Man with the golden brush earns just Dh1,400

Man with the golden brush earns just Dh1,400

Abu Dhabi - The highlight of his sketches are portraits of the UAE's founder, late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 3 Nov 2016, 7:15 PM

An Indian working at a company in Mussafah sketches some stunning works of art during his free time all the while lying in his bed. There is no place to sit in his room that he shares with eight others.
Kunjumon Neelakandan Achari from Indian state of Kerala is working at a building materials trading company as a helper for the last one-and-a-half years. "I draw Dh1,400 salary and my work involves long hours at the site. Sketching is my way of relaxing. Also, I have great support from my company," said the 50 year-old artist from Mavelikkara municipality of Alappuzha district. "Since there is no space to sit in my room, I lie down or sit on my bed and draw."
The highlight of his sketches are portraits of the UAE's founder, late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
"I saw his photo and immediately sketched his portrait. This is special to me," he said showing the sketch.
His other works include the portraits of India's former president late APJ Abdul Kalam, celebrities from the Malayalam film industry actors Mohanlal, Mammootty, Kalabhavan Mani, poet ONV Kurup, among others. What is outstanding about his sketches is the detailing.
He also sketches portraits of people who make an impression on his mind at some point of time such as his portrait of a woman holding onto her child. "I saw her in a West Bengal-based newspaper and the figure stayed in my mind."
Each of Achari's work took him half-an-hour each for three days. "If I have time then I can finish within 90 minutes. The more time I take, the better is the art work. I had taste for doing such works from my childhood. I do pencil sketch, oil and acrylic paintings, wood carving and few other streams. I do landscape and portraits too," said the father of two. At present, he is painting Baselios Geevarghese I of the East, the second Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India. He is doing this on plywood on the premises of St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.
"I will dedicate this to the church after finishing. They have provided me with paints. I love to paint but that being costly I stick to pencil work," he said.
"I thank my company owner Ninan Thomas Panicker, who has permitted me some spare time from work to follow my passion."
Achari hasn't thought of putting his work on sale but hopes to hold an exhibition in the UAE one day. "This is not for money but to display my love for my hobby."

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