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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Radha Krishna Madhubani painting

Continuing my exploration in the series of Madhubani paintings. I have played with colors and details and enjoyed the Garba/ Raas-Leela theme very much. A celebration of lovely fall season (Sharad Navaratri).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Art of Madhubani - a humble first attempt

Shiva Parvati

Much has been written about the history and the origin of Madhubani style of painting. I am hardly in a position to introduce this art form, as my one and only exposure to it was quite a few years ago in Ahmedabad, a place quite far away from Madhubani, from where this art form originates.  As a first year design student, I had visited a craft fair, and there I had had an opportunity to see artists from Madhubani making these paintings. I fell in love with the simplicity and the vibrance of this art form. Its colors and motifs are a celebration of life itself.

But, all these years have elapsed since that visit. I have, in the past made many half hearted attempts to create anything close to what might be called Madhubani painting. But somehow I was never satisfied with the result. In my quest for a perfect work of art, I had overlooked the deeply meditative quality of the practice of creating Madhubani with  intricate lines and the interplay of textures and colors. Very recently, however, I came across this wonderful blog by Crazy Lassi . How very inspiring her work is! She also has simple tutorials for creating Madhubani designs. Here is my first humble attempt.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My World - Handmade Paper and Ink

Paper and Ink 4" by 11"

I have been missing in action for a long time. No excuses to offer, except perhaps the lame one, " I was not inspired enough!" I know, really lame. But no matter. Hopefully, I have caught second wind this time. So, with a glazed look in my eyes and a longing in my heart, I was looking through my portfolio (from the good old days, when I was young and feckless) and came upon a research project about the art of the Warli people, a tribe that dwells in the state of Maharashtra in India. Through the use of simple shapes - lines, triangles, circles mainly, they are able to tell their story. The art form is not religious in its essence, but more a narrative and a celebration of the Warli people's lives- the weddings , and births, and even deaths. The art shows how intertwined with nature man's life is. In all their work, one finds a joyous feast of trees and birds and animals from their surroundings. Such simplicity in the art form is breathtaking. It's funny how we spent a whole semester in Graphic Design trying to simplify any given from from nature using as few lines as possible. And here is this lovely art form, done by the tribal women of Warli, with no "formal education" in design...

This is my attempt at using the technique to portray a narrative...A celebration of being a part of two worlds...the one that I left behind, and the other that I live in currently. As an immigrant, my mind has spent many hours comparing and contrasting the two cultures- keeping my old home as beautiful and noble as ever while coming to terms with the new culture I found myself in. For a long time, my old home came up better and lovelier, the people more loving and warm and generous. Perhaps, I was not yet ready to let go of that part of my history and move on and live the life I was in. I cannot say when I realised that underneath all these beautiful contrasts of cultures, we humans are all the same - with the same desires, hopes and dreams. We feel pain and grief and joy...and it does not matter what part of the world we belong is the fact that we all are the same....Two worlds then came to be just that - different yet one...because I see myself as a part of the vast community of people bound together with hope and love.....