The shades of happiness

The shades of happiness

The shades of happiness

Though Chandra Gurudatta had a fascination for colours from her childhood, she took to the field of arts and crafts only during her college days. Preferring to spend the time after class immersed in her artistic world, Chandra says that it was a way for her to relieve stress.

"Around 8-10 years ago, I started learning professionally and I was blessed to find teachers who inspired and motivated me. I was introduced to different mediums and techniques by them while I learnt the art of making 'rangolis' from my cousin," she says.

Chandra started off with pencil sketching and slowly moved to water colours and acrylic paints. Now she has an extensive repertoire of skills like fabric painting, pebble art, mural painting, oil painting, tribal arts and more. "When it comes to the medium, water colours and fabric paints are my all-time favourites. Work wise, Kerala murals are something I thoroughly enjoy creating."

She is at her cheerful best when the topic veers back to colours. "I like creating textures with colours. In fact, I like to play with different hues and see what all I can do with them. My personal favourites are blue, yellow and red. I am always attracted to these tints and they find a place in all my paintings. I use them to create other shades as well," she says.

Chandra now dedicates at least five hours per day to this passion of her. "I get done with my work by 10 am everyday and I have time to myself till 4 pm, when everyone in the house is at work or school. My family is very supportive and has always pushed me to give my best in this field. There was a time when I wanted to go for a 'rangoli' course. It was quite expensive and I was hesitant because I wasn't sure if I will take it forward. My husband and mother-in-law asked me not to worry about the cost and told me to go ahead."

Chandra is also thankful to her teachers ("Muniyappa sir, Shyla Prasad maam and Seshadri sir") who took her under their wing when her first teacher passed away. She credits them with bringing out her intrinsic talents and makes a case for the importance of formal training.

"There are many people who refer to Google, see some videos on YouTube and feel that they have learnt everything. When you showcase your work, they are under the impression that it is all very easy. But they don't know the intricacies of the work nor can they get the finer finishing touches," she notes. Challenges notwithstanding, she is happy to be able to spread cheer and happiness through her works. "I have gifted many of my works to friends and family. I work in a school as a part-time arts and crafts teacher and I give handmade gifts to my colleagues for their birthdays. Since no two of them get the same thing, everyone is always very interested in knowing what I have made for the other person," she says with a laugh.