Varalakshmi Badri, 53, homemaker-turned-artist
When I was going to join college, I wanted to learn how to draw more than learn theory. I was not good at studies, but I wanted to do something creative. It was unusual for someone to take up a Fine Arts course then. The classes gave me plenty of opportunities to learn more about the art from across the world. I love Van Gogh and Monet’s works. I admire Monet’s works and especially his style between realism and impressionism. I really look up to him. I used to think that the Western artists were the best, and I tried to copy them. After my marriage, I didn’t have the time to draw. But when I was pregnant with my first child in Bhopal, I felt lonely in another city. So I painted something and gifted it to one of my friends there. It was only in the last three years or so have I taken up art again. I did a course with the artist Rama Suresh. He taught me the Indian painting style. It was only then did I really appreciate the Indian art style. It has bold colours, depicting idle, village scenes. Now, I paint in the night, after all my housework is done. Once I start painting, there is no stopping me. I paint until 2 am because I have that flow. It is not good for me, but art gives me a sense of peace. When I am painting, I feel as though I am meditating, and all my concentration is focused on one thing. I hope that in this year, I can paint more.