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Happy shades of nature

The lovely watercolours Milind Nayak painted during his sojourn in the woods of Vermont are now on show in the City.

Cheerful landscapes

...To learn to see, to learn to hear, you must do this — go into the wilderness alone.

Don Jose

TO BE in the wilderness is not something new to Milind Nayak. The artist, who gave up the safe confines of a lucrative banking career in order to take up the easel and brush full time, has seen, listened to, and painted nature in all its glory for nearly three decades now. His famous landscapes incorporating the various moods and colours of nature have been collected by art-lovers in India and abroad. A prolific painter, Milind has participated in a number of group shows, besides holding a series of solo exhibitions since 1975.

So, what does this artist do when invited to present his works at the United States by Educational Praxis and The Keene State College?

After hanging his paintings in the exhibition hall, Milind silently packs his paper and pastels and retires to the woods of Vermont. Here, he is in the chosen company of delightful trees, picturesque meadows, and colourful flora basking in gay sunshine. The outcome of this enchanting encounter in the lap of nature has resulted in his putting together two dozen works at the Time and Space Gallery, in an exhibition aptly titled An Autumn at Vermont.

As could be expected, the exhibition is a bouquet of gaily-coloured paintings of stately trees, cheerful flower bunches, lively leaves, and moody skyscapes. Using pastels instead of oils and acrylics, Milind dexterously saunters his now-sharp, now-hazy strokes to effect his colour-filled landscapes and nature shots. Tall trees rise suddenly from the ground and green lawns stretching their branches in all directions. Leaves attire themselves in varied colours — red, yellow, orange — before springing to life. The sky could be a blazing expanse in one painting while being mellowed and even totally obscured by spreading branches and bunched flowers in others. There is an endearing painting of grass in a marshy water pool — somewhat tightly composed in the top but openly breathing in its space in the lower half. In some works, minimalist lines are skillfully rendered to suggest branches and bark of trees.

Milind does not believe in incorporating human forms or even a vague suggestion of birds and animals in his works. He feels that nature can best be enjoyed and honoured only in its wholesome silence and solitude. While some of his paintings outside this exhibition could endorse his interest in abstraction, the current exhibition is Milind's unfiltered obeisance to nature. The colourful journey continues till February 22.


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