Painter Rita Patnaik’s Realistic ‘Gardens’ At State Museum

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1997

Bhubaneswar: Our life experiences are a bundle of emotions and we grasp for footholds to ride the ebbs and tides that are on offer. Some people teach you to navigate, some encourage you while others influence, and all together channel you to your destination. However, what makes the difference is not the destination but the journey and how you let your belief and passions channelize your creative feelings.

A freestyle painter, who was inspired by nature’s bounty, encouraged by her parents and supported by a husband with whom she shares a common passion-gardens in full bloom. Her forty-year journey of creation and creative expression in different forms of art starts were here at the Art Exhibition on the 60thFoundation Day of Odisha State Museum, Bhubaneswar.

She started her journey of colours and love for flora and fauna with inspiration and encouragement from her uncle, Late Krushna Madhav Das, who was a great artist and nature lover too. Her love for nature and gardening centered her passion for capturing memories of her childhood in colonial bungalows with sprawling and spectacular gardens. Later in life she was influenced by Monet’s Garden in Giverny, his search for the reflection of Sun in water, paintings of Water Lilies in his garden and his Japanese Bridge. Modern painters like Hans Degner, Jackson Pollock and impressionists like Van Gogh, Camille Pissaro, Renoir and Edgar Degas have been a long-time admiration and influence.

Being a homemaker and married to a fighter pilot in the Indian Air force, she used the available platform to pursue her passion as creative arts were encouraged and appreciated in the armed forces community. She has had heldher own exhibitions at Wellington and Coonoor and has participated in exhibitions in Cuttack and Gurgaon. She also started an online group called Ritty’s Studio on Facebook that initially intended to showcase her own paintings but became a portal for over a thousand art enthusiasts across the world to share their own paintings and review paintings of others.
Observing nature around her and reliving a past memory triggers her creative pursuit leading to an urgency to capture that visual and the emotion on different mediums like canvas, hand-made paper, wood, stones, fabric and ceramic. Her choice of acrylic, oils and enamels give life to abstract paintings of nature that surrounds her and florals that range from being abstract to real.

In closing, painting is not just a hobby or past time for her. Her innermost feelings for nature lives in the paintings and you can be sure it is from a world in the past or present where being happy is never at a premium. Flowers have always been and will always be an inspiration for her and that reflects in all forms of art she follows be it poetry, painting, embroidery or gardening.

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