Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Image: Krishna and His Mother

Today I want to share with you an image of the tender loving gaze between the child Krishna and his mother, Yashoda. Krishna was a mischievous child; however, in the eyes of his mother he could do no wrong. Their tender gaze transcends culture and tradition, and speaks of universal love...

I made this image during a 4-week apprenticeship at the studio of Babu Lal Marotia, a famous painter of Indian miniatures, during my trip to Jaipur, India in the summer of 2007. Sri Babu Lal was so warm and kind to me, and I'm very grateful to him and his family for inviting me into their home. I remember my time in Babu Lal's little rooftop studio among the impossibly narrow streets of the old town of the Pink City, seated between him and two of his relatives as they worked meticulously on miniatures destined for national or international exhibitions ... or the eager hands of tourists perusing the art stalls in Jaipur's City Palace. The process Babu Lal uses is the exact same one that artists in Jaipur and other parts of Rajasthan used during the lucrative art trade in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. First, pigments are carefully ground by hand from stones collected in the surrounding hills. When a painting is complete, one of Babu Lal's relatives cuts and applies a tissue-thin layer of gold leaf to such elements as jewellery and crowns (as he generously did in my painting). Jaipur has been a major centre for miniature painting and visual art since at least the eighteenth century. Sri Babu Lal is one of the city's great artists who lovingly keeps the tradition of Indian miniature painting very much alive in the twenty-first century.

To see more work from the studio of Babu Lal Marotia, click here and here.

Here is the full painting (still unfinished in parts) that I created during my 4 weeks with Babu Lal:



And finally, here is a painting by Babu Lal himself of Lord Krishna (a little older) and Sri Radha, Krishna's consort, which Babu Lal generously gave to me at the end of my summer with him. Thank you Babu Lal! Blessings to you and your family.


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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