Art is as old as history itself. Watercolour paintings, dating back to the cave paintings of Paleolithic Europe, are known to adorn caves and edifices. Back then, colours were extracted from natural ingredients, and continued to be used in tribal art around the world.
Around 4000 BC, watercolour landscapes were established in Chinese paintings. The first synthetic pigment was created by accident by Johann Conrad Dippel, and to date, artist depict amazing works in this medium, which has several techniques.
Kalidas K Satardekar, a contemporary Goan artist, and President of the International Watercolor Society India (IWS) and Watercolour Society Goa (WSG), is among the few artists selected by the IWS judges, for his painting, titled Khajuraho, to be exhibited in the group show, titled ‘Travel Exhibits’ in Moscow.
From more than 250 entries from India, and around 200 from Moscow, 35 artists were selected from each country. Of the 7 entries from Goa, Kalidas selected works by Govind Silimkhann, Prasad Naik, Saumitra Bakhale, Chirag Karmat (members of the WSG) for their perceptive, composition, hues, chroma and handling of the medium. They will be exhibiting abroad for the first time.
“Watercolour is a declaration of my deep connection with nature and the environment,” opines Kalidas, who graduated in Fine Arts from the Goa Art College, Panjim.
Later, in 2000, he went to Mumbai to work as a visualizer and illustrator with an advertising agency, Crimson Rage. However, he continued painting, sculptures and calligraphy.
After returning to Goa in 2004, he began teaching art at the Government High School, Sadar, Ponda, Goa. He was appointed IWS coordinator for Goa, and Vice President of the International Watercolor Society-India, by Amit Kapoor in 2019, and is involved in promoting Goan watercolour artists, curating annual exhibitions during IFFI, and conducting other related competitions.
PAINTING & BEYOND
Kalidas says, “Everything in watercolour appeals to me, particularly the unpredictability of the medium effected by humidity and gravity; the way heavier particles in the wash settle into undulation of the surface of the paper evoke positive stimulus. The challenge and interaction between the medium and me turns into a performance piece.”
Being more of realistic style artist, he admires Indian watercolourists, John Fernandes, Amit Kapoor, Vasudev Kamath; and overseas artists, John Singer Sargent and Joseph Zbukvic.
Exhibiting since 1998 in group and solo shows around India, Europe and the Far East, he has won state awards, and boasts of being multi-talented. He has done two short films, and received the Best Director award for his 2022-film, Yes I Can Make A Difference, from the Election Commission of Goa, and Chota Cinema at IFFI.
“I feel pleased my talent has been valued; my technique differs from others. I continue learning, follow new masters, and enjoy celebration of themes, with a great sense of joy and passion.”
He has conducted workshops on watercolour painting and calligraphy at the national, state and international level. He plays badminton, cricket, enjoys travelling and classical singing in his leisure time.
The group exhibition, titled ‘Travel Exhibits’, is on show from July 12, 2023 to August 27, 2023 August in Moscow (and from November 18 – 27 in New Delhi.