01 December, 2020

Oarsman's Palette

Maity has tamed water. And for long. Calcutta will see his 42nd solo next week.

Sanjoy Ghosh
Oarsman's Palette
Think of what Paresh Maity does as the artistic equivalent of tightrope walking without a safety net. Something that demands preternatural confidence and rare talent as basic inputs. Watercolour is a fiendishly unforgiving medium to work in. There is simply no margin for error. One slip, one false move, is all it takes to send a work into the dustbin, which is why most watercolour artists like to work small, for instance with paintings a foot across.

Paresh Maity routinely works in watercolours more than twenty times that size. He doesn't pretend that the medium is easy. "Water can go crazy; controlling it is very difficult," says the artist. He points at a painting of the Nile: "Look at this pyramid. You know how hard it is to draw a triangle with watercolours—wet on wet?"

That's why people like Chennai-based gallery owner Sharan Apparao rate his work so highly. "To paint something that's three by six feet in watercolours requires tremendous control over the medium, and there is no doubt that Paresh Maity is one of the best," she explains.

Maity is prolific...


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