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Splendour of Hills in Watercolours

On June 4, 2017 the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), Naggar, opened the solo exhibition of paintings by Dr. Chaman Sharma, Assistant Professor in painting at Government College, Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

Although well known for his figurative acrylic works on various contemporary issues (the series he showed in the IRMT in May 2013), this time Dr. Sharma chose to display exclusively his watercolours of various sites in Himachal Pradesh. The exhibition thus presents the nature of the Himalayas in all its purity and splendour.

The artist is drawn to the simple beauty of traditional timber-bonded and adobe houses, which are alas rapidly disappearing in Himachal and believes that it is one of his tasks to capture it on paper before it is too late.

The colours he chooses for the task (and his favourite ones are Turkish Green, and Yellow Chrome with occasional sprinkling of Scarlet Red) lend his works this particular quality of freshness that can be seen in his monsoon landscapes with their drenched streets and forest paths among the giant age-old pines.

The brush of Dr. Sharma masterfully conjures up the scenes of daily village life in the hills: grazing cattle, local-style houses, temples and sacred trees, people traveling of busy with their chores, green terrace fields set amidst majestic mountains under the leaden skies of the rainy season. He also displayed a couple of views of Naggar with its landmarks: the Castle and the Roerich House.

“Taking many hours of dedicated work and full concentration, art is like a sadhana,” says Chaman Sharma. “Every brushstroke demands perfect timing, which is the crux of everything in such a capricious medium as watercolour.”

The exhibition will remain on view till June 10, 2017.