A toast to watercolours

Paresh Maity keeps the old, the difficult and magnificent art of watercolours alive

For 40 years, India’s celebrated artist Paresh Maity dedicated himself to watercolours. Maity, in spite of the great difficulties the medium is known for, went on journeys and copied wonderful landscapes on to paper. His long-time affair with watercolours materialised as an exhibition titled ‘World of Watercolours’ from January 28 to February 17 at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan. “I have been painting with watercolours those tiny tubes you used to get since the age of 10, when I was just getting into the field of art,” says the 50-something painter in his trademark beret and colourful scarf. “Watercolour is the most difficult and oldest medium in the field of Painting as there are many limitations. The size of the art work is a big challenge, especially when done on a large scale. The application has to be timed and finished before the colour dries,” he adds. Where few artists are able to master water as a medium, Maity has extended his boundaries by creating watercolours on extra ordinary large papers often created for him by the best of paper manufacturing companies in Italy. His largest watercolour is in size 5 X 9 ft. He has won many recognitions for his watercolours nationally and internationally, including the ‘Royal Watercolour Society Award, London’ in 2002. Maity also released a book by the same name, with around 300 watercolour works spanning 40 years. “From my home town Tamluk, a small Village in West Bengal and other parts of India to China, Japan, England, and Venice, the book covers the landscapes of everywhere I have ever been,” he says.

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