Every person has artistic abilities and talents. Doctors are often only seen as healers of the sick. While this is the main focus of our lives, we all have other facets to our personalities. This month we would like to present to you the artistic talents of our cardiologists in the hope that it will bring some brightness into lives that have been so affected by the lockdown. Healing the sick is a doctor’s main focus, but art and other interests allow us to relieve the stress of our professional lives and so be able to be at our best when you need us.

What is art?

Is it mere drawing? No, if you ask me, I would say art is a mélange of emotions. For me, everything in this world represents art. For example, looking at a simple brown leaf lying on the floor with its shadow spread on the ground, the play of sunlight on the blade of the leaf and the gentle movement of the leaf in the breeze, all leave me mesmerized for a while. Yes! Art is all around us if we would just take the time to enjoy it!

My Foray into Art:

I am not a professional artist, in fact, I would call myself an amateur. During my 7th standard chemistry class, my class was asked to draw a beaker, a Bunsen burner and a glass pipe. I took my blunt pencil and drew a slanting line in spite of using a scale. Finally, it turned out to be a nasty drawing that drew the teacher’s ire. Exhibiting my picture to the entire class, my teacher told my classmates that this was an example of how not to draw the picture. My classmates’ response of laughter disturbed me a lot. However, I reflected on my picture and realized why it had turned out so. I hadn’t concentrated properly on the picture. I never bothered about the orientation, the lines, etc. For the first time I saw the picture clearly. I started learning from my mistakes. I started to learn drawing by simply putting my own style of reference points, stable points, straight lines, curves and various strokes. I developed an interest in pencil art which did not use colours and involved only pencil shading. This was my starting point.

My Journey:

I started exploring various shades of black. Various types of pencils like B, H, HB, charcoal, graphite, monolith, etc. were my weapons. I also started experimenting with various shades of gray by mixing charcoal powder with rice flour in a mixer. Various gray shades in the art are usually done with a brush but I used filters with different pore sizes to dust over a required area. It was indeed a passion with me once to explore various options like these. My first art on a large scale was a drawing of the Nandhi atop Chamundi Hills. Somehow, my favorites have always been the monuments of India. Maybe because they are filled with emotions. From 2000 to 2006, I drew a lot of pictures that included monuments, Gods and Goddesses of all religions, renowned people and nature. I also drew portraits of my friends to gift them on their birthdays. I released a book called Life in Carbon.

Waning Phase:

However, professional life took over my passion. It was inevitable as I hardly had time to even think of drawing. I joined Kauvery Hospital in 2017. Around 3 months ago, Kauvery rekindled my passion by starting a project called Magizhchi. Project Magizhchi used artworks to calm and soothe patients while adding beauty to the walls of our hospital. I received a lot of encouragement from the management as well as from my fellow consultants to add to project Magizhchi and after nearly 15 years, I started drawing again. It was indeed a happy feeling to touch the pencils and carbon pieces and see my hands stained with black. Now that I have reconnected with my lost passion and the happiness it brings me, I hope to continue pursuing it into the future!

Dr. Sundar. C

Dr. Sundar. C
Consultant Cardiologist
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai


Colours in Darkness

"Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk

While the left side of the brain is essential for running the world the right side of the brain brings about creative changes to it in ways beyond reason. Art springs out of the fountain of creativity, which God has placed inside of us. It influences us as well as others in myriad ways.

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

Yes, art releases us from the unidimensional aspect of life and gives us many new perspectives. We will find our lives slow down and get frozen in time as we enjoy the beauty of the creation. We begin to wonder how we overlooked the beauty of things in what we once considered mundane. Creating and appreciating art relieves the stress in us, turns off our sympathetic nervous system, and is good for our health.

Here I’m posting two of my works. I’m by no means a professional artist .The first one is acrylic on canvas I did for my friend who sent a photo taken at the Dal lake in Kashmir. I am not a pro but as I worked on it, I could note many beautiful details in the scene and perspectives, which I could not have done otherwise. The other one is based on the work of Leonid Afremov, a modern-day great. It involves vivid colours and is based on a technique called impressionism which vividly coveys the essence without needless details.

I am writing this at the most toughest phase for mankind in about a century...the lockdown due to COVID.I think in the midst of all this darkness, we need a ray of light or rather rays of different colours of light to stay positive. I conclude this write-up with a beautiful quote... "I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.

W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
Dr. Surendran Damodaran

Dr. G.D. Surendran
Consultant Cardiologist
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai

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