Shri’ in 1981.

He was also awarded Kalidas Samman from the Government of Madhya Pradesh. In 1965, he was given the Prix de la Critique award in Paris. In 1962, the University of California invited him as a visiting lecturer at the Art department of Berkeley. Raza has held several painting exhibitions across the country. In 1997, he showcased his work at his exhibitions held in Mumbai, Bhopal and New Delhi. He is also participated in the exhibitions held at Venice, Sao Paulo, and Menton biennales in France. He is married to a French artist named Janine Mongillat. Raza always chose to focus on landscape than his contemporaries who chose more figural objects. The artist, these days, mostly lives in Paris or in Gorbio in South France.

Raza still lingers onto his childhood memories spent in forests where he was inspired to paint and stimulated by the Indian metaphysical contemplation. S. H Raza indeed is one of the inspiring faces for the aspiring painters.


Friday, May 15th, 2009 | Author:

raza-165x1651India is a land to so many talented painters who have contributed significantly for the development of Indian art. It is the collective efforts of these painters that India is known for its art world over.

Amongst the highly acclaimed Indian painters, one of the well known names who is often called as the ‘master of colors’ is S. H. Raza. He is one of the most distinguished painters India has witnessed. Raza’s work primarily includes real as well as abstract landscapes that come to life with the vibrant colours that he uses.

Raza’s paintings depicted a familiar abstract western modernism that lured the spectators away. The fusion that Raza would create using old ancient Indian scriptures coupled with modern contemporary art is indeed noteworthy. Raza also integrates rudiments of Tantrism which retains Indian scriptural texts. Using wavy and thick brush strokes, Raza mesmerizes art aficionados especially with his typical expressionistic landscape and the rustic countryside that is portrayed with a dash of abstraction. He also uses other stylistic devices of painting which entices the art lovers and art appreciators.

Raza feels that nature itself offers us such surprises with its abstract intangible feeling that he wants to incorporate all those little experiences and involvement with the nature that he has had so far. Using different styles of colour, line, space and light, Raza has painted so many pictures that are associated with the symbolic and emotive value of all the vibrant colors of India. His use of heavy paint and pulsating colors makes one gaze at his landscapes. Raza’s work leaves us captivated.

Manjit Bawa

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 | Author:

bawa_2Manjit Bawa is one of the finest known painters of India. Coming from a small town called Dhuri in Punjab, he was never really encouraged to paint his life colours and make art his career. He was often told by his mother how art would never fetch him any money. But art was Manjit’s passion and there was no looking back at it from then on. With support from his elder brother, Manjit studied at the ‘School of Fine Arts’, New Delhi. In the initial days of his struggle, Bawa made fifty sketches a day all to be rejected by his instructor under whom he gained the light of knowledge for art – Abani Sen. Bawa truly credits Sen without whom, he believes that he wouldn’t be such a fine artist as he is today. Bawa studied art as well as worked as a silkscreen printer in Britain from 1964 to 1971. After returning from Britain, he just did not want to be typical European style painter. Bawa wanted to bring Indian culture, Indian mythology and traditions to life with his work. Bawa’s work thus saw a lot of Indianness in them.



Nature has inspired Bawa to paint the countryside landscape. As a young boy, Bawa would travel and draw beautiful landscapes. Simplicity fascinated Bawa. He would paint natural landscapes, epics from Ramayana and the Mahabharata and even Sufi poetries which he studied as a child. One always finds birds and animals in his paintings. Besides nature, flute was something that one gets to see in his paintings often.

Tanjore art

Saturday, May 09th, 2009 | Author:


Indian art has diversified into many sects. It is a conglomeration different style of brush strokes and colours that contribute to form a larger part of the art movement in India. One such artistic style of painting is the Tanjore painting. Tanjore paintings as they are popularly called are paintings that are followed widely by the people in the southern part of the country.


Art spread widely in the Tanjavoor district of Tamil Nadu (anglicized version: Tanjore) which was then the capital city of the Chola Dynasty in the 16th century. The Nayaks of Vijaynagar dynasty, Rajus communities of Tanjore and Trichi and Naidus of Madurai supported Tanjore art to a great extent. Tanjore art is considered scared and divine. This art has its roots in the culture and the tradition that is characteristically Indian. The art has evolved and has scope to incorporate modern styles of arts to it.


Tanjore art is known for its embellishment. This artwork is adorned with pearls, semi-precious stones, gold and glass pieces. The richness of Tanjore is evident with dashes of gold and silver on it. Tanjore art makes for fine pieces of wall hangings and home decoration items. Tanjore Art usually incorporates a lot of Gods and Goddesses because this art spread and became popular at a time when temples were being constructed by so many kings and rulers of different dynasties. The figures in Tanjore paintings are large and the faces are round and divine.


