Author Archive

Importance of Indian Women in Artworks

Friday, March 19th, 2010 | Author:

village-women-going-to-workJust the idea of watching a painting with women as its subject can be so very fascinating. There is a certain charm and mystery associated with image of a woman. How can we ever forget the eternal beauty of women depicted in the form of ‘Monalisa’? This painting, even after few centuries continues to enchant us the same way as it used to mesmerize people hundred years ago. Perhaps, one of the greatest artworks of all time, Monalisa will always be etched into the annals of world art.

 

Talking about women, Indian women symbolize respect, care, attractive looks and sober nature. Just looking at an Indian woman wearing a sari and red dot on the forehead can be an unforgettable experience. Almost every famous artist from India and other countries has desired to capture the perfect image of an Indian woman in his canvas. Indian females have always stayed on the list of preferences of the painters and artists. They definitely make for interesting subjects.

 

Most often than not, Indian women have been portrayed with sari and red dot on the forehead. These two features have made Indian women distinctly unique and fascinatingly beautiful. If we go back to the history pages, one of the earliest depictions of the Indian women can be seen in the Ajanta mural. One can witness graceful and striking depictions of Indian women in various poses in the caves of Ajanta. Women are considered as the best creations of almighty and murals of Ajanta appropriately depict that belief.

 

Even during medieval times, the trend of depicting women in painting continued. For example, you can check Rajasthani miniature and Radha Krishna paintings. Portraits of Meera Bai are perhaps the most popular depictions. From artists’ point of view, eminent painter Raja Ravi Verma revolutionized the traditional Indian way of perceiving women. His artworks are equally popular in western art circles because of similarity of his method with western realistic schools of art. Many Indian painters and artists from modern generation have also depicted the beauty of Indian lady in their paintings.

Indian Face Painting

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 | Author:

Face painting boasts of a proud culture and heritage. Popular across different countries, face painting is basically a living tradition. Considered as a social art, its scope goes much beyond merely a beautifying practice. Particularly popular among the native Indians, face painting has acquired a cult status in art fraternity. It is a distinctive art that can only be mastered through rigorous practice and utmost dedication.

 

Practiced by several tribes all over the world, face painting was primarily used during social occasions or functions. It was used to enhance one’s power and appearance. Face painting does not follow a single pattern. It is used in different and unique ways by different tribes. You must have seen different types of face painting. At some places, the entire face is covered with colors whereas some other places; you will find tribes preferring to use just the lightest streak of color on the face.

 

Many movies based on tribe cultures and stories show different forms of face painting. You would have seen tribesmen covering their face and then completely plastering it down with mud. Just two holes for the eyes and mouth are left on the face. It was a common practice for the ancient warriors to paint their faces with colored clay. Different tribes had different designs and color preferences. Warriors used to come back to their homes after the hunt and have big feast. Along with song and dance routines, they used to celebrate with face painting. To make the paint, they would use roots, berries and tree barks. Using index and middle finger, paint was applied on the face. Gradually, entire face was covered with colors. Every color had different relevance. For example, red signified the color of war whereas black was the color of living. Similarly, yellow was color of death and white was the color of peace.

The Impact of Art

Tuesday, March 02nd, 2010 | Author:

So you think art is a luxury and it has no purpose to serve in society? I would rather differ here. Art is not just a mode of creativity and expression. It performs various functions in both negative as well as positive sense of the word. Great many artworks have contributed to the evolution of human civilization. Apart from depicting the unique culture of every era since ancient ages, art has also been influential in shaping up the course of the history. Art brings awareness to the people.

 

Art scores greatly, in its ability to present untold truths about humans in a very effective and unique way. Perhaps, these truths cannot be said in any other way. Art also proves instrumental in connecting people. Just go to an exhibition and you will find many people being able to relate to your thought about a particular artwork. That almost makes it a universal connection. If the idea conveyed by an artwork makes you take action, then the purpose of art is achieved. Now, would you agree to the potentially huge impact of art on humans? But before that, art must reach the public. The connoisseurs of art must be able to understand the true value of the art and get a drift of the idea contained by it.

 

One of the most beautiful things about art is that it can depict positive emotions like love, beauty, honor, and devotion as wonderfully as it can express fear, hatred, poverty and injustice. Both sides of the coin are equally meaningful. Both can have a profound impact on people. The viewers will always have a strong emotional response to the works of art. There have been countless instances of artworks helping in abolition of existing malice of society. Hope, this trend continues.

India Coastal Handicrafts

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 | Author:

handicraftsIndia has a rich and vast culture of handicrafts. The handicraft work in India has remained in existence since ancient times. One of the most appreciated handicraft types is of Coastal handicrafts. Thanks to India’s enormous coastal line, huge variety of handicrafts has flourished all along these coastal plains. The thing to be noted here is that, culture of coastal handicrafts is a not a new phenomenon. There is a rich tradition of coastal handicrafts that has been passed on from generation to generation. Coastal handicrafts are made using raw materials available at the shores and seas. Elements of modern aesthetics and sensibility have further helped in enhancing the beauty of coastal handicrafts.

