Friday, April 16, 2010

Art from India

My mother, Sharon Nichols, gave me copies of two of her many sketches she's done while living in India. This first is a drawing of the sultan Tipu's summer palace in Bangalore.Tipu's Summer Palace in BangaloreThis second is of the city of Goa on the west coast which used to be a Portuguese colony but now attracts a lot of European tourists. I'm going to get some bright, colorful mats and black frames and hang them next to a grouping of photos from the trip. Aren't they just beautiful?

GoaThen, branching out a bit, this is a mural from Tipu's winter palace in Mysore. It shows a battle against the British and it reminds me rather of the Bayeux tapestry. It has the cavalry charging, a few beheadings here and there, elephants charging and arrows flying which makes you feel you're part of the noise and chaos of battle.

Mural at Tipu's Winter Palace
This is a picture my father, Mel Nichols, took of some sand art. Hindus will use the sand--or colored rice flour--to draw intricate designs and when they do it in front of their doorstep it's supposed to bring good luck. They have this careful way of holding the powder so that it drops perfectly from their fingers in an even stream and each morning when we left the apartment in the morning Mom and Dad's neighbor had a different little design on the cement in front of her door.

Hindu Sand Art
But in India art is everywhere, it's just a part of life which may seem strange in a country that has a reputation for poverty and chaos but if you think about it it makes sense--art makes life a little more bearable and with so many people in India you have that many more minds thinking creatively. What else would you expect from the land of peacocks? Even their wildlife is decorative.

Peacocks in India
Where else would you see four conjoined man-elephants in gold on top of a building? (And there is so much of this kind of thing you stop taking pictures of it after a while).

Ganesh in India
Or doors decorated with such intricacy?

Golkonda Fort, India
Seems as if everyone was busy making something pretty. Even in dusty alleyways like this one where this man was beading a silk sari.

Man Beading a Sari
It's just a beautiful place.

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18 comments:

Peach Rainbow said...

your mom's sketches are lovely!

imadramamama said...

While I've never been to India (someday...), that's one of the things I loved about Japan. There was detail EVERYWHERE! It really took the most common things and made them extraordinary to see.

Mrs. Organic said...

Your mother is incredibly talented!

Amy said...

It's all gorgeous, but your mother's drawings are unbelievable! Just gorgeous!

Reno said...

Your Mother is very talented!

Staci said...

Absolutely amazing! Your mom's artwork is stunning? Do you have her artistic ability?

Staci said...

Sorry..your mom's artwork is stunning! (not a ?)

Chrissy Johnson said...

Were the peacocks really just wandering around town? I quite fancy those birds. :)

The Texas Bakers said...

I had no idea your mom was an artist! India really is an artistically beautiful place. Thanks for bringing some of it home to us.
I saw a tiger attack and eat a peacock on TV last night. It seemed like a lot of work for a mouthful of feathers, but I digress...

Nancy from Two Mountains said...

Like everyone else...WOW! Your mother's sketches are awesome! Beautiful work.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Gorgeous pics, and your mom is amazing!

niveditha said...

The sketches are lovely!thanks for bringing out some more colors of India, even though you are back home.

Yes, every morning, we put different designs with kind of rice flour in front of doorstep, thats called "Rangoli". It is said to bring good luck

charrette said...

Your mother's sketches are excellent. What a treasure to carry home with you!

Sherry said...

Wow, those sketches are AMAZING! Your mother is a fantastic artist. I'm always in awe, as I can barely draw a stick person. :)

bigguysmama said...

Those sketches were spectacular!! She does an amazing job. I love the intricacy of the work they do there!!

~Mimi

Janet said...

Your mother is quite an artist. All the art is just lovely.

Twinsmom said...

What an amazing gift from your mother! They are absolutely gorgeous. I must say, I enjoyed reading about your trip. The thing that struck me most was all the color, and the intensity of it. I can only imagine how much more vivid it was there in person. Thanks for sharing your trip with us and allowing us to live vicariously through you!

Jane Hamilton said...

Nice pictures you have there... but the sketches? Wow! Simply Amazing!