Nature in its myriad hues with a dash of abstraction

If artist Atmakuru Ramakrishna travels he is sure to grab the window seat. Be it a train or a bus, he goes for the window seat so that he can capture the views in his mind's eye and splay them on the canvas in oils. "But God, what an eye" and a hand: He fills up a medium sized canvas with colours in under 20 minutes flat. A huge collection of his is on display at the State Gallery of Fine Arts. Step in, and you see the whole of the country and every possible scenescape. Rockscapes, seascapes, trees, gorges, valleys, rushing water and every bit of scenic nature done with a childish fascination for the elemental nature. But this is not to say that he deals with simple things. Ramakrishna brings a range of moods, images, colours and styles to his paintings leaving the viewer thinking about the creativity and the output of the artist.If a few appear to have blotches and splatter of colour thrown roughly on the canvas, a few others give the appearance of delicate and meticulous effort with the brush and the knife. In this show, two of the paintings convey a sense of abstraction as Ramakrishna uses a strip of synthetic mosquito netting to create a vertical divide with blotches of squares flitting in and out of the canvas."I am interested in textures that I can lend to the paintings I do, am equally fascinated with recycled material for lending this texture, that is why I have used a strip of mosquito netting. My interest in textures goes back to the time when I did four paintings with thumbprints, but the drawback is that realism is not possible as the strokes have a rough edge," says Ramakrishna. The current crop of artists avoid oils as they take time to dry while the acrylics dry faster and layer after layer can be created in a short time. On the other hand Ramakrishna who has done nearly 200 canvasses in his favourite medium prefers to create his oil painting in a single layer in a single stretch of 20 minutes. It is realism but he doesn't try for the photographic detail but is happy conveying the mood with colours that range from the brightest and brilliant whites to the grey dark and brooding colours.Go, see them.SERISH NANSISETTI