Art is meditative bliss for this Pink City Onco-Radiologist
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Free from her first solo show in Delhi, Curious Charms-The Magic of Aquarelle, at India Habitat Centre, Dr Sushma Mahajan is still basking in glory, thanks t the overwhelming response she got. “I have done three exhibitions before –all in Jaipur. But Delhi has truly overwhelmed me. I am humbled by the response I got,” she says, adding that “the beautiful response has spurred me to take my art to the next level and to other cities in future”. Painting for this practicing Onco-Radiologist from Jaipur has become nothing less than an abiding passion now.
A self-taught artist, she was interested in art since childhood, and seeing her elder sister create beautiful Oil Paintings drew her more into it. “I always wondered how an artist can bring out beautiful paintings – the paintings fascinated me no end,” she says. “I particularly loved Dutch genius Van Gogh – was in awe of his bold brushwork and prolific approach. You know, towards the end of his life, he was literally creating an artwork daily,” she informs, with a child-like enthusiasm. However, she never tried her hands on the canvas because she had this misconception that making an appealing artwork needs some special talent, which she felt she didn’t possess.
So, even while she appreciated art much, she never ventured into creating her own pieces. Sushma did the next best thing she was interested in – did MBBS from Lady Harding Medical College, New Delhi and followed it up with an MD in Radiology from Patiala Medical College.
But one cannot stay away from heart’s desires for long. And before long she realised she found herself dabbling in water colours. “I have been working in a cancer hospital since many years, which means there is enough to depress me on the professional front. It is art which heals my mind and soul from everyday hits,” says Dr Mahajan, adding that making vibrant paintings has a cathartic effect on her.
She begins and ends her days with her brush and easel. “Painting is meditative bliss for me. I begin my day early playing with my colours in the paint studio, and look forward to retire to my paint studio after my hospital hours,” she says, adding that she makes it a point to devote at least three hours a day to her art. “I strongly believe that it’s only by painting more and more that I can keep evolving as a painter,” she remarks.
A sworn animal lover, you will find lots of dogs, horses, elephants, and squirrels in her artworks. She sure has a knack of capturing animals and plants in their full glory. Ask her the reason behind painting flora and fauna, and she answers it is Mother Nature that inspires her the most. “I am most comfortable and happy when in Nature. So, it’s natural for me to depict flora and fauna on the canvas. Autumn colours, monsoon flavours and winter cityscapes hold a special appeal for me,” she says.
Why has she chosen a medium as difficult as water colours to make her art? “I love the versatility that comes by applying them in my artworks. The end result is always a happy surprise,” she signs off.