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Business of the brush

Madhuram Rajagopal's Ganesha figures are innovative. Her paintings have found their way into calendars and planners


MOST ARTISTS find something endearing in the image of the elephant god. Madhuram Rajagopal is no exception. "The image of Ganesha is popular and sells in any form or medium. What's more, it is a flexible image you can experiment with," says Madhuram. Her series of Ganeshas has found its way to a 2003 planner brought out by Madhuram's company, Signals and Systems India Pvt Ltd. (SANDS).

As managing director of the company that does consultancy for the power and service sectors besides manufacturing products for the power industry, Madhuram hardly finds time to pursue what she calls "a hobby". "I take time off from work to paint when I have a deadline to meet. I usually paint at night," says Madhuram, a postgraduate in Zoology.

Her brush with art and craft began during her Delhi days, when her husband serving the Navy was posted there. "I used to paint on terracotta artefacts to lend them an antique metal finish." Clay pots, vases, figurines and plant holders shine in shades of copper, silver and gold, with some intricate designs on them.

When the couple and their two daughters moved to Chennai in 1996 to launch SANDS, "we were looking for a way to promote our products. We hit upon the idea of bringing out a calendar with Ganesha figures on one side and our product profiles on the other."

Madhuram came up with some innovative figures in bright hues. Each painting is unique. For example, to lend a marble effect, Madhuram used patches of red, yellow, blue and green.In yet another, she tried the kolam route (line drawing)... and in the end came up with a yellow-green-red figure that comprises just three lines!

For the reclining Ganesha, she used paint mixed with gum and scribbled on the wet paint. Out of the deep blue Ganesha emerges the word SANDS, the company name.

Madhuram, who likes the works of Raja Ravi Varma, is working on terracotta artefacts with antique metal finish for the 2004 calendar. As for coming up with planners for other corporates, Madhuram is ready to give it a try.

SAVITHA GAUTAM

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