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Stroke of genius

K. Sarumathi
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Artistic:Sridhar's paintings inside bottle and eggs.Photo: R. SATHISH KUMAR
Artistic:Sridhar's paintings inside bottle and eggs.Photo: R. SATHISH KUMAR

K. Sarumathi

We know of many artists who have excelled in their particular field of work, but here is a person who has been trying hard to prove his dexterity by equally excelling in two genres of art — music and painting. Though he has already drummed his way to success, B. Sridhar has another talent which he wishes to showcase to the world. Since school days, he has been a keen painter and portrait artist who could draw any object he saw in no time. But his strokes are not ordinary ones, for he paints not on paper or canvas but inside all types and sizes of bottles. But his latest feat is remarkable and worth mentioning.

Painting outside an egg or breaking in into half and painting inside the shell is something which cannot be called a work of genius. But Sridhar has gone one step further and drawn and painted inside an unbroken egg. How? Sridhar explains the time-consuming and tedious process. “I make two holes, with half-an-inch gap between them, using a needle. I carefully empty the contents of the egg and wash it thoroughly with water. Then I leave the shell to dry for two days. He creates two holes in it _ one to look into it and the other to insert a size zero brush inside and to paint the desired image with the help of a size zero brush.”

The work requires utmost concentration and even a small mistake could turn costly _ repeating a tiresome process all over again. Talking about how he struggled to get through the first step itself, Sridhar says, “I easily waste 10-15 eggs while creating the holes before landing with the prefect shell.” Sridhar has made five such paintings inside eggs shells with portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Jayalalithaa, Barack Obama, Vinayagar, and Taj Mahal. Each took him over two hours to finish.

What made him complete the task is the practise he got out of painting inside bottles. “You need a steady hand to paint inside an egg shell thorough a hole. The image has to be completely etched in your brain,” he says. A Horlicks bottle, liquor bottle, or any other glass jar is all Sridhar needs to unleash his creativity.

His most cherished and acclaimed bottle painting is one with the faces of 181 world leaders. “As I had to paint inside the bottle all drawings has to be done upside down. The faces are of famous personalities from around the world.” Another painting he has created is that of Thiruvalluvar. He has painted the picture using 100 Horlicks bottles.

“One had to put these bottles together, which is more like a puzzle, to see the image”, he said.

Last month, Sridhar received certificates from ASSIST World Records Research Foundation, which recognises people with extraordinary talent and helps them to exhibit it to the world. The award was presented to him by Pondicherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy. He also holds a record of 24 hours non-stop drumming, a feat acknowledged by the Tamil Nadu Book of Records and the Indian Book of Records. The T.N. Book of Records also recognised him for playing the darbuka, an Arab instrument, non-stop for 12 hours.

On his future plans, Sridhar says he plans to put his 1,000 bottle paintings on exhibition; he also wants to break his drumming record by playing 24 hours non-stop blind-folded. He has been practising eight-hours a day to accomplish the feat.

Sridhar, who is a resident of Jafferkhanpet, has his own band called Sukkiravaari. He can be contacted on 98400 97378.

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