“I enjoyed sketching as a child. But never took it professionally, until five years ago when people started asking ‘how much did you pay for this painting?’ after looking at my paintings at home,” shares Sharmila Karri, a self-taught artist from Visakhapatnam. Her painting, Summer Whispers was recently short-listed for the Art Revolution Taipei 2019, an open-for-all global art competition in Taiwan.
Summer Whispers is an oil painting which captures a solitary woman observing two pigeons — one white and the other grey. The pigeons and the leaves she has painted give the work a touch of photorealism, an art movement which attempts to capture and reproduce the image as realistically as possible on another medium.
Says Sharmila, “I’m fascinated with colours and human forms. The latter to gives a touch of realism to my work. While my use of colours de-constructs the realism.”
Sharmila made Summer Whispers in September last year, it took her about two weeks. She says, “ Every afternoon two chatty pigeons visit my balcony. That's how the painting came to life.” According to her, she made the pigeons first then completed the rest of the painting. She will send her painting via courier to the Art Revolution Taipei show. She has put a price tag of ₹75,000 for the painting.
Most of her works are figurative art which dabbles between realism and abstract. However, she experiments by adding elements like dried leaves, plastic from soda bottles and eggshells. She also changes from canvas to paper or marble thus giving each work a distinct identity.
Times they are a-changing
She is happy that art is being appreciated more in the city these days. “Places like Visakha Museum welcome artists to display their work,” says Sharmila. Since 2013, she has sold over 150 paintings. According to her social media has played a major role.
She actively shares her work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She even participated in Inktober, an online event where artists across the world shared their sketches with #inktober on social media everyday. She made figurative paintings on newspaper and on handmade post cards.
She shares, “I made paintings every other day during last inktober. This time I aim to share my paintings daily.” According to her, social media not only connects the artists to a bigger market but also is a platform where people can get instant feedback about their work and start new conversations.
- The annual competition started in 2011
- In 2019, it saw 4,262 submissions from 81 countries
- Out of them, 371 paintings are selected for the final round and 43 paintings are from India
- They will be displayed from April 25 to 29 at the Art Revolution Taipei 2019
- The winner will be announced on May 31