Vijay Bhai Kochar
I am 72 years old from Hindu family of north India settled in Hyderabad. I believe in a universal 'religion of man-in-nature' that transcends the narrow limits of physical world into the world of sublime -- realm of beauty, love, social-good; and the eternal energy of creation, progression and destruction.
I was fond of painting from childhood. I joined Kalabhavan (Fine Arts College) at Tagore's university at Santiniketan in 1951 but after some time I was shifted to graduate school due to family compulsions. At Santiniketan from 1951 to 1957, first as a student and then as a schoolteacher, I was closely associated with painting and sculpture as a part-time student of the College of Fine Arts.
I lost touch with art after entering a long academic career in social science. I spent time whole-heartedly for research and teaching at five different universities. I retired as Professor of sociology from Central University, Hyderabad in 1994.
Towards the end of my professional career I became familiar with MS-Paint and WinWord based graphic programme. Between 1992 and 1995 I played with elementary graphic software. These were largely line-based drawings filled with uniform shades of colour. From 1996 onward I started seriously creating compositions - largely in the mould of conventional fine art akin to Bengal School. Gradually I have improved and diversified my use of digital tools.
With some 50 odd paintings first I exhibited at my studio VISIONS. In 2002 I held my first one-man show of about 70 odd paintings at DAIRA Centre for Art and Culture, Hyderabad. There were some reviews in the local papers and magazines (which can be seen on my site).
For someone who had close encounter with fine art at a young age, coming back to painting on full time basis was an enjoyable homecoming. Working with mouse in front of PC monitor is not the same thing as working with brush on canvas and physically mixing and applying colors. After initial trials and hesitations it was surprising to discover that digital medium of fine art is far more rich and compact than the conventional medium. A variety of treatments and effects can be created (or altered) much more easily on the digital canvas than on a physical canvas. Maintaining originality and artistic quality in digital art requires controlled or disciplined use of software tools, or, as Pygoya will say, by going beyond the limits of software. Flexibility can also mislead to arbitrariness that peeps through the work. In fact digital medium gives greater power of creation and aesthetic refinement than the conventional art techniques. It gives greater freedom, greater flexibility, greater variety and greater depth. I started with line based figurative and nature compositions but now settled in abstract compositions. I begin with my original compositions in Painter and rework them in Photopaint and/or Photoshop. I have so far worked in 2D format only. I have not used photographs or scanned images so far.
Within a short span of eight years from 1996-2004 I have completed more than 700 digital paintings. I have traveled a long distance, which I would have probably taken more than 20 yeas as a conventional artist