Tanjore paintings add a great value and aura of tradition and culture to ones home. They reflect the height of aestheticism that our culture imbibes in all that it beholds.

Taking Care of Paintings

Friday, May 08th, 2009 | Author:

Preserving paintings is an important task and hence it is necessary for people to learn about how one should take care of paintings. mdifferent materials are used while painting. Each material has a different sensitivity pattern and environment affects them differently. So how can paintings get damaged? The image can fade or develop cracks in them, the canvas can suffer from dents or it may even bulge. At times, the canvas is split or torn at the corners. Often the paintings also deteriorate and become yellowish over time.


To avoid this, try and preserve the paintings in normal temperature conditions. Avoid extreme temperature and humidity. It is variance in the temperature that can cause expansion and contraction in the painting. Avoid hanging paintings in smoky areas especially in areas where fire place is near. Handle paintings carefully especially while transporting them from one place to another. Also, carry the paintings with both hands and cover them while shifting or moving them from one place to another. Avoid hanging paintings directly under light sources as it can overheat and enhance cracking. Clean the painting regularly with a dry muslin cloth without dabbing the painting. Dust and dirt shouldn’t settle on the paintings as they can be acidic and can damage the colours of the paintings. Avoid direct sunlight. Sun rays can have a very damaging effect on paintings. They can cause discoloration, or fading in the paintings. Never hang paintings where they have a direct exposure to sunlight or even artificial light, such a halogen bulbs. It also enhances the yellowing of the varnish. Oil and acrylic paintings are most sensitive to light. If the painting is covered with glass, it will require regular clean up. Always spray the glass cleaner on the cloth rather on the glass while cleaning.

Rameshwar Broota

Sunday, April 26th, 2009 | Author:

rameshwarbroota-2Rameshwar Broota, born in 1941 is one of the talented painters of modern India. Broota mostly paints in the monochrome technique. His canvas foundation is usually painted in matte black. He works with a sharp and thin blade so as to bring in light and forms. This exposes the white surface below giving it a magnificent effect and creating deep space dimensions. His paintings look like a print.


His work of art has earned him three prestigious Lalit Kala Academy awards in 1980, 1981 and 1984. He was awarded the ‘Kala Vibhushan’ award by the AIFACS in 1987. From the very beginning of Broota’s career, he has been passionately involved in the human situation that degrades individuals. As a young painter Broota’s anger at the sufferings of the poor and the anguish at the voracity and corruption that he saw in society was eminently expressed in his early works which are a sardonic and bitter comment on the social society.


While admiring Broota’s Painting, imagination takes over the real form inspite of looking at a real form. There are innumerable interpretations that the spectator may have about his paintings but the importance and the joy is when Broota allows you to weave your own story through the painting.


His canvasses are large and are enormously obscure monumental drawings. Broota’s present works have an abstract bent with symbols communicating the cadence of time, of man, and of existence. His works can be seen at


Broota has also made some experimental video art films which were shown at Shridharani Gallery in 1987. Broota’s works are housed in the leading collections in the National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Academy, and other international art museums.

Mixed Media

Saturday, April 25th, 2009 | Author:

This is one of the most cavernous mediums to work with as there are endless mediums that can be used in permutations and combinations which will create fantastic effects to your painting. Most artists like working with materials like which are acrylics, colored pencils, colored inks watercolor pencil and paints, pastels and graphite pencils. What is important to remember is that while using mixed media is that the canvas or the paper that one is working on needs to be smooth. Mixed media is a platform which is most interesting because this is used for abstract arts and you can really create mysterious conundrums through this painting medium!


Here, there are no set techniques like we saw in water colour painting. This medium is absolutely open for your creative output. Hence do not hesitate to do what your heart wants to do. Many amateurs feel apprehensive towards doing something innovative with their paintings. Do not follow the norms always. Experiment with the medium and learn from your own mistakes. To start with, watercolour wash and a colored pencil approach are usually adapted.   They give a pastel type effect to the whole picture. Graphite pencils are used for fine detailing and acrylics and oil paints are used for heightened effect. Some of the things that one needs to keep in mind are: not to use dark colored pencils over dried pale acrylic colours. This is because when acrylic colour dries they leave tiny little bumps on the canvas and the pencil color that one will use will only accumulate the bumped area and this will be very prominent in the picture and will look shabby.


One can view Mixed media paintings, sclupture and new media works by Partha Das Gupta, Sanjay Barot, Hardik Kansara and Bhrigu Sharma till 30th May 2009 at the Strand Art Room, Colaba Mumbai.