October 2012

Madhubani paintings , also known as Mithila paintings.have their origin at  Mithilanchal or Mithila region of state of Bihar. Traditionally these paintings were done by women of Madhubani and the nearby areas.The paintings were originally done on the kachcha walls ,mud walls of huts but now they have found expressions on various bases–handmade paper,pulp and even fabric.
 Unlike other folk paintings Madhubani is found in various styles and traditionally each of these styles belong to particular caste /strata of society.Such as Bharni style was practiced by Brahmin community while Kachni was prevalent among business community or vaishya.Godana style was popular among the lower strata of society.
Themes of these folk paintings are basically religious.Various Hindu God ,Goddesses,anecdotes from their lives are the popular subject matters.Besides these images from nature such as sun,moon ,trees ,birds and animals also find their places in the paintings.Scenes from royal courts,social occasions like marriages/weddings are also depicted .
Traditionally only  basic colors -red ,yellow,green ,blue,black and white were used.Even now Madhubani paintings set themselves apart due to their vibrant colors.Only herbal colors are used in these paintings.Different colors are obtained by different plants and trees.

Black color is made by adding soot to cow dung/burnt jwar /kajal.
Blue is obtained from indigo
Source of red color is Kusuma flower or sometimes red sandalwood.
Yellow is made by combining termuric and some times pollen grains with banana milk.
leaves of wood apple tree leaves,bilv leaf,saim creeper are used to extract green color.
Palash flowers are used for orange .
Rice flour provides the white color.

Twigs with cotton wrapped on the tips were used as brushes.

Few prominent characteristics of Madhubani paintings are that generally no empty space is left in whole of the frame. Space left after drawing the images is filled with leaves,flowers,birds or even various geometric designs and forms.
No shading of colors is displayed in these paintings.
Double line is drawn as border and the gap is filled with small horizontal lines or sometimes with small dots.

I have tried to make few paintings of Madhubani styles on my computer screen by using the basic paint and brush tool.Let us see how have I fared



This one id done in Kachni style—-fine lines and subdued hues are the distinguishing points of this style.

Below are two paintings made in Bharani style—- Bright colors and filling of spaces with bright splashes are the prominent features of this style.






A journey within

Beyond the sky do I really need to look? They say heaven lies on the other side but I was experiencing it here only.
The vast expanse of rocky terrain strewn with brown ,beige stones stretched unto  the distant mountain ranges .A solitary white cloud gliding  genially in deep blue sky between the purple mountains intensified the feeling of the vastness and the depth of space. The ripple less green blue water of the lake with its dazzling white banks sat quiet and peaceful as if in a meditative trance. The stretch of stillness spread from earth to sky. Space and solitude were my only companions. Suddenly at far off high point a colossal mass of dark, turbulent clouds swelled up, intimidating the radiance of colors spread around. The very next moment it dissipated into thin air transforming the surroundings magically. The gates of heaven were thrown open and a whole new world of brilliant colors was being created on the sky. The overwhelming magnificence at one moment and disappearing at another then creation of another dazzling sequence such was the suddenness of changing scenario that I felt like dreaming with open eyes. Rather I felt like being directly in His presence.

Standing at one point I was journeying through different planes. I have never ever felt such a greater sense of emancipation. Some where inside me as if shackles were being broken- the negation, the prejudices, the expectations,  the fears The sense of my smallness on the face of such spectacular vastness ,such majestic grandeur gave birth to a new kind of humility, a humility borne by complete surrender .,a humility which leads to inner courage, courage to accept one’s weaknesses,  to shoulder the responsibility of failures. I slowly sank on my knees. Once again the landscape changed .Soft dreamy fog filled the space obliterating the difference between invisible heights and bottomless depths. The air stood still as if in deep veneration. The fog silently closed in around me. I felt secured like in womb. Slowly I closed my eyes and tried to feel Him through all my senses.

He was guiding me beyond the present horizon. From the temple in the valley the deep vibrating sound of bells reached me .It was as if a call from deep downs the earth to the sky overhead, a call from darkness to the light. Light that surmounts all fears of evanescence.

The sky now was bathed in the glory of setting sun. The departing rays of the day had broken through the clouds dispelling all the gloom. The landscape was flooded with soft golden hues .The depths, the slopes, the heights all were sunlit. Few dark clouds still persisted above the Rocky Mountains but now and then they were lit up with lightening.

I smiled reassuringly darkness is bound to be there but so should be the battle against it. With renewed faith I started my journey back . I need not look beyond the sky, I  have my heaven within.