Usually when little girls paint, their pictures are hung on the living room walls by proud parents. Seven-and-a-half-year-old Reeya Rene Rajpal’s paintings, however, will be showcased at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
This class III student of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya is the first child to be allowed to have an exhibition there.
Two years ago, Reeya was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune disorder, which affected her skin, kidneys, and other organs. To keep her busy and in good spirit during a 14-month medical hiatus from school, her parents bought her some art materials. And so she started painting. “I like to paint sceneries and peacocks,” she says.
Reeya likes using shades of blue, pink and red. “My school art teacher used to tell mamma that when everyone’s finished drawing, Reeya’s still choosing colours,” she adds.
Choosing the right colours are important for Reeya. Her paintings are an intelligent mix of various hues depicting landscapes, animals, flowers and even skyscrapers.
A painting titled The Waterfall, shows shades of blue cascading over a cliff. “But she’s never seen a real waterfall,” says her mother, Monica Rajpal. Reeya usually paints without any inspiration. “I don’t know what it will be till I finish it. When anyone asks me where I get my ideas from, I tell them ‘even I don’t know’,” she says.
About a year ago, she was asked to draw illustrations for a children’s book. The book was not published, but several new paintings were added to her collection. Then, she made more paintings. Her paintings will be showcased in a collection titled, Colour Play on Canvas.