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Raqesh Vashisth: I express myself better with my brush

September 24, 2014 14:24 IST

The television actor lets us in on his stint as a painter and a sculptor.

Raqesh Vashisth has been a part of many successful television shows like Saat Phere, Qubool Hai and Hongey Judaa Na Hum.

But did you know about his passion for painting and sculpting?

With an exhibition of his paintings scheduled to open on October 4 at the Monalisa Sabhagrah, in Pune -- the city he grew up in -- the good looking actor discusses his newfound artistic side with Rediff.com's Rajul Hegde.

Raquesh Vashisth

 

When did you realise you were a good artist?

As a kid, I had trouble reading and recognising letters. So I would form words in my head purely based on their designs and memorise them.

It was not a severe case of dyslexia, but I guess my artistic inclination must have started from there.

Even now, when I am given a script, I need to read it at least thrice.

I spoke very little in school or at home. But I was a good observer.

I express myself better with my brush.

I spend a lot of time trekking, in the company of nature and animals. Somehow I can sense a freedom, connect there and express myself.

India 1947

Image: A painting by Raqesh Vashisth

How long have you been painting?

I have been painting since I was in school. One of my paintings fetched me the National Award at the junior level.

I was self-taught, save for some school level learning.

I draw inspiration from the things around me. I don't have any particular style of painting. I am fascinated with animals, especially horses -- they look magnificent.

When I was going through a rough phase in my life, I rode a horse at a friend's farm house. With each gallop of the horse, I swayed back into happiness.

I have quite a few horse paintings in my collection. It is a kind of tribute to the horse in my own way.

I like exploring different mediums and styles of painting. I have incorporated variety in my paintings so that people don't get bored. Sometimes I also paint the dreams I have.

I have selected 35 paintings for this exhibition, 20 of them painted over the past year. With experience, my work has become better.

Passage

Image: A painting by Raqesh Vashisth

Why did you become an actor when you were good at painting?

Painting was more of a hobby and stress-buster for me.

Acting happened and things took their own course, but painting was always at the back of my mind.

Nothing is planned in my life. I just go with the flow.  But I never thought I would ever hold an exhibition until recently.

My friends appreciated my paintings and asked for them but I didn't have the heart to give them away.

I must say they were instrumental in making me understand that I should showcase my work.

My older sister, who is like a mother to me, has organised the exhibition in Pune.

She is also responsible for the coffee table book, its contents and also takes care of my website.

Porcelain

Image: A painting by Raqesh Vashisth

Will acting take a back seat now?

After 14 years in the glamour industry, I thought I should do something that interests me more. Painting is something I was holding on to for years.

As adults, we lose our way and forget that the essence of life is in living it.

Painting is spiritual for me. It takes me back to the person I think I should be.

If something interesting comes my way, I will definitely take up a television assignment.

Ganpati

Image: Ganpati idol sculpted by Raqesh Vashisth

You sculpt a Ganpati idol every year for your home...

I feel I am a better sculptor than a painter.

I used to watch a man in our neighbourhood sculpt Ganpati idols and that inspired me.

I already know the basics of sculpting, but I am looking at learning further.

I am planning to enroll myself in a sculpting course in Australia to learn more about bronze and glass sculpting.

Rajul Hegde/Rediff.com in Mumbai
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