Village women paintings by Pushpa Sharma
Delhi based Pushpa Sharma is a trained textile designer. Pushpa loves to do village women paintings depicting Indian rural women. Her other favourite themes are bird paintings, flower paintings, Ganesha paintings and OM paintings. She is very passionate about her art. After a gap of almost 15 years, she again picked up her brush in 2015 and resumed painting with full enthusiasm. Now she is back to being a full time artist.
Conversation with artist Pushpa Sharma
Do you remember the time when you started taking keen interest in drawing and painting? Was it your childhood days or later?
Yes, how can I forget this! I remember when I was in 5th standard, it was my final exams, I prepared a map of Africa on a chart paper and when my school principal saw it and commented “you have really done a very beautiful job”. These words of appreciation made me realize about the hidden skills in myself and that was the first moment in my life which pushed me towards my Artist career.
Did you have a role model to emulate or was there someone in your family who was an artist and therefore a big influence?
No, there is no Artist in my family. But my mother use to knit beautiful designer sweaters for the family. I often saw our neighbours, friends and relatives come to see my mother to learn those beautiful design techniques from her. I am sure I got the artistic qualities from my dear mother in heritage. Now these artistic qualities got transferred to my daughter, she has got a very good hand as well.
Tell me about your early years education?
I was born and brought up in Delhi in a middle-class family and my childhood education was normal. After 5th standard, I started taking keen interest in Arts. During my school years my Art Teacher, relatives and friends always supported and motivated me by appreciating my art work. After class 10, I decided to continue Art as a subject. We shifted to a new place and my new school did not have Art and this change forced me to study a vocational course “Textile Designing”. I took it as a challenge and also excelled in Textile Designing with flying colours.
What did you do after completing your education?
After schooling, I did one year Diploma in Textile Designing from ITI, Sri Fort, New Delhi and an Apprenticeship Training from Ministry of Textiles, New Delhi, India. Simultaneously I did my Bachelors in Arts from Delhi University. I joined a Home Furnishing Firm as an Artist for couple of years. I got married and became a housewife.
Your journey as an Artist?
After marriage my first priority was my family and kids. I even forgot that I am an Artist too! In 2015, I picked-up my colours and brush and once again started creating designs in my free time. My husband observed it and motivated & supported me to continue with my passion. My kids also appreciated me and they wanted to see me paint.
It was almost after 15 years, I woke-up my forgotten artist and resumed my passion for arts. Started with floral paintings on canvas and paper using acrylic and poster colours. I wanted to make watercolour paintings but did not know the techniques. So I started watching YouTube videos to learn how to use water colours and now I have gained the confidence in water colours and now they are my favourite.
Other interests in life? If you were not an artist, what would you be?
‘Arts’ is the only interest in my life, it’s not my interest but it’s my passion and it’s in my blood. I would be artist and nothing else.
Which artists have had a lasting influence on your thought process?
Pablo Picasso’s Cubism, Vincent Van Gogh’s Flower Paintings, John Fernandes Water Colour Paintings and Bharti Dayal’s Madhubani Paintings. I love the precision of their work.
Do you follow other art forms such as performing arts, cinema, literature, music?
Yes, I do follow cinema and music, time permitting.
How interested are you in social and political issues? Have these at any point in time influenced your art practice?
I have no interest in political issues. But social issues on women do affect me. I want to portray daily life of Indian village women, how they struggle to survive and fight for their rights and recognition.
Which themes have you enjoyed working on in your career so far?
I love and enjoy all the themes but when I paint, I completely follow my heart that guides me what to paint and how to paint? I work on a specific theme till I am completely satisfied.
What kind of work you see yourself doing in the future?
Some themes are my ‘all-time favourite’ i.e. Nature (especially Flowers). I can paint flowers in various style like contemporary, realistic, folk style, abstract….. I want to make and showcase image of Indian women in their traditional clothing, jewellery etc. I want to explore the beauty of the forms of Om and Lord Ganesha. Art is like meditation for me, it gives me satisfaction and I feel myself relaxed, calm and stress free.