Numbers 3,249 and June 2022 hold dearer for an Indian artist well versed in all art forms from miniature paintings, contemporary art, and oil paintings.
A record breaker, Mamta Sharma, achieved four records namely India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, the International Book of Records, and the World Book of Records.
The feat is for her efforts towards creating an amazing 3,249 paintings on a single paper card of 17x17 cm square size and dividing the square into 4mm x 4mm of rows and columns.
This effort of her is now trying for an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.
As Oman celebrated its Omani Women’s Day, Mamta says, “Oman’s role in my record work is worth mentioning as these tiny paintings are an ode to every woman who looks after her family and still aspires to fulfil her dreams. Many of these 3,249 paintings have still life and landscapes inspired by the beautiful nature, beaches and wadis of Oman.”
Explains Mamta of her painstaking eight-month effort: “Each of these paintings resembles some works from beautiful Oman. I always take inspiration from my surroundings and every Omani woman has inspired me in some way or the other to succeed in the challenges of my life."
About her record-breaking efforts, Mamta says she practiced some paintings for a couple of months before starting her final project. She focused on her record-breaking work which she began in November 2020.
The uniqueness of her work lies in that all the paintings were made in 4mm x 4mm square and are realistic landscapes and still life objects found in Oman.
It was in July 2020 that she came across news about another artist who had made 1,156 paintings on a single paper card of 17x17 cm. Inspired by this, she discussed with her husband and planned to go ahead with making small miniature paintings. Immediately she started making squares and dividing them, practicing and making the squares smaller.
She started working on it without using any special equipment and gradually kept making miniature paintings for more than two years which she finally completed with 3,249 paintings in June 2022.
“An artist executes inspiration and imagination, and will not only have landscapes (of Oman), but also simpler subjects in between to differentiate the landscapes,” she says.
All these paintings have been done by a thin brush of water colours without using any magnifying glass or nearsighted spectacles. Her only tools were a watercolour set, a thin brush and a cup of water. The hues and shades used in each painting are exactly done with the same process similar for bigger paintings or subjects.
To illustrate a sunset scene, she has not applied orange or red directly, but used a base of lemon yellow or chrome yellow or painted a sunny day using the shades of blue, yellow ochre and green.
A resident in Oman since 2019, Mamta also is a reputed gold emboss painter.
Hailing from Jodhpur, the ‘Blue City’ in Rajasthan, many of her works resemble designs of forts and palaces. She has perfected ‘gold emboss painting’ which is still vague in the forts and palaces. Similarly, Oman too has floral motifs and Arabic calligraphy on its palaces and castles.
“As every artist is more expressive and creative with the milieu, the serene and tranquil ambiance of Oman gave wings to my creativity towards making these thousands of miniature paintings,” she says.
Her work of pure gold Mandoos or jewellery box is embedded with traditional Rajasthani motifs and patterns of flowers and leaves taking over six months to complete.
A base of burnt sienna mixed with homemade gum and water was applied to the wooden box and then rubbed with sandpaper to smoothen the base.
Inspired by the castles in Oman she drew some similarities between gold emboss paintings with works of Oman. She inherited gold emboss painting from Kalamani Dr Jyoti Swaroop Sharma, her father-mentor and has been practicing the craft for over 20 years now.
Says Mamta, “I have strived to make vibrant realistic paintings giving them depth and light and shade. I humbly request the World Book of Records to acknowledge my creation for the record and encourage my endeavour.”
Mamta (@Mamtashades) loves working on acrylic which provides her with spontaneity of her thoughts faster as it is a quick medium whereas oil paints give her more freedom, thus contemplating her thoughts for a longer period of time. “I love working in oil because it gives me more space and time for my imagination and creativity,” she concludes.
On October 27-29, she will be exhibiting her paintings at the Oktoberfest market at InterContinental Hotel Muscat.