Greetings! I am Sadhu Aliyur, a watercolor artist who has received enlightenment and inspiration from Nature (follow me on Facebook). Born amidst nature in the beautiful and serene land of Mahé in Kerala, the natural greenery and the soothing rivers always left me in amazement.
A human being needs to experience places where the nature is not rearranged by the hand of a man.
The passion for art had been born long before I understood the healing power of mysterious nature; I started scribbling since I was a year old. It might stun you, but it’s reality. I developed an inclination and fondness for pencils, brushes and colors, since, and that inclination later has developed into an addiction.
Watercolor is known as a challenging medium, unlike oil paints or pastels, where the artist owns the liberty to make changes. My longing and strong affinity towards these water-based pigments is a 30 year-long bond. I still remember there were times around 15 years ago when the inhabitants of Bangalore would wait eagerly to attend my exhibition as there were only a few existing watercolor artists in India and I was and am proud being one among them.
Watercolor was being observed as a vanishing medium and the audience attending my exhibition would pour the confidence and impulse in me appreciating my efforts to keep the medium alive.
The place where I hail from has a major role to play in the screenplay of my life. Mahé, forming the meeting ground of Mayyazhi puzha or river and the Arabian Sea is brim-full of exciting natural surprises, the changing skies, the exquisite reflections over the waters, colorful contrast of the boats, the eye-trapping fishing nets, the breeze that carries away your daily exhaustion, the sound of the happily jumping fish, the rustle of the coconut leaves, the blooming water lilies and the list goes on.
I grew up observing nature change from being green to almost nothing today, as I said earlier, it is rearranged by the hand of a man to fulfill his desires. The fear of losing the serenity which was instilled in me since my birth left me in rage. This rage was let out with the alluring washes and rescuing brush stroke to revive the beauty of Mahé with my landscape painting. Ever since, landscape painting binds me with nature leaving me nostalgic.
Apart from the scenic beauty of Kerala there is a person whom I have adored and admired all my life, John Fernandes, a magical hand who has achieved excellence playing with all the mediums possible-watercolor, oils, pastels, and acrylics and so on. He was considered as one of the most refined realistic painters of India. He was another source of inspiration whom I followed while developing my masterpieces, drawing inspiration, confidence and motivation from his examples of brilliancy incorporating my unique style.
I chose the road less taken by joining the Kerala School of Arts, Thalessery which was the turning point of my life. The knowledge, that was impeccably brilliant, and boosted the artist within, giving me insight to develop my signature style to differentiate myself and stand unique. I struggled as an artist to discover my uniqueness but the struggle has paved the way where not only me but anybody who has once observed my paintings will always recognize the second time without any signature inscribed. I believe that for every artist it is important to seek their uniqueness to be recognized among the crowd.
The beauties of colors have won me many laurels, all of them very close to my heart. In the year 1982, my talent had been recognized, respected and acknowledged by the Kerala government who awarded me with the Kerala State award. This was a proud moment of my life and is still a major achievement even after a long 25 years. I have always loved experimenting with my masterpieces and my rooftop series was one of them.
Rooftop series was a blend of tranquility of Kashi with my unique washes and dabs, as the name suggests this time the process was capturing the aerial view of the kashi. The series encompassed 37 paintings, all of them showcasing the aerial view. And with this I added another feather to my hat. One of the paintings of the rooftop series won me the Kerala State award the second time, and it didn’t stop with this. The same painting had been nominated in the International watercolor society, a community of 191 artists from 52 countries, for 3 years back to back.
Another series close to me is ‘The Retire’ series which is a complete depiction of change in the human psychology. We often fail to realize the important things or people dear to us, neglect and push them to a corner to be abandoned once they no longer fulfill any of our needs.
These dearly abandoned things and people formed the subject of my series, Retire. The series consisted of 35 paintings which were exhibited for the audience to visually realize and emotionally connect through the paintings.
Portraits are the tough to work with watercolors. It requires experience and skills to get the portraits perfect. I choose to sketch my own people; the common man of Thalessery, one such example is the portrait of the cobbler. The cobbler caught my eye when I saw him busy making his livelihood ignorant about his surroundings. The passerby paid no attention to him or what he did; this, left alone, inspired me to stroke him onto the canvas with my art tools. Today, the cobbler is no more a left alone; artists from different parts of Kerala wait to showcase their skills with his features. This made me believe that the power lies within the artist to transform an uninteresting subject into an alluring one.
I am privileged to have my works hung in the government offices of Bangalore with visitors appreciating that piece of inspiration on the wall. Over the years, I have painted more than 5,000 works among which around 2,000 of them occupy my abode and the rest sold to the art appreciates. Watercolor energizes all my exhaustion and I imbibe an energy to compose a new piece every day, washing away all my weariness.