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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.

New Century Oil Paintings

Monday, August 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Talking about new century old paintings, it is a broad term covering wide range of art works. According to art experts, the art works created from early 20th century until the present times comes under the umbrella term of new century old paintings. Most of works in last century has been created through amazing experiments and creative capabilities of the artists. 20th Century has been a witness of several classical oil paintings. It all began during impressionism era. The said era is said to begin from 19th century art movement. The artists from Paris were the chief architects of impressionism era who exhibited their art works in public forums. The trademarks of this era were usage of light colors, emphasis on light, visible brushstrokes, open composition and innovative angles. This style had many renowned followers. One of the artists who created a name for himself in the world of painting using this style of painting was Vincent Van Gogh.


European painting received a great dose of motivation from Cubism era. The influence of this era also spread to music and literature. The peculiar aspects of this era were abstract form of paintings which were first broken up, analyzed and then re-assembled. The scope of cubism era oil paintings was much wider because of multitude of viewpoints. Picasso was one of the legends of this era.


Another famous art movement was Fauvism which was primarily focused on proper usage of colors. Minimalism art form was based on usage of basic fundamental features. From Indian context, Indian painters were hugely infoluenced by western art practices and usage of western principles and techniques can be clearly seen in art works of pre-independence era. Famous Indian oil painters were Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, Suvaprasanna, M. F. Hussain and Anjolie Ela Menon.

Abstract Art

Monday, August 03rd, 2009 | Author:

Abstract art is one without an identifiable theme, one which doesn’t narrate something peripheral or try to imitate some thing. as a substitute the colour and appearance are the topics of the abstract art. It’s entirely without an aim or objective.
An additional difference is likely to be made between abstract art which is geometric, for example, the art work of Mondrian, and abstract art that is more liquid such as the abstract art work of Kandinsky or Pollock.
Moreover, usually classified with abstract art are symbolic ideas and paintings which stand for things that aren’t visual or illustrative, like emotions, sounds, or divine occurrences. Symbolic ideas are abstractions or generalizations of reality, where detail is eradicated from identifiable objects leaving only the essence or recognizable form to some extent.
In the history of Western art, the myth that every art for had to represent something or the other was broken at the start of the 20th century. This revolution happened with art movements like Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. Impressionism referred to painters not finishing their paintings. On the other hand, in Fauvism, colours were used in a non-realistic way. Cubism, as the name states, referred to painting an object from more than one perspective. These ideas gave rise to the thought that anything like the colour or texture can be the subject or the theme of the painting.
Abstract Expressionism come into sight in the 1940s. It applied the laws of Expressionism to abstract painting. Jackson Pollock’s action painting where paint was dripped, dropped, spread, sprinkled and thrown on the canvas, is a fine example.
Abstract painting has given artists a completely new line of ideas. They have the freedom to listen to their gut, without worrying about the limits of art, paint the canvas the way they want to.

Oil Paintings

Monday, July 27th, 2009 | Author:

The paintings of Rembrandt, Monte and Van Gogh have their masterpieces in oil paintings. Oil paintings are niche art and the true art work is clearly brought out in the paintings. Understanding the technique and form is very much essential. The sketch is done on the canvas with charcoal or directly with paint in a fine form. The blending is again the painter’s creation and the colors in oil painting stand out well.


There has been a lot of innovation and changes in the medium of painting that has actually facilitated drying and transportation. Earlier the medium was to be mixed with linseed oil to form a sort of varnish. With the advent of tubes in oil painting, the rich texture is well maintained. There are various ways to do the oil painting and the artist chooses a comfortable pattern.


Paintbrushes are the main trick to develop the texture and richness via strokes. Sable, mongoose hair or hogs hair is usually used for the brushes. Deft strokes are lined with the help of the brushes that gives bold strokes or fine painting. The synthetic fibers also aid in giving a different feel to the application of color. The initial layer is used with a thin paint and is a way to temper the canvas. Once the canvas is used to the layers the oncoming layers can be done in varied hues and thickness.


Sealing the paint is done with glaze formation so that there is certain perfection in drying of the paint. The earlier artists would have been comfortable in painting over the wet works and their creativity or sense of imagination aids them to work well in any medium. Portraits or market place oil paintings were very common in the yesteryears. Today’s contemporary artists love to paint the ideas of modern abstract forms or the topic of rebirth through oil painting.



The perfection of works through oil painting can be seen in the concept of marriage painted by Jan Van Eyck. Each inanimate object here shows the evidence of life and there is more accentuation on the expression between the man and woman. The latest artists also go for superior quality oil paints and do not actually intend to varnish or seal the paintings.

