Udupi artist creates ripples in Oman

Mohamad Nazir gives the final touches to an artwork.

From being a finance controller of a pharmaceutical company, Mohamad Nazir, a native of Udupi, has finally established himself as a celebrated artist in Oman through sheer hard work and dedication.

Nazir is an established name when it comes to art in Oman and his paintings adorn the walls of ministry halls and corporate offices as well as private residences of the ministers of Sulthan of Oman.

The paintings also find a place in top exhibitions. Forty-one years ago, when he flew from his native to Oman to earn a livelihood, he had no inkling of becoming a top artist outside his motherland.

Nazir had a penchant for painting from an early age. Tracing his journey, he recollected, “I am a self-taught artist whose journey to art is a search within for the inner strength and ability. Even when I was working for a pharmaceutical company I used to spend my evenings on the canvas.”

During my college days at MGM in Udupi, I used to draw pencil sketches of Bollywood stars which were displayed every week on the corner of a room in the college, he adds.

"The drawings were well appreciated by students and teachers, which inspired me to continue the artwork,” he recollected.

I was not a professional artist when I started painting but experience greatly helped me become what I am today,” he emphasises proudly.

He has drawn more than 70 paintings of Sulthan Qaboos bin Said.

“I had even drawn the painting of his Majesty’s mother, which drew the attention of the King, who in turn had given me a precious gift,” says Nazir proudly.

He has the credit of selling 3,500 original paintings. His paintings capture the world of Oman’s picturesque landscape, Oman’s wadis, mountains, old settlements, beaches and waterfalls and surroundings with shades of vibrant colours on the canvas.

“I paint with knives using my own technique along with a brush. I have at least hundreds of modified knives to suit the subjects I paint. By using a knife it is possible to layer wet paint on top of wet paint without disturbing the layer beneath, helping to maintain freshness in the painting,” he explained.

“Art is my life. I spend many hours a day on the canvas. I am happy to see people enjoying my work. I cannot explain the technique I use for getting the colours and originality as it comes spontaneously when I start painting. Knives are suited for use in oil painting of architectural subjects. It is the colours and subject on the canvas that narrate a story in my painting," he adds.

Appreciating his painting, Nazir’s wife Shirin said, “The paintings look natural and there is depth in the subject.”

He has so far exhibited paintings in US, UK, Cyprus and Oman. Nazir’s family resides at Alape in Mangaluru.

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