 

The main hubs of Indian coastal handicrafts are Orissa and West Bengal. Orissa is known for its beautiful beaches, historical temples, famous sculptures and colorful appliqué works. The art works of Orissa like Patachitra, Pipili and Saura tribal paintings have always exuded class and elegance. The state is also known for vibrant fabrics. Puri is one place in Orissa that every religious person likes to visit at least once in his lifetime. Puri houses mesmerizing brass statues that have amazing finery. Other famous specialties of the state are carved sculptures, stoneware, detachable wooden toys and wooden masks.

 

Those looking for coastal art and craft works, better have a look at assortment of appliquéd wall hangings, garments, handbags, decorative hangings, papier-mache masks and linen.

 

Talking about coastal handicrafts of Bengal, conch shell art occupies the place of the pride. Created by artists known as ‘Shankharis’, this is a centuries old tradition. One can also find shell jewelry like pendants, bangles, bracelets that are made after slicing conch shells with hand tolls. You can also find other shell articles and beautiful objects made form pearls. The place is full of mesmerizing costal handicraft works. One has to visit coastal plains of Orissa and Bengal to truly experience this beautiful art form.

Folk art painting on Furniture

Wednesday, February 03rd, 2010 | Author:

Almost every country in the world boasts of a proud tradition of folk art paintings so how could India remain an exception. Folk painting tradition in India goes a long way to the roots of Indian civilization. Like India, Europe has a highly valued and well respected folk painting culture. In fact, folk painting has its origins in 13th Century Europe. This was the time when folk paintings were used to decorate furniture that commanded huge premium in the market. As we are living in an era of retro-fashion, folk paintings have also re-emerged strongly. People with an eye on aesthetics are willing to pay good prices for painted wooden objects like plates, cabinets and decorative cutting boards. Antique art objects are being redecorated with folk paintings and sold at commendable prices.

 

The redecoration of wooden objects starts with restoring process where original varnish is first stripped off and then painted with a solution. Some of the rich traditional colors used for folk paintings are yellow, green, red and brown. Blue and some shades of white are also used to get the required effect. Folk paintings look best on dark wooden objects. Artists use quick drying wood stain for bringing dark wood effects.

 

The painting process can be completed with either water based works or oil based paint. Folk art paintings thrive on blending of colors. Pattern is another important factor in these paintings. There are plenty of reading materials available on folk art painting techniques on furniture. These paintings are a wonderful way to decorate your house or even to be used as a gift for special occasions. This art can be learned by anyone who is interested in paintings. This is a highly appreciated skill that will do great favors to your reputations.

Ancient Crafts of Rajasthan

Sunday, January 17th, 2010 | Author:

Collecting art and craft work has become a strong hobby of quite a number of people. On one hand, it works as an investment opportunity and secondly, it helps in spicing up one’s living room. So, if someone is looking to add some finesse and rich color to his home then he need not look further than ha-painted furniture from Rajasthan. This desert state is home to myriad crafts. Rajasthan has always excelled in producing hand painted wooden furniture. If one is looking for distinctive style of furniture then Jodhpur and Kisanganh in Rajasthan are the places to be in.

 

The woods usually favored by Rajasthani artists are rose, mango and acacia Arabica etc. The process begins with making the furniture first. Thereafter, the end product is given finishing touches. Painting is the last step in the process. A coat of varnish is applied over the finished piece. As far as range of products are concerned, stools, wine racks, small chairs, paneled screens, trunks, doors, decorative carved windows and cupboards etc are the furniture items one can get his hands on. While decorating these items, wide range of bright colors are used over them.

 

Talking about wooden furniture from Jodhpur, they are generally made using ethnic color combinations. These items have unique antique charm associated with them. Decorative wooden wall pieces are highlight of Jodhpur school of art. They have richly carved borders and paintings of Rajput kings and queens and Hindu Gods.

 

Kishangarh School of Art is very rich in terms of its symmetrical floral motifs which will remind you of Mughal influence. Painted designs and embossed features are shining aspects of Kisangarh furniture. Painted furniture of Rajasthan are true reflections of state’s glorious past and rich culture. These pieces can add value to one’s living room and act as style statements.

Patchwork

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 | Author:

 

Indian art and craft has always been admired, appreciated and imitated. It comes as a sheer delight to notice that despite the presence of diverse cultures, diverse customs, diverse languages and habits, Indian art and craft as a whole has always shone by its sheer cultural richness. One of the siblings of rich Indian art and handicraft is patchwork that has always remained in shadows. Patchwork is all about combining together the pieces of fabric into a larger, beautiful design. It is also known as piecing in many parts of Indian subcontinent.

 

Patchwork can also said to be one of the primary construction techniques. Usually, patches of numerous colors and designs are formed together to make a larger design. The final design is normally based on repeat patterns. Appliqué and patchwork often go together. Patchwork is a detailed and precise craft and needs lots of practice and expertise. The joining of clothes must be precise. Most often than not, basic geometric shapes are used in these designs.

