Muscat: For Indian artist Sandesh Rangnekar, expressing his gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said is an art, and nature is his medium of choice.
During the last decade spent in the Sultanate, the 42-year-old Mumbaikar has painted a collection of iconic Omani figures on peepal leaves (from the Bodhi tree), including those of Essa bin Mohammed Al Zadjali, Dr Mohammed Al Barwani, Mohammad Al Zubair, Omar Al Zawawi, Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi and Sheikh Suhail Bahwan.
Through every brush stroke, Rangnekar wanted to express thanks to the people who have shaped modern Oman.
But when it comes to His Majesty the Sultan, Rangnekar says he can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.
So far he has painted 30 portraits of His Majesty, with his latest on a squid bone he found in Shatti Al Qurum.
“It immediately struck me; can I do something with it? I took it home, cleaned it, observed it for a while and decided to carve His Majesty’s portrait on it,” he stated.
Rangnekar is considered the only squid bone artist in the Sultanate as the art is globally deemed to be one of the rarest forms of traditional crafts, which were practiced by a few tribes in the primitive era.
“I felt a strong inkling to give a token of thanks to His Majesty, as reverence to his wise leadership and immense vision,” he added.
Rangnekar is also a leaf painter, another unique form of painting, which is popular in India and the Far Eastern countries.
Inspired by his father, Rangnekar decided to pursue a career as an artist and graduated from the reputed Raheja School of Arts in Mumbai.
He is no stranger to the Middle East, having previously lived in Bahrain and Dubai. However, it was Oman and the serene beauty of this country that won him over.
He currently works as a Senior Art Director of a media and publishing house.
“I see art and beauty in every aspect of life and nature. I found my love for fine art in Oman, the land of true Arab culture, tradition and beautiful landscapes,” Rangnekar said.
One of his key accomplishments is a set of 12 paintings of His Majesty, starting from his early years until the present day.
“All of the paintings we have seen of His Majesty so far have been of his recent days; not too many people have seen his earlier portraits and I wanted to break this trend and create something different,” Rangnekar explained.
He can be reached at www.facebook.com/sandeshpalette or [email protected]