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How these three self-taught women artists capture nature’s essence on the canvas 

A self-taught artist — an individual who develops their art skills without formal training — is inspired by personal exploration, experimentation, and, of course, muses in their surrounding. While they may not have gone to art school, their offbeat approach to art contributes to the richness of the contemporary art scene. Nikita Agarwal, Srinidhi Dabriwal […]

A self-taught artist — an individual who develops their art skills without formal training — is inspired by personal exploration, experimentation, and, of course, muses in their surrounding. While they may not have gone to art school, their offbeat approach to art contributes to the richness of the contemporary art scene. Nikita Agarwal, Srinidhi Dabriwal and Antra Srivastava are three such remarkable Indian women who took to the canvas to paint their passion for nature and divinity.

Nikita Agarwal, a self-trained artist, took to painting professionally during the challenging pandemic. Evolving from small canvases to life-sized paintings, her body of work showcases her love for art and nature. Based in Kolkata, Agarwal balances her art career with the responsibilities of being a wife and a mother of two, showcasing the power of passion in pursuing one’s dreams. In her latest collection, she delves into Varanasi’s soul, each painting serving as a portal to a city where spirituality, culture, and history converge. Her artworks, made with acrylic on canvas using bold brush strokes and knife techniques, feature a vibrant colour palette dominated by reds, blues, yellows, and oranges.

While depicting spirituality is Nikita’s forte, Hyderabad-based autodidact Srinidhi Dabriwal bats for nature through her art. Her Jungle Series challenges the usual portrayal of animals by giving gentle and affectionate attributes to them, urging viewers to reevaluate their perceptions of wildlife. Similarly, through her “Circle of Life” series, Srinidhi encapsulates the various facets of human existence. She says, “From the smallest insect to the largest mammal, I find inspiration in the creatures that share this planet with us. I never learnt art it came naturally to me.”

“I generally followed all the masters and closely observed their techniques, composition and perspectives to learn the nuances of art in various mediums. I practised all genres from realism to still life, landscape, florals, impressionism to surrealism”: Then there is Antra Srivastava, based in Delhi, a self-taught artist whose art connection spans over 25 years. Reaching deep into the realms of emotional and spiritually rich visual expressions, her compositions blend seamlessly with earthy tones to evoke a sense of movement and stability. Surrealism intertwines with cosmic mystery in her work, traversing the deep psyche of the human mind.

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