Amongst other things, artist Vandana Malhotra has strong views on the need for passion and devotion towards art. In city at Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16, to exhibit 30 of her finest paintings as part of a display titled Inception, Vandana, who has twenty years of experience in teaching, painting, animation and designing children’s books, talks about her ardent love for art.
“I was in Class 3 when I painted my first canvas,” recalls Vandana, who was born and brought up in Varanasi, but has been living in Chandigarh since 1999. Saying she took up fine arts since she wanted to become an artist, Vandana laments the popular notion that associates art with those who have no other option. Having earned a doctorate in Applied Arts from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, the freelance artist says, “I did PhD because I wanted to prove my love for art, which, for me is life.” Now that Vandana also tutors students for the preparation of UGC-JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) examination and entrance test for admission to pursue BFA (Bachelors in Fine Arts), she says she advises them to ‘breathe art’.
However, she is a bit disappointed. “I took up fine arts as I wanted to become an artist. But unfortunately, today’s youth choose to study art because they do not have other options. This is why passion, craziness and imaginative power is missing from their works,” she reasons. “But why just blame the youth? It’s our society that thinks that the one who can’t do anything in life becomes an artist,” adds she.
Vandana’s works displayed in the city depict the influence of the rich culture and traditional values of Varanasi. Her paintings were classified as a part of series, under titles such as Horse, Puppet, Abstract etc, showcasing action, women, search for hope and light, blessedness and ecstasy. The Puppet Series has been made using acrylic and oil and reflects the transformation of humans into puppets, leading them to perform without reflecting.
Adds she, “I practice for four to five hours everyday, for even art calls for riyaaz. Before I paint, I first imagine and then draw a rough sketch. After that, I create colours with the help of a computer and then start making it on my canvas."