Potters Sisters

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Item Code: OT30
Specifications:
Oil Painting on Canvas
Dimensions 36 inches X 41 inches
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade
This exceptionally fine painting, oil on canvas, rendered using just black, its various shades blended with the off-white of the canvas, its background, portrays two women in their advanced years, perhaps two sisters with closely resembling iconographic features, sharing identical anatomy and with an alike lifestyle and nature of work. As suggest the style of their wears : lehengas, half-sleeve blouses and ‘odhanis’ over their heads and shoulders, and of course, the bangles of bones on wrists, the two women are essentially from a Rajasthan’s village. The Bagru style mud-resist print, partially visible in the woman’s ‘lehenga’ and a plain mono-dyed ‘odhini’ worn covering the head, socially prescribed for a backward tribal woman in Rajasthan, more often a widow, as also the bones’ bangles and the style of hair, indicate that the portrayed women are tribal widows, perhaps potters with their pots lying around.

The two sisters are seated, perhaps on a roadside with a heap of their pots around looking for buyers, though there is none around to buy. One of the two women, perhaps the younger, is sitting on a raised seat, a stone-block or a part of wall-plinth, while the elder is squatting on the ground with her both arms resting on the knees of her upwards raised legs. For an ambience corresponding to the state of their mind the artist has painted behind them an old naked brick wall with large cracks and widened mud-joints, an appropriate backdrop for his theme : the women with all joints and all hopes broken much like the wall in the background. It seems that some sudden and somewhat unusual occurrence has drawn their attention and taken aback, dismayed and with some pain in eyes, they are looking at it.

In any case, a magnificent portrait, most characteristic art that defined the late 19th century art revolution in India, as also a little earlier in Europe, known as modern art, and sometimes as Bazaar paintings, which transformed the face of Indian art from more than a millennium old miniature painting of mineral and vegetable colours into one with a large size canvas rendered with oil or chemical colours. As regards the painting’s size it was a return to wall painting with large size and realistically rendered figures. This style of painting, now more often seen as contemporary painting, had changing faces but portrait-painting, discovering the portrayed figure inside-out : pouring one’s intrinsic being out on the canvas, especially the lower middleclass : the potter, weaver, zari-bata, dyers, factory worker, hawker, a reaper in the field, a mother burdened with domestic worries, a daughter’s marriage in particular, and millions of such aspects, was its inexhaustible saga. This painting represents the apex of this art of portrait. The artist has wondrously captured not only the portrayed figures’ class-identity or the state of their minds but indexed in their eyes things occurring around.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

Oil painting technique – India centric

Oil painting is the most interesting technique in art. Unlike other paintings or art forms, oil painting is a process in which colored pigments are painted on the canvas with a drying oil medium as a binder. This medium helps colors blend beautifully to create layers and also makes them appear rich and dense. Several varieties of oil are used in this painting such as sunflower oil, linseed oil, etc., and depending on the quality of the oil, a particular consistency of the paint is developed. With the use of an oil medium, the painting gets a natural sheen on the surface which appears extremely attractive. India is famous for its old tradition of making oil paintings. This art form was brought by Europeans in the 18th century and is now practiced by almost all well-known artists. Nirmal, a small tribal town in the state of Telangana is the center of traditional oil paintings in India where the local people practice it with dedication. Most Indian artists still use the traditional technique of oil painting.

Canvas of the required size is prepared

The artists use either a wood panel or canvas made from linen or cotton. Sometimes the canvas is stretched onto the wooden frame to form a solid base, or cardboard may be used. The canvas is coated with a layer of white paint or chalk mixed with animal glue. This mixture is then smoothed and dried to form a uniform, textured surface. The wooden panel is more expensive and heavier but its solidity is an advantage in making detailed paintings with ease.
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Sketch is drawn on the canvas

Now the artist starts to draw the subject of the painting on the canvas using the actual charcoal or a charcoal pencil. Sometimes, he may sketch with thinned paint as well.
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Oil paint is applied using paint brushes or palette knives

Now that the rough sketch is prepared, the artist is now ready to paint. Oil paint, a special paint that contains particles of pigments suspended in a drying oil (usually linseed oil), is again mixed with oil to make it thinner for applying it on the canvas. Proper consistency of the paint is maintained to avoid its breakage. The most important rule for the application of oil paint is “Fat over lean” in which the first layer of paint is thin and later, thicker layers are applied. This means that each additional layer of paint contains more oil. This results in getting a stable paint film. Traditionally, paint was applied using paint brushes but now the artists also use palette knives to create crisp strokes. To paint using this technique, the edge of the palette knife is used to create textured strokes that appear different from that of a paintbrush. Sometimes, oil paints are blended simply using fingers for getting the desired gradation.
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Smaller oil paintings, with very fine detail, are relatively easier to paint than larger ones. The most attractive feature of these paintings is the natural shiny appearance that is obtained on the surface because of the use of oil paint. The blending of colors looks extremely realistic and this is the reason why oil paintings are loved by everyone throughout the world.
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