Painting Styles in India

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 | Author:

Dance and music are fields where the most delightful styles and sweetest strains fade away before people can understand them, whereas painting holds the sentiments and expressions and retains the impact for a comparatively elongated time-period. Painting is basically a blend of lines, forms, colors, tones, textures and spaces. It makes an attempt to communicate the verbal and non-verbal terminologies with the strokes of the paint brush.

Painting styles are different from area to area, and from phase to phase. From ancient times to the era of evolution, painting has been the illustrative certification of man’s beliefs, and experiences. It has been demonstrated on the walls of the caves like the elephant caves, the Ajanta caves and the Bhimbetka caves, temples like the Brihadisvari temple and the Mukteshvara temple, and palaces like the very famous Taj Mahal, or dried leaved and cloth in the form of phadas, patachitras and coverlets.
Displayed manuscripts on palm leaf folios in the medieval period were then substituted by paper. The paintings of any given province and era, offers a peek into the intellectual and cultural awareness of the inhabitants who accomplished them. The techniques are influenced by the local customs and cross-cultural relations.
Besides all the other factors, the exceptional geographical positioning of India played a vital part in the blossoming of the diverse provincial techniques. The vivid and vibrant painting traditions, which built up, like the murals and wall paintings, Chaurapanchasika art(CPS Group), miniatures, scroll art, madhubani art, lepakshi art, etc added to the rich and diverse cultural inheritance of India. This also formed the base of succeeding genres. Cultural paintings bring to you the various painting techniques from the wealth trove of India. They have their distinctive painting style, regional and episodic individuality. The art field has brought a lot of international recognition to India and Indian artists from the traditional times to the contemporary times.

Art and Visual Art

Monday, July 20th, 2009 | Author:

Art can be defined as an expression. Art covers whole gamut of human expressions, primarily through visual form. An artist conveys his perspectives and perceptions about particular things through art works. All art works including paintings, sculptures, pottery, frescoes, artifacts etc instantly creates a connection with the viewer because somewhere lies, few common feelings between the observe and the expression of art. Art works evoke certain feelings like, happiness, beauty, joy, melancholy and a wide range of all other emotions.


Visual Art is a world in itself! It is a grand garden which includes several roses, all shining brightly. These roses are called as classical art, folk art, Contemporary art and tribal art, all having a strong individual presence. Visual arts is the sum total of all forms of present, past and future arts. Visual arts cover a wide range of fascinating forms of arts including, painting, sculpture, handicrafts and what not!  Indian visual art is a true manifestation of joyful ingredients of life. An Indian visual art is a beautiful blend of traditional as well as modern arts. Indian visual art celebrates life through creative means.


Most of the art works, especially paintings are truly invaluable. Most often than not, buyers decide on the purchase of the work because of the emotions generated within by that art work. Few paintings strike particular chords which heavily influences the buying decision of the buyer. Apart from emotion factor, the other crucial factors in determining the true value of the work are artist’s name, current market situation, demand for that particular work and era of its creation to name a few.


Amitabha Thangka

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 | Author:

amitabh_close3Thangka paintings are inspired by Buddhist philosophies. These art works are basically fused three dimensional in nature. Tibetan Buddhists accord extreme importance to Thangka paintings. Art works are considered as more of religious objects and one can see them hanging on Buddhist monasteries. Thangka paintings are often used in Buddhist religious processions. Before proceeding further, let’s have some information about the term ‘Amitabh’. According to Buddhist religion, Amitabha Buddha is the “Buddha of Infinite Light” and Thangka paintings represent him seated in ‘Sukhavati’, his celestial paradise. Sukhavati is also known as realm of bliss. The term ‘Amitabha Thangkas’ has spiritual connotations. It signifies physical illustration of the metamorphosis of worldly requirements into all encircling incandescent consciousness. The paintings show Amitabh Buddha in a position where he has his hands in a meditation position and holding a begging bowl. The bowl signifies receptivity and infinite openness.


Thangka comes from the Tibetan word Thang that means a flat surface. Add ‘ka’ to it and it becomes a painting ovn a flat surface. Mostly done on flat surfaces, Thangka paintings can also be rolled up like scroll paintings. However, scrolling is done only when the art works are not being displayed.  Structurally, Thangka has a mounting embellished with a silk cover, leather corners, embroidered picture panel and wooden decorative knobs.  These Thangka are made in Buddhist dominated areas like Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh. This place is dominated by Buddhist monks and amazing Thangka can be seen over there.


