Acrylics and oil on canvas.
About the Artist
Educator and professional artist Chitra Ramanathan’s current series of predominantly large-scale multi-media paintings portray the mental emotion of happiness as a visual entity through intense colors and multiple layers of textures that attract light from various angles, pushing the boundaries of her paintings beyond the confines of a two-dimensional surface. They are inspired by short-lived garden blooms and constantly changing seasons in nature, characteristics that attribute to the ephemeral, fleeting and enticingly beautiful happiness’ “formless form”: a phrase she has coined to describe her concept. The hint of circles almost always present in her works signify the cycle of human life: trying times followed by happy phases in a positive sense, and of life and rebirth influenced by her roots from India.
Says a recent collector of Chitra’s painting who is an art connoisseur and a former staffer of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, "I first met Chitra when I took her classes at the Indianapolis Art Center. I wanted a painting by Chitra because I like the feeling her abstract work evokes. I like the way her paintings make me feel and think; and I like how she communicates so much with a subtle use of color or a tiny brush stroke…..There is so much in our world today that can be considered “negative”, that I like art around me that offers hope and that reaches for joy. For me, her paintings do that"-Alice Irvan, President, AIRvan Consulting, LLC, Indianapolis U.S.A.
Her paintings have been described as “tactile works that resonate with a quiet harmony” and “Simply luxurious” by Manhattan Arts, New York. To quote from an excerpt from an interview with the artist, “Chitra’s paintings exemplify her love of nature as well as the subjectivity of each individual’s unique pursuit of happiness. Her painting procedure often entails making mental notes of a scene in nature, including the lighting, colors, and textures. She then uses these impressions in her studio to replicate the subject matter in an abstracted form, using rich physical textures, intense colors, and varied media”.
As for continuity, the artist says, “In keeping with my nature theme, I want to focus on environmentally compatible materials that synchronize with our concerns on global warming and climate change issues.”
Recent public art commissions include the MGM Mirage, Las Vegas (please see below).
*Article “Paintings give form to the Ephemeral”, The Indianapolis Business Journal, Profile, “Women in Business” April 9-15, 2007
*"Rendezvous Artist" profile July-August 2007 issue, the Indianapolis Star newspaper’s Fishers|Geist Magazine
*"Secret Success", Profile, Indianapolis Monthly Home Magazine, Summer issue, July 2006
Career highlights, beginning with the most recent:
Biography included in the 62nd edition of Marquis’ Who’s Who in America 2008 released October 2007
Member, Committee on Cultural Diversity Practices, College Art Association, New York. 2007-2010. (Active member of CAA since 1997 & Member, Services to Artists Committee from 2003-06).
Solo exhibition, Indianapolis Artsgarden, January 2006
Public Art installation titled “Picture Windows 2006: Urban Interpretations”, July 2006-February 2007, for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a project supported by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission.
Invitational visiting artist lecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London/RA Schools, October 2005
Commission for the MGM Mirage, Las Vegas, to create two 4 ft X 6 ft signed paintings based on two of her 1999 and 2000 originals, on permanent display in the Conservatory gardens of the Bellagio, Las Vegas since October 2004.
Chitra continues to donate her original works as well as portions from sale of her paintings to social causes/charities such as the Madam C.J. Walker Art Center’s Eightieth Birthday Celebration in 2006 and the Indiana Hospice Program. Immediate plans include donating teaching art time at the Abbie Hunt Bryce Home for the terminally ill at Indianapolis.