Saturday, July 25, 2015

Public Declarations!

Public Declarations  watercolor by Meera Rao

Huge billboards that dwarf people, vehicles, buildings and mighty trees decorated with thousands of tiny light bulbs that glow in the dark occupy major and minor intersections of the roads in the city during the festivals. These particular ones celebrate the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the patron deity of the city of Mysore along with that of Saint Raghavendra Swami.  They provide magnificent backdrops for all the parades and festive atmosphere.  Right around the corner from these bill boards are very very crowded flower, fruit and vegetable markets, where one can find just about anything for the right price :) I took the liberty to clear the streets of people and vehicles in my sketch book leaving only a a few to give an idea of scale and also a better look at the billboards! 

From my 2014-15 India sketchbook/art journal  :Embracing the Ephemeral in watercolors and ink on Moleskine Japanese Album (large)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Joyous Festival Processions

Musicians Heralding A Parade watercolor sketch by Meera Rao

Street parades and processions during festival season is a common sight.  In the southern India it is often lead by musicians playing Nadaswaram or even saxaphone,  mridanga and dolu -drums playing joyful hymns. The ensemble is called 'valaga.' They are followed by elaborately decorated floats carrying various deities. 

Hitching a ride with the Deity watercolor sketch Meera Rao

Children enjoy riding on the back of the ornate floats and being a part of the parade.  Prominently displayed on the floats are the names of the sponsors.  The floats are called 'vahana' and they carry the images of  deities. Devotees sing and dance as they slowly make way thru the streets. Here a vehicle is decorated with a pair of 'swans.'    

Vahana with Ornate silver Horses watercolor sketches Meera Rao

'Silver horses' decorated with flowers, silky materials and ornaments hide a car/truck that is carrying another deity! The sponsors take great pride in making sure their 'vahana' stands out in the procession. On the whole it is a fun diversion and joyous occasion for kids and participants and but a major traffic headache for some others :) 

The sketches are part of my sketchbook "Embracing the Ephemeral" done on Moleskine Japanese Albums in pencil/pen and watercolors. 
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