Dr. Ravidarshan Vyas is an artist by soul. Inspired and enraptured by the beauty of nature and various travel experiences, he likes to go down his memory lane to bring out beautiful creations on his canvas, which usually leave everyone spellbound. He draws his inspiration from Raja Ravi Verma and likes to pour a piece of his heart to tell his own story through his paintings.
In talks with Storiyaan, Dr. Vyas shares some of his fondest childhood memories, tells us about his art form and the various techniques used by him, and gives us a glimpse into the process that undergoes the making of a painting. Have a look at this interview to know more.
Questions and answers
Growing up as an heir to the legacy of science, what was the biggest influence that captivated you towards the world of art?
Right from my childhood, I have been fascinated by art, be it in the form of palatial interiors, fashion, or landscape. It could be music or an artifact in a museum, I loved art and tried to store it in my brain. I used to visit beautiful places with my parents and my source of art was continuously flowing into my brain. I used to study the choreography of classic films, our diversified fashion, and jewellery. All this captivated me to the world of art which I am including one by one in all my compositions.
Can you talk to us about your fondest childhood memory at Gondal?
I still cherish my childhood in Gondal. It was an estate with heritage buildings, spacious rooms displaying old carved wooden furniture, glass chandeliers, and artifacts laid all over with beautiful paintings from various artists. I used to visit my farms, where the livestock grazed beside the lake, and play around the temple complex. I also remember passing around the heritage structures of Gondal town and palace areas which still share the neighborhood of my estate. My childhood was surreal and I love to cherish those memories.
Heritage Ayurveda is not very commonly known in Modern India. Can you explain it in depth to our audiences?
Ayurveda has been a part of our kitchen since ancient times. Our old Vedas described surgery and medicine which is now practiced as modern surgery in allopathic. My Late grandfather pioneered manufacturing ayurvedic pharmacy in 1904 which is still active and was appointed as a Royal physician to the state of Gondal and many other states. We still manufacture as per the traditional formulation of Ayurveda, assuring the quality of the medicine as per GMP standards. Our old manuscript library comprising of nearly 7000 rare manuscripts served as the source of research for innumerable ailments.
While your art has an innate resemblance with Ravi Verma's craft, how would you describe the disparity between the two?
Raja Ravi Varma was a master of dramatizing stories and he brought a revolution in the Indian art fashion in the late 19th century. I have worked and followed only the principles of composition of Raja Ravi Varma rather than copying the same style of composing on his canvas. I have tried to create an ambiance of art on a canvas by creating a mythological scene captured in the camera of my mind. I have tried to include all my memories of art into my subject and characters. This style was not practiced by Raja Ravi Varma but he used to include some motive to explain his narrative on canvas.
Your art is described as the biography of your life. What is the inspiration that ignites the amalgamation between your illustrious life and imagination?
My artistic journey began way back with drawing on rough pages of school books, the walls of my house, a few brush strokes on coloring books, and with time I wanted to enhance my skills to create my own masterpieces. These artistic creations have a unique style of composition, as it gives a glimpse of me my own self, my dreams, experiences, thoughts, intuitions, and emotions. I am trying to give you a glimpse of my life through this “Painted Biography”. In Indian mythology, there are many instances where one can learn a lot about the emotional aspects of life. Capturing a moment from our mythology, I have tried to depict my inner feelings in a personalized manner through my paintings.
Apart from being a qualified homeopath and an artist at heart you are an ardent traveler. How did your global voyages contribute to your skill of portraying spiritual realms and cultural history on canvas?
Since childhood, we used to accompany our parents abroad in the summer holidays. My family is fond of visiting tourist attractions, palaces, and museums. I was fortunate to visit all these sources of art. I had a personal interest in studying the local culture, traditions, fashion, and lifestyle of the places I use to visit in India and abroad, which I finally used for composing each mythological character on my canvas. My religious background of world-renowned Goddess Bhuvaneshwari temple, from where I belong, inspired me to compose beautiful mythological stories which I use to hear in childhood.
Besides art and medicine, Rifle shooting is one of your top pick niches. Can you talk to us about this interest of yours?
Shooting sports, music, arts, daily walks at the farm, religious routines are all part of our lifestyle. We have been motivated since childhood to mould ourselves into multi-dimension skills and interests. Every member of the family is into shooting and also for self-defense. We practice at our private shooting range with assorted weapons, play different games, and also participate in shooting championships. Most interesting is the Sunday shooting where each member of the family including children target glass bottles floating in the lakeside located in the vicinity of my farms.
As an artist through the decades, have you faced a creative block at any point of your long-lasting career? If yes, how did you daunt past that phase?
I have had a broad vision right from childhood. I get to spend limited time pursuing my hobbies and my art so, over the years, I usually wanted to express those subjects which are near to my heart. I always have a planned line of action to implement any kind of work whether it’s arts or my profession. This was a well-planned slow process of establishing an art gallery in my office. I was very sure regarding the subjects I wanted to paint. Till today I have only created approximately 35 paintings and try experimenting and creating a fusion of different art creations.
While your art mainly concerns the portrayal of your life, how do you draw motivation while working on a mythological piece of art?
The style that I have adopted while composing these masterpieces requires lots of brainstorming for planning and executing the scene that is in the mind. It’s like daydreaming. Sometimes spirituality and intuitions also play role in such compositions. When I pick up some character, I try to churn my memory lane that has stored many treasures of arts and I bring it out to place it on my canvas as a piece of my story.
If you were to give a message to all the young artists reading your feature, what would that message be?
I think after learning the basic principles and technical theories of art one must create his own style or modus operandi to create and express themselves to stand out from the rest of the world. Experiences, experiments, and trials make you perfect over the years. One golden rule is “Never give up”. Keep looking around with an open mind and grab the opportunity of presenting innovative art.
a. Art to you is? : Lifeline.
b. A personal favourite art form?: Jewellery.
c. An artist you look up to?: Raja Ravi Varma
d. Describe your painting style in a word?: A Painted Biography.
e. One word for Indian art?: A sacred treasure.