Special Correspondent

Traffic was blocked on Kumara Krupa Road from Sivananda Circle

Bangalore: They came, saw and yes, many did buy works of art. "Chitra Santhe", organised by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, seems to have come of age in its fourth year.

It just happened the last Sunday of December 2006 was also New Year Eve, which, perhaps, added to the crowds. Kumara Krupa Road was blocked for traffic from near Sivananda Circle up to the Chief Minister's official residence.

While there were some outstanding works by professional and amateur artists, there were others which resembled mass produced articles found in gift shops across the city.

The artists had come from almost across the region, several from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

And the variety of artists equalled the range of works on show. Ramesh Tirthal from Gadag, now settled here, specialises in paintings of Ganesha, in all sizes, shapes and mixes of colours. His other paintings for some inexplicable reason are of children flying colourful balloons.

A few metres away, a table filled with paintings on glass caught one's eye. Artist Lakshmi does it as a hobby when she is not busy with matters technical with C-DOT. She is a Ph.D., who uses acrylic colours on glass to telling effect. "It is the first time I am exhibiting in public,'' she said.

There are some striking landscapes a little distance away and the artist behind it is Anish, a student of Fine Arts in Chennai. He has been at every "Santhe" since it all began. Some of his paintings show Indo-Saracenic buildings and gardens of the Government College of Fine Arts in Chennai where great artists such as K.C.S. Panikkar and Roy Chaudhary once taught. The parishath was well represented too. Every few metres there were art students offering to sketch portraits for Rs. 75 each. Students Shailaja and Navya were busy sketching a man in a chauffeur's uniform, obviously from the large hotel nearby. One student even offered "caricature portraits" and one wondered if his subjects were all pleased with the result.

A large work showing a Rajput princess with clothes and jewellery that glittered dominated the roadside close to Kumara Krupa guesthouse. The woman behind it is Rajani, hearing impaired and immensely innovative. She uses paint, pieces of glass, acrylic and tracing paper dipped in colour to create a 3 D effect that just cannot be ignored. A few steps away was S. Devaraj from Chengalput with his range of terracotta masks. "I was here last year too and sold most of works,'' he said.

A table with objects made with shells and wax turned out to be the creations of Meenakashi, a B.Com. student of Jain College. She also makes flowers of porcelain.

Even as afternoon shadows cast strange effects on the works of art there were enough visitors to satisfy the organisers. They were happy that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was among the visitors.