Inspired Cityscapes The Artist Who Followed Her Heart
We are all creatures of habit and comforts. Most of us abhor change as it brings unpredictability and disrupts our rhythm. Life is all about settling down in a stable job. Paychecks become a part of life and we just cannot imagine the emotional shift from living on regularly deposited income. And, when the going is good we want more of the good. This is particularly true of new age careers in information technology where money, prestige, travel and other perks combine to make us hamsters stuck in a wheel.
Very few have the courage (and perhaps the skills) to seek alternate paths, that too from a career in technology to being a full-time artist. Spoorthy Murali is one of few who decided to take the leap. In 2012, she gave up a promising career built on top of a master’s degree in engineering. Spoorthy (which means Inspiration in multiple Indian languages including Kannada) had no formal training in arts but made up for that through passion and determination.
Spoorthy’s work spans illustrations for authors, pencil sketches, watercolour paintings and wall art for businesses. Amongst these, she is most prolific in watercolour paintings that cover urban landscapes, heritage buildings, historic landmarks and automobiles.
She has captured Bengaluru in her own impressionistic style with artwork that is vibrant and spontaneous. Impressionism is an artistic style developed by Claude Monet, that captures the feeling and emotions of an artist rather than accurate and realistic depiction of a scene. This style developed in France during the nineteenth century is generally used for outdoor paintings typically done on the spot. It is obviously focused on landscapes and other scenes of everyday life.
What is notable in her work on Bengaluru is that the scenes are very minimal but bursting with colour even in its simplicity. The colours are smooth, spontaneous and bring a sense of joy to the viewer. Whether it is a historic landmark such as Lalbagh Glass House or an unremarkable scene of autorickshaws, the colours are transparent and glow brightly. The brushstrokes speak for themselves as painter Toby Haynes once remarked “You don’t set down a watercolour wash – you release it: the paint has a say in the result”.
Most of us have seen the Bengaluru landmarks that she has painted or sketched, but she makes all of them look like they were freshly dusted and washed by Mother Nature. It is perhaps a reflection of the longing in all of us for the Bengaluru we truly wish to see.
Click on each image above for a larger view
Artwork © Spoorthy Murali
In Her Own Words
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Spoorthy Murali has worked with Watercolours, Acrylic and Charcoal media. The translucency and fluidity of Watercolours have always allured her and got her to experiment on different subjects in this medium. Her plein air (means out of doors and refers to the practice of painting entire finished pictures out of doors) paintings of Bengaluru, rustic Hampi series paintings, rusty Vintage Automobile series, paintings of busy Bengaluru’s lost Sparrows, paintings of languid elephants of the wild, paintings of forests and vibrant people portrayal have been very well received at various forums in India and across 12 countries overseas.
Spoorthy has participated in several group and solo art shows. Her artworks have been sought by celebrities and businesses. She is recipient of numerous awards including the recent MSME Women Entrepreneur Award (2020).