I am a huge fan of traditional Indian Art and Madhubani is my favourite. This style of painting is known for bright earth colours. The images look very vibrant and pretty. So when we started the quest for designing our new home, Madhubani was my first choice.
Madhubani “Twins” in Our New Home
Before we talk more about Madhubani, we will make a brief segway and talk about two fairs in New Delhi area. We have several fond memories from our time in Delhi area; and both these fairs have left a great impact on our lives. We will also talk about their role in decorating our new home.
The first event is the India International Trade Fair. There, one finds stalls from various states and countries that display various form of art and products. The aim of the fair is to offer opportunities to large corporations, MSMEs, artisans, and self-help groups to promote their products. If you are interested in buying art and artifacts at a reasonable price and manage to creep through the crowds , this is the place to be.
Last November, my husband was traveling to Delhi. This is the time when the India International Trade Fair is held at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. When my husband visited the venue, he saw some beautiful artwork. He kept clicking pictures and sharing them with me. He bought the ones I liked. That’s how we ended up buying the art for our home. He carried the painting and other artwork very carefully when he flew back from Delhi to Bengaluru .
The other fair which is known for art is Soorajkund Mela held every year in February in Faridabad. It is a delight to watch the artists from India at one place selling their art. February 2020 was the period when the first cases of Coronavirus began to get detected in India, and we decided not to visit this fair.
Now, let us talk about the beautiful art form of Madhubani.
History of Madhubani Artwork
Madhubani originates from the Mithila region in Bihar. Artists from this are use a variety of tools for creating their artwork. This includes the use of fingers, twigs, brushes, pens, and matchsticks. They use natural dyes and pigments for colouring. The art form is characterized by its eye-catching patterns and bold colours.
Madhubani style may have originated when the women began to decorate the mud walls and floors of their homes with their creative artwork. Over the years, this knowledge was passed on to subsqeuent generations… The materials used today include cloth, hand made paper, canvas as well as on purses, glass bottles, and terracotta pots.
Creativity is the key
This art form uses two-dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. Ochre, Lampblack and Red are used for reddish-brown and black colours. The images mostly depict people and their association with nature. Scenes and deities from the ancient epics are also depicted. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. No space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs. I have tried to use similar concept in my painting as well.
Image of Madhubani Painting
A Bit about the Art Style
Madhubani art has five distinctive styles: Bharni, Kachni, Tantrik, Godna and Kohbar. Of these, Bharni, Kachni and Tantrik styles represent religious images of Gods and Goddesses paintings. Godna and Kohbar styles included aspects of their daily life and symbols.
When we decided to choose the painting for the home, the theme we selected was Radha Krishna. Now you all may wonder why did we opt for such a common theme ? The reason is that Radha Krishna always fascinate me, the way different art forms have depicted their love so uniquely…. The PattaChitra Katha paintings from Odisha will be very different from leather craft from Andhra to the Pichwai art from Rajasthan which is my all time favourite. So I thought why not recreate the magic of love with Madhubani art form…so I created my first painting of Radha Krishna in Madhubani Style. I have used a hand made paper and pencils to draw the painting. It took me 2 days to draw the painting with the proper dimensions. Since I did not have the natural dyes used by the artists, I decided to innovate and use camel poster colorant brushes (sizes one and three).I mixed the colours on the colour plate and used less water to give the opaque bold look. I think the overall effect has come out well.
The rising Sun Madhubani Painting:
I wanted to make it a three part painting. As the central painting was Radha and Krishna, I decided to use the other elements of Madhubani painting by using nature and having objects like plants, birds and sun to create the other 2 paintings. For this I divided the hand made paper vertically into 2 parts and created these 2 paintings. The colours used are again camel poster colours. The thought was to have a small miniature wall literary on the wall. Hope I was able to create that .please share your views on this.