Remya Kumar says she loves working with fiery colours to make tranquil compositions of nature

Though she has previously worked with figuratives and non-objective paintings, what Remya Kumar prefers is to work on naturescapes, with a twist. “I would call it a contemporary impressionist style. I like to use bold colours, but I would never think of using green for leaves or trees. I feel uncomfortable when I do things realistically,” says Remya, an architect-turned artist and a protégé of the artist A.V. Ilango.

“I like a loose style where the strokes are evident. The colours may not be tranquil but the scenes are. I like creating a contrast where the colours might be incredibly fiery on a still surface of water with sprinkling of leaves.”

The scenes that she is typically drawn to capture are based on the effects of light amidst nature, when sunlight filters through leaves or reflects over the surface of water. Much of her work, especially at the outset, was inspired by the landscapes of Yecaud and the water bodies of Kerela, her home state.

“I think that’s something you will see in all my paintings. But I hint at rather than describe each leaf, I simply suggest the leaf. I pull back and try to portray as little as possible to convey the message, though it takes more skill and I am still learning to do that.”

Light, she says, plays a pivotal role in her works. “It is what gives life to any painting. Light draws the eye and uplifts. It is what gives the spark and energy in the painting. My themes are generally water-based or forest-based and light has to be there. Even if I am exploring night scenes, there is always there is a glow of moonlight.” Remya is drawn to nature because she finds that it is an infinite source of inspiration. “It is inherently beautiful. You don’t have to do anything to make it beautiful. I don’t have to ask a tree to pose for me. It’s just effortless because it is right there. I think I have been consciously staying away from urban themes because I was an architect for so long. I have drawn buildings for so many years that subconsciously I have gone in the opposite direction.”

And so often, her paintings simply follow onto the canvas. “I don’t have a set process. It just appears in my head and I sketch it out, sometimes I don’t even need to sketch. I simply start on a canvas,” she says.

“The best kind of paintings are those that just happen without any planning. Then painting becomes a dialogue with the canvas. You apply one stroke of colour and you know how it goes from there. These are the moments we wait for as artist. But not all the paintings happen that way some paintings are a struggle.”

Her tryst with naturescapes, however, she finds is a happy marriage. “It lends itself very well to my style. But I don’t have any messages in my work. I don’t think that way. I am in the pursuit of beauty and these are just honest, simple reflections of nature.”

Remya will be exhibiting her works in “Prismatic”, alongside works by artist Kishore Sahoo, Selva Senthil Kumar and Sheela Marad.

The exhibition opens today at 6.30 p.m. and will remain on view until November 24 at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road. For details, contact 9900264831.