Having learnt the intricate art of miniature hand painting since he was 16 years old, Chandra Prakash Salvi, an artist from Udaipur, spent a decade honing his skills under his Guruji - his Uncle. A multi-dimensional talent, with years of experience under his belt, Salvi ji can work flawlessly on any canvas – be it miniatures, hotel walls, or even AF1's!
Over the years he has adopted tricks to keep his eyesight sharp - like soaking black pepper in water overnight, and drinking that water in the morning, and walking barefoot on grass laced with dewdrops. He has developed a keen understanding of the pulse of the customer – “I enjoy painting palaces, because that is what sells”, he reinforces.
Starting from hand making single-haired brushes that can enhance the delicate outlines of the paintings, to spending days finishing one artwork, Salvi ji has gone through much, just to earn enough to run his household. Yet, he fondly remembers the ancient art and beauty of making stone colours that could last more than 400 years on palatial walls, as he mixes 6 ready-made colours to create innumerable palettes today.
The pride with which artist Chandra Prakash Salvi starts narrating his story, does, for a moment, hide the desolate feeling he has about the future of his art form. When artists, like him, start discouraging the next generation to learn and continue the legacy, we as consumers, should reflect, and ask ourselves – where are we going wrong?!