 

If we talk specifically about Indian states then, this craft flourishes in western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Indian patchwork has one unique feature of highlighting jazzy shades on the patches. The stitches are usually, not hidden. This helps in adding a bit extra to entire artistic flavor. States like Orissa and Punjab also practice this craft and one has to see these beautiful patchworks.

 

It is believed that patchwork came to India from Arab and Europe and today, it is a widely prevalent and practiced craft inside Indian Territory. Patch works thrive on artists’ creativity and imagination. Western Indian art and craft consider patchwork as an integral part of its culture. Some patchworks are made using ornaments with motifs. Colors are bold and often mixed with aesthetic motifs of animals, birds and trees. The beauty of patchwork can be witnessed in quilts, cushion covers, wall hangings, bed covers and even decorative items.

 

Stained Glass Art

Friday, December 18th, 2009 | Author:

Those deeply interested in art and crafts must have heard of Stained glass art. It is a very colorful medium of expression for amateurs as well as professional artists. Many people are indulged in stained glass art as a serious hobby. This art from has several interesting aspects. One needs to be aware of those aspects that open a completely new dimension of stained glass art. Elements like how to cut the glass, foiling heavily textured glass, grinding, soldering (flux application and filling gaps, burnishing, etc.), and finishing (application of patina) etc very rudimentary to the whole craft form. One will also need to be aware of zinc farming and lamp photography to understand the true significance of this unique art. Many artists have reached to the level where they can decide the price of the finished works.

Large sheets of glasses are cut in the beginning steps. Curves are made with tapping techniques and serious practitioners of the craft even learn to cut inside a deep curve. This is a thorough process and takes discipline and patience. Grinding glass is another useful thing to learn here. One also needs to smooth up the rough edges of the glass. Then, there is soldering process that is actually very brief in nature. Then glass is centered where spaces are created between the glass pieces.

One of the crucial steps is Patina application that is relatively easy. One can witness stained glass art in products such as boxes, lamps, and other decorative objects. When it comes of lamps, one can see beautiful pieces of Panel lamps, Styrofoam mold lamps; fiberglass mold lamps etc. stained glass art is a process where one needs to be very patient. Things might not turn out as expected initially but sooner than later, with due practice, artist will surely master it.

Phulkari Art

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | Author:

The state of Punjab has a significant place in the history of India. It is not only a happening place but also totally vibrant and bubbling with energy. Punjab is known for Sikh temples, lush green farms, Maake di roti and Bhangra. The folk music of Punjab is very popular and now it has also acquired international fame. Punjabi dance and song are popular all over the country and have been made even more happening by the Indian residents living abroad. Not many pople know, Punjab is also considered very rich for its craft forms. One form of art that has been in existence since ages in Punjab is Phulkari art. It is primarily a handiwork of the female folks of Punjab. The literal meaning of phulkari is flowering. In this craft, embroidery of the flowering patterns on dupattas, shawls and other garments are performed.

The evolution of this art occurred because of enthusiasm shown by the women. Men used to work outdoors and women stated to develop this craft in the sixteenth century. It was quite amateur during the initial era but by the end of 19th century, it became a developed craft. The Phulkari designs make clothes very beautiful and appealing. When the designer stitches are made on clothes, the prepared piece is called Bagh. Silk yarn that is also called as pat is used as thread.

Several colors like golden, yellow, crimson, orange, green, blue and pink etc are used in Phulkari. Design options are plenty. From geometrical designs to natural patterns, one can witness plethora of wonderful designs. Figures of flowers, leaves, birds, animals and humans can also be seen in this art form. Phulkari designs have religious significance as well.

History of Indian Bronze Sculptures

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 | Author:

Bronze holds a significant place in the annals of world history. Not one but many have been closely associated with this metal. When bronze has such proud history to boast of, how could India remain untouched by this ubiquitous metal? The material of bronze always had unique and important place in all the eras of Indian history. If we turn back the history books, we will find, bronze’s relationship with rich Indian history goes back to no less than 3000 years. The widespread use of bronze has not decreased even in the modern era. However, there is one place where usage of bronze is most visible. Yes, we are talking about statues of gods and goddesses within the religions.

 

If we further delve into the history sheets of bronze and its affiliation with different regions of India, we will find segregation of eras within the regions. For example, if we look at western Indian bronze period, then from 6th century to 12th century, bronze was associated with almost every sphere of life in western regions. Jainism had a close bond with bronze. Western Indian bronze was primarily sculptural bronze. Similarly, eastern Indian bronze had a close affiliation with Hinduism and especially statutes of Shiva and Vishnu. South Indian bronze was again primarily based on the gods and goddess statues in the Hinduism religion and the period was a wide range of 8th century to the 16th century.

 

Lost wax casting method was the chief bronze casting methods used within India during these centuries. During the earlier eras, usage of bronze was basically restricted within the realm of religious representation. Slowly, cultures started to make objects like incense burners and other ritual objects like lamp bearers. South Indian culture took most advantage of this metal by making objects like jewelry, coins, numerous variations of the Hindu gods and goddesses in representational forms. Now, whenever you would see a bronze sculpture, you will know the proud history of it.