One way to express oneself is through the metaphor of colour. Imagine that each of us is given at birth an artist’s palette of rainbow colours, with which we are to paint our life! Each one would select one colour according to the surroundings that we are born to. In her case, Kripa T.U., a self-taught artist, has learnt early to move beyond this limited palette and use unconventional colours to explore new possibilities.
At a group exhibition called ‘Vipanchika’ that concluded recently, Kripa, a final year PG student of Bharath Matha College, caught everyone’s attention. Skillful in both abstract and realism, the young artist has developed a quirky style of using colours. “I have been drawing from a very young age. Earlier, it was just trying to emulate one subject or a reference image that I see. And, I was not sure about any particular medium though I continued to draw. Until my plus two days, that’s how I did it.”
Kripa says since she started using social media like Instagram and Facebook, her works have been reaching more people. “Sharing my works online made a big impact and I started getting a lot of positive responses as well as many creative inputs. So, I started concentrating on doing my works from my imagination rather than drawing something out of a reference image.” Still, she was not confident about what she was doing. “I was the magazine editor at my college during my UG and had to do some illustrations for the magazine and with that, I gained a lot of confidence. Since then, I have focused on watercolour painting.”
A lot of artists (or generally anyone), nowadays, are preferring self-learning because it’s actually a lot ‘better’ in some sense compared to going to an art school, provided you go to a school where they teach you exactly what you want to learn. Kripa, being a self-taught artist, had to go through some hurdles first. “To hone your skills, first you should start believing in yourself. Self-doubt is the biggest challenge to creativity.
That’s what I had to do first. I cannot thank enough my friends and teachers who made me ready and gave my confidence. And, I was also getting a lot of support online. Another problem is that being a self-taught artist, I could not spare any room for error and if I continue making the same mistake again and again without knowing that it is an error, my art works will suffer and I won’t be able to even rectify them later. Then, there is the absence of an expert opinion. When I started, I had no guidance of an expert artist. I was not part of any online artist community. All I had was some nice, polished encouraging words from my peers. That was not enough. So, I had to spend a lot of time searching for tutorials and had to depend upon them while doing a work.” A focused, self-taught person, she developed herself into someone who could use the colours wonderfully, eventually.
Kripa, who lives in Tripunithura, uses very vibrant colours in her works. When quizzed about it she says, “I love experimenting with colours and tones. It all depends on the subject and my works are purely subjective, but sometimes I love to break a cliché and use different colours, in quirky ways. And it depends on my mood, too. I am a person who spends a lot of time with books if I am not with my palette and canvas. And being a literature student, I don’t restrict my imagination. It really helps me develop a kind of creative literature, too. In recent times, all my works are the results of momentary impulse. And, it has some connection to my persona as well. At the exhibition, I hope others also could relate to it with their own perception.” She is also into digital painting and likes to experiment with it.
Kripa’s paintings are aesthetic takes on the obvious subjects. And that’s what defines her. She believes she would let the creativity flow forever, and when they begin, she won’t hold back. “Put those beautiful colours on the canvas and let them lead where they may,” she wraps up...