Verses resonating on canvas

A painting by Vandana Devendra.  

"Colours appear to me as the companion of verse/the canvas seems to reflect the beauty of poetry within'' -- that is poet Vandana Devendra describing the painter in her in "Samay Ka Hisaab'', her first collection of poems which was released in the Capital on Tuesday evening.

And coinciding with the occasion, Vandana has brought her collection of paintings in acrylic, water colours and digital media to the Capital after six-and-a-half years, to be precise. This time round, her verse resonates with her strokes on canvas and though this has not been deliberate, there is, as she admits, a natural affinity between the two.

``I have been writing for the past two decades and as a self-taught painter, I have been experimenting with art for an equal number of years,'' says Vandana, who is as comfortable with water colours and acrylic as she is with digital media. In fact, the computer to Vandana has given a new kind of freedom in picture-making. "The print-offs in colour come out on a special size of paper,'' she points out, even as new creative dimensions are explored by her in digital media.

Basically a free painter, Vandana is restless in bringing her impressions to canvas, as is evident in her ongoing exhibition of paintings at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) galleries. Whether it is depicting the ironies of the contemporary Indian woman or various shades of blue in the twilight of dreams, she evokes various moods.

Hailing from Bareilly, Vandana has held several solo shows in the past though she confesses that she belongs to a different world and cannot `sell' herself in a world driven by self- exhibitionism. "It was Vishnu Khare who after reading my poems recommended me to Rajkamal Prakashan and that is how my first book has come about. He has written the foreward for the book,'' says Vandana.

Poetry to her is as much a form of protest against what she feels as outrageous in the world surrounding her as it is a record of time and her journey into the outer and inner worlds of material and spiritual growth. And in that way, even art acquires a special meaning for her. "I view myself as an independent writer and artist and do what comes to my mind,'' she asserts. And as she writes in one of her poems: "I am never in a hurry to wash the colours off my hands.''

By Kannan K.