Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Art & Crafts of India #5: Madhubani Paintings

'Madhubani' is one of my favourite arts from IndiaWould have covered this art sometime in the future, but on the suggestion of 'Rang Decor' reader Nivedita I decided to feature it today :-)

Madhubani Painting also known as Mithila Painting. Legend has it that King Janak of Mithila in Bihar commissioned artists to make paintings at the time of the wedding of his daughter Sita to Lord Rama.( Lord Krishna dancing on the head of Kaliya the snake)

Madhubani Paintings are usually done on freshly plastered mud walls of homes in Mithila. Vegetable dyes are used in the paintings and the skills are passed on from one generation to the next.
Goddess from'Midst the Ocean' by Bharti Dayal
Interesting simple black & white Madhubani painting on handmade paper.

Some decor ideas using Madhubani painting... A whole wall painted by artist Shivan Paswan at art connoisseur Rajshree Pathy's home. ( Lovely!)
Colourful bulls and red flower compliment the mutli-coloured Madhubani Painting in Mallika's room.
Group together small Madhubani Paintings

You can bring in this colourful art into your home not only in the form of paintings but also home accessories like magazine holders, napkin holders, lamps etc.
Paper-mache' Madhubani magazine holderMy favourite Madhubani Napkin Holder.

Today I am featuring one of my very talented Flickr friends arty_zen from Singapore. She does Madhubani paintings on mundane things and converts them into pieces of art.
A hand fan converted into a lovely piece of art
A plain lampshade gets transformed into a luminous glowing Madhubani art.
Colourful coasters that would enliven any space:-)
Wonderful colour combinations.

Another beautiful art of India that can bring colours into your lives...

(some images from, dayalbharti & arty_zen on flickr and the rest by Arch)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sangolda, Goa

Sangolda in Goa is a 200 year old portuguese mansion owned by Claudia, a German Fashion Stylist and her Mumbai-bred husband Hari Ajwani.This mansion houses hand-picked exquisite pieces sourced from Gujarat, Rajastha & Kerala in India as well as abroad.

Antique wooden furniture in colonial & ethnic styles, table linen, bed & bath linen, tableware, brass artifacts, wooden almirahs, everything finds a space in this beautiful mansion.Beautiful courtyard with huge iron urlis, layered lamp & bright yellow paint...
Amazing space with exquisite artifacts & antiques...I am completely in love with this antique 5 headed Hanuman ( very unusual)
Wooden furniture, cushions, home linen fill this airy space.Functional display of lifestlye items. Love the terracotta floor tiles...

So next time you visit Goa, do put 'Sangolda' in your to-visit list:-)

( images from Indian Design- Daab)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Art & Crafts of India #4: Stone Sculptures of Mahabalipuram

When I think of 'Stone Sculptures' the first image that comes to mind is the amazing granite stone sculptures of Mahabalipuram, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.There are various styles of stone sculptures in India but today I would like to share the absolutely stunning 'Pallava Style' sculptures from Mahabalipuram.(A small stone Ganesha in my balcony)

Apart from being a Unesco World Heritage Site, Mahabalipuram is also a hub for stone carvings & idols.
The sculptors or sthapathis as they are known in India, have been carrying on this rich tradition of carving from their forefathers where they use Vaastu Shastra as well as mathematical precison for the execution of such exquisite sculptures.
Here you'll find idols in various sizes and shapes, some specially made for temples, some custom-made for hotels and smaller ones for homes & gardens.
Idols of Hindu Gods & Goddesses such as Ganesha, Gaja-Lakshmi, Shiva, Nandi are common.

Here are some interesting ideas for using stone sculpture in home decor.
(A stone Ganesha in our balcony, I love decorating with fresh flowers:-) This pic is to show ideas for decorating with stone sculptures- This sculpture is Hoysala style*)
These exquisite pieces can be used indoors or in your gardens and balconies along with green plants...
* Will definitely post about Hoysala Style later in this feature:-)

(some images from Inside Outside, October 2005 issue)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The rustic charm of a restored 'Haveli'

Restoration noun-The act of making new or as if new again.

This word brings immense happiness to my heart, whether it is rescuing the old door from a demolished Chettinad mansion and giving it a place in our living room or giving a new lease of life to antique dowry chest picked up from the bylanes of a village.
Arches frame the open courtyards
This Haveli built in 1776 on the outskirts of Delhi was restored by art historians Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath. The Haveli which is a synthesis of Hindu & Islamic architectural style had been abandoned for 50 years.

The exteriors were left untouched, all the 46 windows were opened to view the open landscape outside and only the courtyard & rooms were renovated & painted.
White-washed walls with a charpoy as a bed and absolutely gorgeous red bedcover...Antique low folding Shekahawati chairs (which were once used by women while churning butter) on the open verandah...
A room off the central courtyard has minimum furnishings like this iron-bound dowry chest and an old low cot...
Oil lamps and a 19th century stone bull occupy the window recess...

I just can't get over this spectacular space of the central courtyard. This courtyard comes alive with the warm glow of lamps in the evening during the celebration of festival of Lakshmi.
What a romantic space to unwind on a weekend with friends :-)
Close-up of one of the corners of the courtyard.
Brass studded door with colourful applique work window shades and entrance to a raised shutter door leading to the veranda...Just look at this dining room*sigh*
The table is a high bed (Takht) which has been raised on four stone drums. So innovative!

What a great job done by Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath. This fantastic 'Haveli' not only reflects the charm of the past but also accomodates the modern needs.

(Images from Indian Style-by Suzanne Slesin & Stafford Cliff)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Radha & Krishna

I have just not been able to get these surreal images of Radha & Krishna out of my mind... Krishna
RadhaThese are tempera on canvas by Kolkata based artist Bratin Khan. I can only imagine the beauty these paintings would bring to the space where they are placed.

(images from

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Art & Crafts of India #3: Tanjore Painting

Thanjavur Oviyam or Tanjore Painting is one of my favourite Art of India. The rich gold, semi-precious stones decorated paintings of mostly Gods & Goddesses can brighten up any room.(Details on the frames of one of the Tanjore Paintings)
It is one of the ancient forms of painting from South India. It is usually done on dark wooden planks. Tanjore Paintings have become very popular lately and are given as gifts & souvenirs.
Interesting themes like 'Rhishaba Vahana'- Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvathi sitting on Nandi(The Bull), 'Gopi Krishna'- Lord Krishna with the Gopis' are some of my favourites.

We are passionate about Tanjore Paintings and you can see some of them here:-)
(Rhishaba Vahana Tanjore)

Here are some ideas from magazines...
You could group Tanjore Paintings of similar colours together.
Group it together like an art gallery or...focus on just one painting.

In our drawing room we've highlighted this 'Ashtalakshmi'- 8 Goddess Lakshmi painting by using bright orange colour on the wall.

So to bring in rich, bright, traditional art into your home, why not invest in a Tanjore Painting :-)

( some images from Elle Decor Jan 2007 issue)