As a young child, Raghunath was highly drawn towards coloring books, often spending hours drawing his favourite subject. Over the years, he has focused more on his own art and makes paintings that almost come alive. It has been close to twenty years that Raghunath made his transition to a freelancing artist and has very prolifically created thousands of art-pieces since then. And pretty soon he will take a trip to Moscow, being the first artist from India to be invited for a watercolor workshop and interact with Russian painters!
Read our interview with Raghunath, a Bhubaneswar based artist, as he talks about his fascination with watercolors besides his personal creative aspect.
Tell us a little something about your artistic journey so far!
Color has always come naturally to me and since childhood I was charmed by the idea of mixing and experimenting with different shades. As I grew up, I took an admission in BK College of Arts and Crafts, Bhubaneswar in order to further my passion. From there on, I took the lead to pursue color in my own directions and started devoting all my time towards crafting art-works, majorly with watercolors and some with acrylic!
Knowing that you are more inclined towards watercolors, is there any specific reason of preferring this medium more?
We all know how fluid the watercolors are and once they get painted on any piece of paper or canvas, it really gets difficult to undo a mistake. These are few reasons which make watercolors the less explored medium by artists to work on. I, in particular wanted to pick up something that is not used very commonly by other painters. Hence, it explains my purpose of selecting this particular medium as I also wish to give a unique edge to my work!
Since you excel as a watercolorist, have you tried your hand in any other kind besides it?
Yes, I do sometimes prefer acrylics when I have to work on a canvas for a painting that requires a conceptual touch. But the time when I paint realistic images, my penchant remains towards watercolors only!
With regards to your paintings, what is the theme that revolves around them and which are your highly talked about art-pieces?
Anything that is extraordinary or overlooked by the eyes of common people becomes the subject of my paintings. I really like to focus my work on elements that have either been ignored or are dejected due to their wretched condition. Moreover, my most favoured topic is portraying the rustic village of Odisha and its people, for which I have been much recognised. That apart, my series of Lord Buddha have also been quite popular!
Whom do you look up to as your source of inspiration?
I really used to admire and closely follow the creative painting and designs of revered Odisha based artist, Late Muralidhar Tali. His paintings are a sheer magic and his dedication was unflinching. Although I keep a track of the artists worldwide, but Muralidhar’s commitment is something that I try to imbibe in my paintings as well!
You are primarily a freelancer, so what is your basic medium to advertise or promote your art works?
Yes, since the past 20 years, I have been freelancing. Earlier my paintings caught an eye or two in the exhibitions which I frequented. However, with the eventual advent of social media, I started using the digital platform to make my paintings noticed. I must say posting the work regularly on my Facebook profile has helped a lot in garnering attention and it’s also a quick earning method. My paintings are even featured in various websites through which they are duly recognised.
What has been your greatest artistic success and tell us about the accolades showered on you?
I have been lauded with various state and national based awards which have been the driving forces in my artistic journey. To name a few, I was rewarded with State Award 2014, gold medals in 2005 and 2006 National Youth Festival besides the Chinta O Chetana National Award, amongst all others!
Are there any classes that you conduct?
I impart training sessions to all those who seek for it. It is completely free of cost, and one can reach out to me for guidance in my studio itself, which is situated in Unit -8, Bhubaneswar.
On an ending note, how would you like to describe the kind of artist in you?
Since there is very little awareness about paintings and other artistic creations in Bhubaneswar or the state alike, it really becomes a struggle for someone who would want to pursue the same as a career. So in that respect, I would classify myself as a hard-working artist who is painting challenges and setting his sights high!