Chennaiite has 25 yrs experience in teaching Thanjavur painting

By S Solomon Raj Published on Aug 11, 2018 05:22 PM IST

Chennai: Thanjavur is famous not just for its paddy fields and Periya Kovil, but for paintings too.

K Sumathy, a drawing master based out of Panneer Nagar, Mugappair West, in the city has more than 25 years of experience in teaching Thanjavur painting in the area. She had a chat with ‘News Today’.


Q: Let’s know about your first stint with drawing...

A: When I was studying class seven, I started drawing all that I see while going to school and returning back. After completion of the pictures, I also add my creativity to improve my drawings further.

Q: What pushed you into choosing it as your career?

A: My desire to learn more in drawing dropped due to too much pressure from academics. But after completing BA Literature, one day, I saw rare Thanjavur paintings in an exhibition. Then, the passion reignited in me. I decided to know about the meanings hidden inside old drawings. But, I couldn'’t get clear explanations until I found Government Arts and Crafts College retired lecturer M V Gurumani (79) who taught me everything. Fascinated by these things, I decided to choose a career in drawing.

Q: Tell us about your journey.

A: In 1990, I started to teach Thanjavur painting. Then, I worked as a drawing teacher for more than eight years in RMK School, Thiruverkadu. Out of my 40 students in a year, 25 became architects and fashion designers learning drawing. Till now, I would have taught more than 10,000 students in my 27 years of service.

Q: What makes you so happy?

A: At present, I teach to more than 50 students. Many of them are elders who got retired. School students also come here to get relaxation from their regular studies. These things make me happy. I am also taking classes for children in Udavum Karangal. This too makes me so happy and I get satisfaction in my profession.

Q: It seems you also conduct art shows...

A: Yes. We conduct three-day art shows every two years. The paintings drawn by our students are displayed for public in Art Gallery, Chennai. Our students art works look professional which makes people buy them for good prices. The entire money goes to the students after the sale. I have also kept a few paintings of my students in my home.

She can be contacted at 9176661260.