As a student, Mangal Gogte used to paint a lot. But she lost touch with her hobby soon after. It was only after her marriage, when she went to Ooty for a vacation, that she touched her brushes to the canvas again. The artist is now ready for her first exhibition in the city, armed with 39 paintings, three of which were made over the last few days. Mostly delineating nature and its beauty, Gogte lets her travels inspire her. Some of her work dates back to 1983.
Her collection features visual memories from her trips to Finland, Switzerland, Gangtok and Kolkata among others. Gogte is a self-taught artist and has never felt the need to be trained. “I’m really passionate about art. It’s one of my interests and I don’t really have the time to learn it professionally. But with experience, I’m improving myself,” she says.
The artist also has been a columnist in a Marathi daily for the last 15 years, apart from being a visiting faculty internationally and “a full-time housewife”. “I was in Mongolia for some time and since I didn’t have much to do on the weekends, I’d take up the brush,” she says.
The ideal escape
Although she paints people in harmony with nature, she’s not interested in portraits and human forms. “I don’t do modern, abstract art either. I used to sketch, but water colour has more possibilities,” she asserts. Gogte prefers to complete her paintings on the spot. She feels that painting nature has its own advantages. “I can delete electric wires or random people. For portraits, I can’t do that,” she laughs.
There are a few places that she wants to capture on her canvas. “Kashmir and Kerala are on my list. I’d love to go on a jungle safari and paint,” says Gogte, who keeps escaping to Alibaug for some peace of mind. “I can always turn to nature for tranquillity. It teaches one to be patient,” she explains. Nature, she says, is her calling and her paintings are a gift to it.