GUWAHATI, March 9 - In a rare honour for a State�s artist, the works of Krishna De, a veteran Nature artist, have been recognised by the US Federal Archives at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA.
Five of her original watercolour paintings have been put up at NCTC, dedicating an entire wall which would soon be filled up by her artworks, shared with the archives from time to time.
The paintings were handed over to Mark Madison, Head Historian & Curator of the US Federal Archives at NCTC by Biswajit De, founder president of WildRoots and son of the artist.
Krishna De (67), a resident of Guwahati, is an alumnus of the Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata.
�My interest in birds developed when my son Biswajit started birding from his college days. Most of my paintings are done by taking reference from the wonderful photos that he takes. Ever since he moved to Assam and started discovering the plethora of avifauna of the Northeast, it indirectly inspired and fuelled my passion for painting birds,� De told The Assam Tribune.
Stating that drawing is something that comes naturally to her family, De said creativity ran within their home, as besides herself, her husband Ranjan De and son Biswajit were always engaged in creative pursuits like photography, design or animation and films.
�Drawing is the only thing that enables me to fight my ailment and keep my mind strong,� she added.
She worked as an Art Restorer with the Indian Museum of Kolkata for 25 years, specialising in watercolours and Indian painting techniques. She had worked with private art curators and patrons also and has used her skills in the restoration of European paintings preserved as a part of private collections.
Her interest in Nature was reflected in her work as she started working independently as an art teacher at the same college and then in some schools of Kolkata. After her retirement, she began spending her time mainly painting birds, animals and landscapes. She has been recognised by various Nature and conservation organisations in India as a Nature artist who inspires young people to identify themselves with Nature and the wilderness.
De suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis but continues her art with creative zeal and enthusiasm. She is currently illustrating textbooks for students for subjects like Geography, Biology and Environmental Science and has already illustrated more than 15 major books written by eminent academicians, professors and naturalists of India.
The book Geography of Assam by Prof Abani Kumar Bhagabati, which contains over 50 pages of illustration by De, has been widely appreciated by readers and critics alike.