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.