If a picture is worth a thousand words then a painting must be worth a million. It captures not just a moment in time forever, but the whole era. It is a product of the imagination of the artist and it does not have any limits whatsoever. Just glance at some of the masterpieces throughout history and you will realize its worth in a heartbeat. “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci, “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh and “The Scream” by Edvard Munch are some of the works that have stood this test of time. Paintings do not need to be evocative to be appreciated; in fact it is their ambiguity which makes it appealing. Such art, especially traditional and folk art is a must have for display in your houses, which can be a thoughtful gift to friends, family or corporate acquaintances.
Cheriyal scroll painting, a traditional art-form exclusive to the village of Cheriyal in Telengana, consists of events and incidents painted in a narrative fashion on pieces of cloth. Storytellers who passed by this village would often use these paintings to narrate the myths and legendary tales of heroes. Most scroll paintings revolve around folklore or the daily life activities of the village. Both horizontal and vertical forms are used while painting in this craft, with panels separated by floral borders. Not only stories but also images on single panels are painted for wall decor.
Traditional Gond paintings are mainly based on local festivals of the region in Madhya Pradesh populated by the Gond tribes, such as Deepavali, Nag Panchami, Ashtami and their local deities Marahi Devi, Sanphadki Nag, Phulchukki Chiriya and Sarpoti tree. The themes mainly focused in this art are the veneration of nature, birds and animals; the relationship between man and nature or appreciating the biodiversity and harmony of life. The motifs are both colorful and visually appealing, making them a popular choice for room decor.
The Kalamkari is a unique art and a dyeing tradition done with a kalam or a stylus made from bamboo. This craft has been practiced for over generations in Andhra Pradesh and uses a very unique form of dyeing with metallic salts called mordants. Traditionally Kalamkari was used for painting on umbrella and chariot covers, cylindrical hangings and canopies in temples. Motifs of swans, peacocks, flowers and local deities are used in the patterns generously. Some patterns are also narrative in style and have folklore, myths and stories of the Puranas or the mythologies painted on them.
This art-form was originally a form of mural or wall art or Bhitti Chitra practiced in Madhubani in Bihar and showcased the feminine expression usually. It was used primarily in the past for ritualistic purposes such as paintings symbolizing important stages of a person’s life, festivals etc. Popular in the Madhubani art-form are motifs of mythical figures, deities, nature and local flora and fauna. Most motifs are loaded with symbolic elements and quite recently, linking the cultural and economic setting of the painter’s life has become a very popular take on expressionism in this art. Both colorful and rich with symbolism, it is an invaluable piece of India’s art history.
Kutch mud painting represents an important part of Gujarat’s rich culture and heritage. Not only is this art-form used for ritual purposes but also for decor owing to its vibrant and daring color compositions. Designs predominantly used are geometric with symmetric patterns on both sides. Completely made by hand by thatching mud, these paintings are detail-oriented and require a comprehensive set of skills and creativity.
Pattachitra, has its roots in the Sanskrit words “Patta” and “Chitra” meaning “canvas” and “painting” respectively. Splashed in bright colors, most paintings depict religious themes such as events from the Ramayana, Krishna’s life or the incarnations of Lord Vishnu etc. The figures are adorned with colorful costumes, jewellery and set in picturesque backgrounds with motifs of flora and fauna. With either geometric or floral borders, these paintings are sure to make a lovely addition to one’s living room.
Sanjhi is a very intricate and detailed art-form of making stencils of paper for various ceremonial and ritualistic purposes such as drawing rangoli or floor decor on auspicious occasions. Having originated from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, this art-form has been around since a very long time. And quite recently, both religious and secular designs are found in the paintings with delicate designs and motifs such as silhouettes of palaces, creepers and flora.