Surbhi Gupta, a Class XI student of DAV Public School, is blessed with an innate sense of symmetry, colour, and attention to detail. One is awestruck at the accurate shapes and the proportion of colours that reflect in her murals.
“I am no art critic, nor am I in a position to evaluate visual art, but when I saw Surbhi painting her winning entry, during the competition held at Gurgaon, I noted her work. At that time itself, I instinctively felt that here was something different,” says Atul Dev, the Convenor of the Gurgaon Chapter of INTACH.
When asked about her experience at the national competition organised by the INTACH Shantiniketan Chapter, Surbhi says, “I was not prepared for it. Due to my Class X exams, I didn’t find time. I was also not aware of the topic. But Rabindranath Tagore has always inspired me. He was a versatile genius. I had made a painting showing Rabindranath Tagore blowing out a pen, a brush, and a book, through a straw.”
Her mother, Poonam Gupta, who is a gold medallist in M.Sc Botany, says, “Since childhood, Surbhi has had an awareness of the expressive possibilities through colours. At the age of 5, she made my portrait. I was sleeping on the bed with a dupatta rolled around my neck. She made a figure reflecting exactly how I looked, with the same
Her talent was recognised at her first competition itself, when she was just five years old. Since then, there has been no looking back. When she was around 10 years of age, she went to Sri Lanka, to participate in the ICSQCC painting competition, an Asia-level competition. Her work won accolades there too. This 15-year-old artist has shown her creativity in different styles – including pencil sketches, abstracts, cartoons, and canvas painting. According to her art teacher, she confidently indulges in oil, dry, and acrylic colours.
Her finesse has also won her the title of cartoonist in a school programme run by the United Nation Organisation. She made a cartoon reflecting a social cause – showing missiles, and a bomb on a dead body. What arouses keen interest is the freshness in her paintings. “Her painting on energy conservation was distributed all over the country, in the form of a greeting card, by the Power Finance Corporation Ltd. This was a rare feat for a 10 year old child,” says one of her teachers.
A Disciplined Student
She is equally active in studies. Being a disciplined and an obedient student in school, Surbhi manages time well for her studies and tuition classes. She utilises her free time for painting. However, she aims to pursue painting as her career. A girl of a few words, Surbhi credits her parents and art teacher for her success. She says “I feel happy when I paint, and I will never leave it. I scored good marks in Class X, and despite the peer pressure to take up science, I opted for humanities – and have taken fine arts as a main subject. It’s great to have my parents’ support.” While Surbhi is yet to freeze her future plans, her mother dreams of making her an artist; and plans to send her to either Delhi University or Jamia.
Breaking the legacy
Being from a family of doctors and engineers, entering into the field of art, and learning painting was a bit difficult for her. With her elder brother also having set his career on engineering, it was hard for her to break the legacy. However, her determination and passion for painting made her parents take the right decision. “I never thought my daughter would be interested in fine arts. But her achievements in this field made us realise that painting will always remain an inseparable part of her personality,” smiles Poonam Gupta.