Rendezvous in Colour : Saying it with brush strokes | Sunday Observer

Rendezvous in Colour : Saying it with brush strokes

22 April, 2018

The Sunday Observer spoke to a few artists at the opening ceremony. A young artist, Malinka Samarasinha, a Grade 9 student of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo said, she studies Art as a subject in school. “I started painting from a very young age and have been participating and winning at children’s painting competitions. Right now I am learning to paint using water colour under Roydan Gibbs. I am mainly interested in still life, and am happy to exhibit my paintings here today.

“I love painting. It is a passion and a good past time. My main interest is still life although I hope to do landscapes as well. Water colour is my chosen medium. It brings out the details in a painting despite being a challenging medium,” Samarasinha said.

When questioned about her future ambition, she said, she wants to master the different techniques of water colour, while pursuing and excelling in her studies which she takes very seriously. “Whatever I paint has a touch of my own. I try to choose my own subjects, especially, for still life. The way you blend the colours, their strength and application is unique to each artist. My message to the world as an amateur artist is that you need to be committed and have a passion for painting and strive for excellence”, Samarasinha said.

W.P. Hansaja Devnith, a Grade 11 student of Royal College, Colombo said, since 2010 he has been participating in all island art competitions. “I have been painting since the age of 9. I entered the Toyota dream car contest, a global art competition, in 2017, and managed to be the Global Silver Medalist of the year. That year was a turning point in my life, when I quenched my thirst to be a great master. I met Royden Gibbs at Isurumuniya and he took me to my first goal, that is “Rendez-vous in colours.” I started from the beginning to draw still life, portraits, landscapes in various mediums like water colours, soft pastels and oil. The first portrait I painted was my sister and I know it is a success as everyone likes it. It was Royden who taught me that art is precious and as valuable as diamonds and dearer than opals,” he said.

“Art is wiser and mightier than power. People admire and appreciate beauty and the style of painting. My love for art was rekindled by my master. It is a feeling that comes from deep within, and dies not in the tomb. I would like to thank my master, parents and my sister for encouraging me to draw and achieve my goals. I still have a lot more to learn such as the techniques and the mediums in many fields,” Devnith explained with a smile.

He said, “My message to all parents is to let their children uplift their talents in drawing from the very beginning. I was fortunate that my parents let my talent be developed. And to the community and society: We must encourage artists to uplift their skills as it would keep minds fresh.”

For political cartoonist and newspaper designer, Wasantha K. Siriwardena, this is his first painting exhibition. He says, he has been in the newspaper industry for several years and could not find time for seriously engaging in painting.

“Now I travel with my master Royden to faraway places to paint scenery, historical places, wildlife and landscapes. Since the age of 5 I have been into painting taking it very seriously. I am really satisfied when I travel to places and paint natural scenes. We should always make an effort to finish the work that we start,” he said.

“If we travel and paint, the time is limited so that we can complete things successfully. I really like to capture natural shades when painting shadows, sunsets and sunrise. It is very challenging. One of my childhood dreams was to become a top class painter. I am happy that I introduced the Information Graphics for the news media for the first time. I travel to the site or where the event occurred and investigate to do a computerized illustration. I always enjoy whatever I do” Siriwardena said.

Veteran artist Royden Gibbs, a gifted artist who captured many historical places through his art was also the first artist to travel to the North East during the war to capture unique perspectives. Gibbs has been passing on his passion for art to many students throughout the years.

Gibbs said, he has been with the John Keells Foundation and Advertising for a long time. “I had a studio and did publicity work. I travel widely, as I love adventure. I like painting historical places which has cultural value. I am also working with the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology. I share my talents and guide my students in painting. I conduct classes for students who wish to paint at Polhengoda Road, my residence.