Many religious art forms do not follow any artistic intent. They are more guided by religious beliefs. Similarly with Thangka paintings, Buddhist philosophy is the prime theme. These paintings depict contemplative experience of monks. Probably, because of its highly religious nature, they have remained secluded from mainstream of art.


Folk dances of India

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 | Author:

The folk dances of India which originally must have been a form of social interaction or entertainment are now the integral heritage factor of our modern India. They depict the emotions in coordination with the theme or festival. The particular season also exhibits the passion and exuberance of colors interplayed with the melody in the rich regional language that is rendered with raw traditional instruments, drum beats and the voices of village folk. The clothes and adornments are related typically to each state.


In the South of India, the kavadi dance is a major event where the festival of Lord Karthikeya is celebrated with pompous movements and piercings on the body. Pole balancing is also a form of kavadi dance. The ghoomar dance of Rajasthan is a perfect mix of style in speed and grace. It is a difficult art form with sudden stops, circular movements and also steps that are typically Rajasthani. The ghungat-veil and flared skirt accentuates the twirls in the dance. The godhi or horse dance is another variant of folk dancing from Rajashthan.


The bhangra dance is now a popular dance all over the world owing to the hip hop element in fusion music. Originally these are performed by jats or Punjabis to celebrate any festive occasion. Full of energy and effort the giddha dance is typically a ladies affair and Punjabi dress clad women do full justice by participating eventfully. The Orissa folk dance has a format in Jumar and the Kela Kulani is another folk dance from here.


There are other dances like Garba raas which is now an all India ritual during Navratri. This is also a major get together festival for NRI’s who happily participate in the 9 day festival performing the garba and dandia. The Onam dance of Kerala is a typical movement of Kay Koti Kali that is highlighted with claps and taps. Any dance has its significance with jewelry, songs and melody that is the rich tradition of the state.


Pithora Paintings

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 | Author:

One form of paintings that was almost forgotten but still managed to come back into the limelight was Pithora paintings. This art form is practiced by tribes of Bhils, Rathwas and Nayaks of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. For these tribes, the art form holds significant importance. It is much more than colorful paintings on the wall. The images represent important occasions in the lives of the tribes like festivals, wedding, birth etc. Pithora paintings act as a medium to signify auspicious occasions that takes place in community and family. The paintings have animated figures and wonderful usage of colors at its core. The art from represents joy and celebration and thus they represents emotions of the artists.  


One of the terms often associated with Pithora paintings is ritual. Many experts consider it as a ritual than an art form. The reason being, these paintings are a way to express gratitude or to thank Lord Almighty. The paintings are very earthy in nature. The ethnicity of rural India is truly manifested through Pithora paintings. Right from idea to theme and execution, the ethnicity factor rules the roost. Even the colors used are very much natural. Materials are prepared by mixing milk with pigments. The artist community is very much dependent on forest and its resources for their livelihood. They normally live in mud houses that are decorated with Pithora paintings.


What differentiates Pithora Paintings from other rural paintings like Warli and Madhubani painting is the fact that it is dominated by male. That implies most of the art work is done by males only. Pithora paintings have come into focus again after years of hibernation. It is getting its due in big way. Hope, the encouragement for this genuine and original form of art continues.  


Friday, June 19th, 2009 | Author:

Like Indian arts, Indian crafts are extremely rich in variety and quality. Many Indian crafts have continued to exist since centuries. Interestingly, as we are getting more and more modern in our approach, we have also started to gravitate towards ancient Indian arts and crafts. In fashion sense, it is called as reemergence of retro fashion. Similarly, Indian crafts have started to get its due importance and attention. One of the traditional Indian crafts is Kalamkari. It is related to cotton fabric.


The interesting aspect of Kalamkari is usage of dye for patterns instead of loom. Technically speaking, for cotton, ochre color is used because of the fact that cotton takes it comfortably. But when it comes to using other colors, mordant is used initially. It is done with the purpose of treating fabric so that desired hue is absorbed accordingly. The craftsmen use block or brush to apply mordant. A pen like instrument is also used on a pre woven fabric. This pen like object or kalam is used on the clothes and from there the term kalamkari has been coined. Kalamkari was profusely used for the purpose of decorative or functional hangings. These hangings were often used in monumental or domestic structures as covering material or wrapping. One can see these wrappings at most of the heritage places or monuments scattered across the India. Kalamkari artists have gradually become quite popular because of the quality of the work and beauty of the clothes. The artists have also started to spread in other forms of art and crafts. The demand has increased and so has the range of subjects and themes.