Paresh Hazra © Copyrights
"I used to use natural color (turmeric, indigo, red dye, carbon residue, green leaves and other colored flower petals and etc) when I painted as a child, and 4 decades later when I was first introduced to 'egg tempera' I found a remarkable resemblance of the technique to what I had used as a child. I will always be grateful to my teacher from France, 'Christian Puard', who taught me this unique technique."
|Egg Tempera Paintings|
|5. Eco Masque
|6. Eco Masque
|7. Eco Masque
|9. Peacock Lover
"Even as a child I played with colors - sometimes on paper, sometimes in my exercise book or even its cover, sometimes on the wall, or on my legs or palms. Today my daughters do the same thing! Though I did not know it at that time, this was the groundwork for my later life as an artist.
I enjoyed every bit of my childhood. In summer I took mud baths, on rainy days. I got drenched on my way home from school. During the festival of 'Deepavali' my mother applied turmeric paste on my face. During 'Holi' we used spray guns made of bamboo to spray color on each other.
There are so many colors in nature. As a child I used to make my own colors. 'Alta', a vegetable dye with which my mother adorned her feet provided the color red; 'indigo blue' used for clothes gave me blue for my paintings and 'turmeric paste' the yellow. I also discovered a few crude methods for processing my paintings like using 'wood apple gum' for varnishing and 'tamarind seeds' to make a color binder.
I considered nature to be my guru and myself as one of her most beloved students. The sky was my limit. No one could stop me from painting. I decided my destiny - to become a painter.
I was born in a village in 'Midnapore' district in 'West Bengal', India. I have seen joy and sorrow, poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance co-exist. The pain, unspoken, gives me the strength to create my paintings. I have grown from my roots. I cannot forget my childhood days. The simple village life and the openness fills my mind - rainy days in paddy fields, muddy paths, water lilies, frogs, thunder clouds and hundreds of white cranes flying against the black clouds. Walking on the muddy path, every step took me two steps forward. Every moment I had the urge to create something new with colors and form. This spontaneous urge for thirty long years has been making me fill all the white canvas with my emotions.
I left my village home at the age of 19 for the big metropolis of Calcutta, India. It was a confusing place, lane after lane, lanes within lanes. 'Dominique Lapierre' has called Calcutta as the 'city of joy', but I experienced only sorrow and misery there, and this pain made me even more determined. And then on the great 'Chowringhee' road was the 'Government Art College', which had many well-known teachers and artists and I worked under them as a student. There were so many of my classmates who were far more mature than I, who had a far greater knowledge of the art field even before they joined the college. It was a long struggle for survival, but I knew that painting was my life and my profession. There was no other way but to do or die. There was no money coming from home. How would I survive? But then I thought that if there were so many people who could survive on this earth, why couldn't I? I was never frustrated. My only hope was and still is that tomorrow will be better. And in truth, every tomorrow is better for me. Painting is my destiny and it's forever.
At the same time I am also a home loving person. I have given importance to my painting as well as to my family, my pets, my plants, trees, the planet earth, the stars, the galaxy and the universe.
'I am a living being born in this world.
I am blessed.
I see the sky, feel the wind.
I do not know who is behind all this.
But I know it has to be someone great and wonderful,
the Supreme Being.
I have to imagine this being in my own way.
I offer him respect and love before I start my day.
Traditionally the Hindu has a bath first thing
in the morning by dipping himself in a pond
or river to be really pure.
Then he prays to the Supreme Being.
Since he is surrounded by water
He makes an offering of water to the sun
Which is the source of all life.'
Lastly, my boundary less boundary is being the citizen of this world, and each and every beautiful creation of the world belongs to me and my to the world."
And now, a short elaboration of how I was introduced to this medium .
"After joining my art college, I went through different subjects and experimented with different mediums for seven years continuously, including water-color, graphics, oil-painting and mural, and under mural I learnt Fresco-technique and egg-tempera- where egg yolk, linseed oil and mastic varnish are mixed in water in right proportions, but hadn't learnt any preservation techniques back then.
The watercolour that I had learnt in college is known as the 'Bengal school wash technique', it's a very long and laborious process where you have to soak the paper in water after each layer of coloring till the final stage is reached.
I came down to Bangalore in the year 1981 with my job as an 'art teacher'.
And in the 90's I, was introduced to Christian Christian Puard, who taught me the old-egg tempera with very good preservation techniques and new methods of treating the canvas to make it last forever, and it is always natural pigments that I use as colors, like colors from earth, vegetable dyes etc. so it is Christian Puard who actually taught me the beauty of painting in 'old egg tempera'.
I then exhibited my first solo show in Bangalore in the year 1983, and since then its been a long way, I have had over 30 solo shows allover the world including India in the last 2 decades, and am successfully painting and enjoying painting in the 'old-egg tempera' since then."