"My husband's family has a strong traditional influence and accordingly, it is frowned upon for women to work outside their home."
"When I was a child I enjoyed making a variety of beautiful things from rags and other materials. I used to recycle them into greeting cards for friends and relatives, and I even made planters out of broken pots and waste containers. Everyone loved my creations, which in turn brought me great pleasure. As I grew up, my interests in different art forms grew too, and my mother was always encouraging. I participated in many competitions with paintings and traditional rangoli (colorful sawdust compositions), and I was having fun. I was commissioned to craft gifts for Diwali (festival of light) to sell in a shop, and they got sold out, which was exciting to see! And this is actually when I thought of pursuing painting as a career.
"I formalized my studies at the Delhi College of Art, and though I learnt various forms and styles, I didn't finish because I got married. Of course I never gave up on my artistic inclinations and continued learning from home. My husband's family has a strong traditional influence and accordingly, it is frowned upon for women to work outside their home. According to custom, men are supposed to be the ones who provide for their family – it's a matter of prestige.
"And so I began to pursue my passion for painting from home. My husband realized how important it was for me, and he encouraged me to keep painting. I tried many different media, but never felt 100% satisfied with my work. Something was missing and I couldn't find out what!
"Then one day, my teacher suggested trying out marble dust painting, and I loved every bit of it. It was like finding what I was looking for – like reaching my destination! That's the relief I felt when I saw my final composition. And so began my career in marble dust painting and eventually I began teaching other housewives. I wanted to share with them what I had learnt, and it was a great success.
"Today I exhibit my work in different venues, and I have taught people who assist me in my work. The response to my work has always been great, and now I am happy to share with you through Novica."
Protagonists of the Ramayana, a beloved Hindu epic, Rama and Sita are joined in marriage. The couple exchanges a floral garland as part of the ceremony. Devendra Kumar Jha works with natural dyes on handmade paper to create a beautiful Madhubani painting.....read more
Fish frolic amid ferns while peacocks dance joyously in a traditional Madhubani painting by Devendra Kumar Jha. Celebrating the harmony of all creation, these paintings are drawn freehand with colors derived from plants on handmade paper. The people....read more
As a giver and sustainer of life, this tree spreads verdant branches to offer shade and shelter. Birds sing in its branches and brilliant fish swim beneath it, melding into the plumage of splendid peacocks. Inspired by the spiritual beliefs of Mithila,....read more
Covered with colorful flowers, a majestic tree is home to golden songbirds. Peacocks pose in the shade of its branches. Shweta paints the idyllic images with oils over images in relief crafted with marble dust. Such paintings can take as many as seven....read more
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