As the nation gears up to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, fine arts graduate Rajeena Sreejith is ready with a unique tribute to the Father of the Nation. Unlike thousands of portraits of the Mahatma that are churned out across the country, Rajeena’s work took her almost an entire year to complete.
The portrait does not feature a single brush stroke, but has been created from countless precision dots made using a gel pen.
“It was very strenuous and put enormous pressure on the hand. I had to hold the pen straight while ensuring that the right amount of pressure was exerted on each dot. More importantly, it needed loads of patience,” the young artist and mother of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl says.
And so, Rajeena did not spend more than two hours in a day on the portrait. Also, she did not work on it every day, but only when she felt in the right frame of mind. Little wonder that the portrait she started working on a 36x24 inch canvas last November was completed only in September this year.
However, Rajeena is happy she could complete the work before Gandhi Jayanti. Before attempting ‘Gandhi in dots’ on a bigger canvas, she had done two similar works – of Gandhi and of a Kathakali artist – on a smaller scale. The confidence she gained from those works led her to work on a bigger canvas.
Rajeena plans an exhibition of her paintings, including the portrait of Gandhi, in the near future. A combined exhibition of her works and that of her husband Sreejith, who is also a fine arts graduate, is also on the anvil. “I would have loved to exhibit this portrait during Gandhi Jayanti. But it’s odd to have an exhibition of a single painting,” she says.
Having earned a diploma in drawing and painting from the Brushman’s School of Arts in Kannur, she has about 50-odd works including oil paintings and drawings to her credit. “I want to innovate and try something different in painting,” she says.