Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrating the Festival of Ganesha

Mumbai is celebrating the festival of Ganesha with its usual pomp and splendour and I am reminded of one of my early collages - one of Lord Ganesha.  This one.
Size : 9.5"x 8"

Ganesha is a much loved diety of the Hindus.   He is depicted with the head of an elephant but with a human form.  Everything in Hinduism is symbolic and so it is with each body part of Lord Ganesha. 

He is called the 'remover of all obstacles' and is considered the epitome of wisdom.   It is customary to say a small prayer to Ganesha before commencing any activity that one wishes to accomplish well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mixed media art in Warli Style

Title  :  Welcoming Ganesha,  Warli style
Size 14" x 10 "

This is a mixed media collage in acrylic and paper on paper. This is in traditional tribal painting style of Maharashtra called Warli Painting. I have used acrylic paint for the fine details and collaged the larger details with paper. The subject is the festival that our state of Maharashtra is preparing for this month. The festival of Lord Ganpati that starts on Ganesh Chaturthi (19th Sept this year) and celebrations that last for 10 days.

I was inspired to make an artwork on this festival in the Warli style after attending a workshop on Warli painting last week. The Warli painting art form is over 1200 years old. The tribal women folk used to decorate the walls of their mud huts coated with cow dung and mud or terracotta with designs made with ground rice paste. The subjects were usually restricted to pictorial representation of their daily activities or were of folk lore and myth. Though their paintings are two dimensional, lacking in perspective and are monochromatic, the eye is drawn in to study the detail which is used very economically. Thus the viewer is forced to read the story being told by the pictures.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gond painting

Today I took a tribal painting workshop taught by tribal artist Durgadevi Vyam. She spoke on how the art form originated, how the paintings are done and some of the folk lore associated with it.

The Gonds are originally a forest dwelling tribe of Central India. Their brilliantly coloured paintings are found on walls and floors of their houses. The subjects for their paintings are usually animals and trees, local deities and depiction of their daily lives and folk tales. It is important for Gonds to regularly wipe off and make new paintings in their homes in preparation for celebrations whether religious or social. Usually the paintings narrate a story.

The colours used are all natural and derived from locally available material. Bright reds, yellows, black and white are from rocks and mud found on river bank. The greens, browns, blues are obtained from obtained from barks of trees, leaves and flowers. Each drawing is meticulously filled in and then decorated with dots and dashes or swirls and squiggles made in a contrasting colour. The simplicity of the drawing style and bright colours used make this art form very engaging.

Now this artform is produced on paper and canvas using acrylic paints.  Here is a sample of what I did in the workshop.