Art of Drawing & Painting

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Art of Drawing & Painting

A Unique South Indian Artist came out of Cochin Kalabhavan.

Interview by: Shiny Frank

Among many  artists that came out  of  “Cochin Kalabhavan”, in Kerala, one contributed to painting artistry..  a  drawing artist…Johnarts  Pallippuram.

With a great smile on face, Mr.Johnarts welcomed the reporter of  Way4indians to his residence which resembled to an Art gallery.…well organized gallery filled with appreciation / Greeting letters from renowned national & international figures…medals & other variety of awards…self-paintings…once again went through the marvelous creations that mixed up with colors, shades and lights that emanated peculiar individuality.

A well known Indian artist Johnarts, who hails from Alleppy district of  Kerala,India who created wonders on walls and canvases with colors, an artist with a wide repertoire, has succeeded in evolving a style of his own. Many celebrities and popular figures have become themes of his works, often caricatures and cartoons.Way4indians takes pride in introducing Mr.John renamed as Johnarts to it’s international readers…Among many  artists that came out  of  “Cochin Kalabhavan”, in Kerala, one contributed to painting artistry..  a  drawing artist…Johnarts  Pallippuram.

How did Mr. John become Johnarts?

I was renamed as Johnarts during 1981, when artist N.P.Luis who had earned Papal honour arrived to draw the paintings at Altar at Chertalai Pallippuram Ottappunna chapel, the church vicar Rev. Fr.Thomas Puthussery appointed me as the deputy to Mr.Luis and given John the surname “Johnarts” after which I was known as Johnarts.

What is the theory of Johnarts?

“drawing is the art of copying artist’s mind into canvas. Pictures perfected in mind do not take time to be transferred to paper. As a teacher, I teach the equations and tricks rather than random pictures, for example flat views of globe within four borders of white paper”. (After completing his diploma in drawing and painting, John arts started his career as a Tutor of drawing and painting)

Sir, Your area of Interest?

In my tenure as a teacher and illustration artist, I was more interested in drawing wall pictures. Through the wall pictures and other paintings which mainly themed the events in “Holy” books, and other ancient religious myths together with the evolution of human culture spread over millenniums. I have no prejudices about my themes. Colors pour into my canvas quite spontaneously, stressed Johnarts.

Your most interesting self-paintings?

“re-creation of a Davinci Painting drawn in Tempra medium which is at the wall of Santa Maria Dallasi Monastery”. John arts recreated that painting of Jesus and disciples with a slight change of his own where Jesus wore a crown of thorns during that last supper. This remarkable painting emanated the skill and displays the best of Johnarts. 

Johnarts, Is your presence only in oil paintings?

“No, not only in oil paintings, but in Tempra medium too. One of them is at the Altar of Tirunellur, St.Jospehs Church at Chertala where I hail from.This distinguished painting have attracted much interest from the people of all walks of life. Cardinal Antony Padiyara had presented me with cash award and certificate of honor for this great endeavor”.

Your ideas / views about Tempra paintings?

“In the art-drawing field, I have my own ideas to put forward. Tempra paintings are less these days as people do not know its value. Even though art of drawing searches for new avenues, the knowledge about the Tempra is limited in the painting artistry. The expertise in Tempra painting which uses liquid mixtures of versatile colors, are not easily available these days. Today’s artists look for new pastures and new styles as Tempra style may seem outdated. But, an artist who works in tempera style will get to know how to use a variety of colors and combinations and create wonderful result and powerful impact”. Johnarts stressed.

What are some of your biblical based creations?

‘Pontius Pilate’, ‘Sobbing Hearts’, ‘Blood and Water’, Çhrist at Last Supper,’ are few among popular biblical works which drew much appreciation in Kuwait and abroad.

Some of the awards / appreciations received?

In 1992,received the honors at the painting exhibition of Kerala state Lalitha Kala Acdemy. In 1993 while working in Kuwait, at KMPC and KOC oil, I was appointed as the Palace painting artist of Kuwait ruling family palaces. In 1994,got an award from Sheikha Majida Nawaf who presented a golden shell and certificate of appreciation. During 1993/1994 was appointed by Kuwait Cathedral Bishop Francis Mechlof to recreate the painting done in 1960 in Fresco style by Italian artist at the Altar of Kuwait church. The specialty of this fresco style painting of size 1000sq ft is that, here the cement is mixed with colors and each characters has been created. These types of paintings are rare in the world”, said John arts.

What are the themes of your caricatures and cartoons?

Many celebrities and popular figures have become themes of my caricatures and cartoons. With a touch of humor, often bordering at sarcasm and lampoon, it sketches them in a new contemporary light.

Apart from caricatures, cartoon and paintings?          

“Yes, I do design the souvenir cover for most of the organizations in Kuwait”.



“In 2005, probably the biggest exhibition, exhibited with 1001 paintings of my own creations”.

Do you have a record on number of caricatures presented to guests visiting/residing Kuwait?

“Of course, yes”. Pointing out to the incomplete caricature of  Mr.Babu Chacola, a famous Drama Artist of  Kerala to Kuwait, Johnarts mentioned with high confidence that this is my 392th  caricature…which is to be presented during the weekend in a public honoring ceremony. “Moreover, all these caricatures were done in color, size 100x70cm” Johnarts added.

Do you have a approximate record about number of students in Kuwait learned the great Art of Drawing/Painting from Johnarts?

“5526 students have learned the greatest form of Art – Drawing and Painting from me in Kuwait” said John Arts confidently. He is a great asset to drawing and painting artistry and also for the newer generation of artists.

A personal question - Johnarts, when I met you 20 years ago in Kuwait, you were a chronic bachelor…and now?, tell me about your family..?

“No, I am no more bachelor”…giggled Johnarts..He then called his lovely sons Master: Joman & Jomin and the beautiful wife Mrs.Molly John.

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