Artist Nirmal Pathare and her paintings
Painting emotions, abstracts and exploration of light through her art
A medical microbiologist by profession, Dr. Nirmal Pathare has always had an ardent passion in fine arts, especially drawing, painting, and sculpting. She started working with charcoal and watercolour at a young age. However, her penchant for the abstract and eagerness to experiment led her towards oil colours, a medium she extensively has been working in the recent years. Her paintings present vivid exploration of light, its interaction with colours and articulate emotions on the canvases. Studying sentiments of living beings and the ability to metamorphose them visually to paint feelings, is what makes her paintings both unique and intriguing. Painting emotions and exploration of light has been her forte. Nirmal Pathare along with Pradip Sarkar and Vinay Sane will exhibit their paintings in the art exhibition TRIO which will be held at Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Worli, Mumbai from June 18 to 24, 2019.
Conversation with Nirmal Pathare
Q. Do you remember the time when you started taking a keen interest in drawing and painting? Was it your childhood days or later?
A. My earliest memory is when I was 6 years old. One of my painting got selected by my school Balmohan Vidyamandir, to be sent to Japan for an international children’s exhibition. I still remember how thrilled I was when the class teacher announced it in the class. During my school days, I was constantly encouraged by teachers, selected by the school to participate in exhibitions and competitions. This led to the foundation of my career as an artist.
Q. Tell me more about your early years and education.
A. I am a self-taught experimental artist, I used to experiment in various media, tried different techniques, was open to criticism and have been learning from that all my life. Though not a formal degree holder in Fine arts I learned from different art teachers. I enrolled for hobby courses arranged at Handicraft Teachers college at Worli which gave me the basic foundation of sculpting. Due to constant help and support from my husband Anil, I was able to continue giving time for all these activities after getting married and while bringing up children too.
Q. What did you do after completing your education?
A. I enjoyed my career in science as a researcher and teacher, completed my Doctorate as well.
Art as profession
Q. When was it that you first thought about making this your profession? Did you have a role model to emulate or was there someone in your family who was an artist and therefore a big influence?
A. I was immensely interested in sketching, painting, sculpting, crafts, assembling natural decorations, rangoli and flower arrangements. I was encouraged at home as well as at school, so I pursued all these activities at the hobby front. My late maternal grandfather was a Doctor and an artist, my mother was a homemaker and was very talented in artistic fields. I too had a keen interest in science but tried to balance both interests. After school whether to pursue fine art as a career or science was a dilemma, finally I went for science stream, knowing that with my keen interest in fine arts I will always be able to learn fine arts and that will give me fulfilment however studying science while taking up a career in fine arts was impossible. I spent all my vacations and spare time for artistic activities. Participated in and won various competitions. While studying for my master’s degree at Nair hospital I won prizes in almost all fine art competitions and bagged a special prize from judges as a winner of maximum categories.
Journey as an artist
Q. Other interests in life? If you were not an artist, what would you be?
A. I would have totally focused on research in Microbiology, maybe multitasking didn’t help me achieve what otherwise I would have in the science field. But, no regrets.
Q. Which artists have had a lasting influence on your thought process?
A. Initially, S L Haldankar and Ilaiyaraaja had a strong influence on me. Later, I had opportunities to visit various museums in Europe where I was highly influenced by Rembrandt and Leonardo DaVinci too. I am also pretty much in love with paintings by V S Gaitonde.
Q. How interested are you in social and political issues? Have these at any point in time influenced your art practice?
A. I do not have much interest in political issues. Social work and possibilities of helping by a charity show for a social cause have always been on my mind. I have donated my work for such worthy causes in the past and would like to in the future too.
Her art – painting emotions, abstracts, exploration of light
Q. Which themes have you enjoyed working on in your career so far?
A. I enjoyed wild life paintings earlier and these days I am more interested in abstracts based on Indian culture and Vedic themes.
Q. What kind of work do you see yourself doing in the future?
A. I would like to take further my recent theme of paintings based on असतो मा सद्गमय। तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय। मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ॥
Q. Anything else you would like to add
A. I would like to pursue my dreams further as an artist