For 34-year-old Manjusha Das, painting was always been a passion. It started as a playful act with the brush during her school days and made her win many awards and competitions later in life. But it was only in the year 1996, when Das was 18-years-old, that she decided to take formal training in art. “I learnt oil painting and portrait in Istanbul. My husband was posted there at that time,” says Das.
Her formal training gave her a new high and she started painting more regularly. After some time, her cousin sister, Bharti Dayal, also Das’ guru, introduced her to Madhubani art. “It was so refreshing to learn a new art form. Dayal introduced me to Maithila paintings or Madhubani art — as this form is popularly known.”
Devotional in theme, the Madhubani paintings by Das depict scenes from ancient epics and are rich in vedic and tantrik symbolism. But it’s the Krishna leela that attracts Das the most in Madhubani. “This form has many variations and I love the use of natural colours in it.”
Das has also exhibited her work in Istanbul, Copenhagen and Tehran. As a diplomat spouse, had ample time to learn from reputed artists from different countries. Das is also a trained fashion designer, having participated in many fashion exhibitions.
Having perfected the art, Das is now trying a fusion form in Madhubani art. “I am trying Madhubani with oil colours, which is very unusual. As opposed to natural colours, oil colours take a long time to dry.” Her work is currently priced between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 and can be viewed at Bihar Emporium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg. I am trying Madhubani with oil colours, which is very unusual. As opposed to natural colours, oils take a long time to dry,"says Manjusha Das, artist.