“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” — Emile Zola
Reshma Venkatraman and Neha Agarwal have been living their passion and how. Often in this busy world, when we are pre-occupied by work and family, people more often than not tend to shun and shut out their passion. It is a rarity to find two professionals who despite their work and children have found time for ‘art.’ This recently held dual show at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath was a celebration of one’s ‘passion’ and ‘dedication’ towards art. Aks — Defines the ‘real me’ and not running away from your inner self. “Aks” means splitting image. ‘’We live like two people inside one being — mein aur mera Aks,’’ says Reshma Venkatraman. Reshma is an aspiring chartered accountant and boy has she mastered the silken touch of an artist who means business. Reshma chose to follow her heart and pursue her passion for art. Her artistic style is an apt reflection of her personality. Thus, she balances intricate detailing with enthralling colour, drawing inspiration from nature and emotions, using watercolours and acrylics as her medium.
Though self-taught, Reshma’s work has the prerequisites of an artist who is not only creative, but has a good technical ability. One of her most striking paintings was Mriganayan which shows an engaging pose of a Bharatnatyam dancer. Reshma and Neha further explains, “AKS. This distance between the inside you and outside diminishes when one learns to communicate, and the language of art is used. Art connects us to our real/inner selves, but also to those of others as well. So here, we kindle such emotions from within us.
Aks is a way of expression; it is a blend of different visual artforms, water and acrylic colours and pen art, done by both of us.’’ Neha is a Zentangle artist and a certified Zentangle teacher. Her work captures concrete representations or abstract symbols in varying tangle forms, using pen and paper as a medium. Neha is more the experimental soul who juxtaposes her zentangle skills with a unique creative skill set which shows marked versatility in her work.
Her game is purely based on amalgamating the intricate with the vibrant colours. Neha and Reshma are a one of a kind rare duo, who have collaborated and created one single set of works, which reminds us of Thukral and Tagra from the Indian contemporary art set-up. Though being the doting mothers they are, they still find time to pursue their passion during the children’s school hours, which is something incredible. The show was a success as many thronged to witness their collaborative works of art.
— The writer is an art expert and curator.
1. What inspired you to paint?
Reshma: I always see a story in nature and in every face I come across, which inspires me to paint and depict my perspective of the story.
Neha: I have always been fascinated by patterns, which is my way of expression. In my drawings you will see a lot of zentangle patterns, be it abstract or faces.
Neha and Reshma.
2. How tough is it to paint as a mother?
RESHMA: I have a set routine wherein I paint when my children are at school. That way, I can balance family life and my professional life perfectly.
NEHA: Since I am an IT professional, I make it a point to draw daily but usually after my daughter sleeps. Even when she is awake, she lets me draw, or sometimes draws with me as she has been seeing me work on my art for a long time.