Sketching the Pandemic Year 2020 week 46 Nov8-14.
Deepavali, the Festival of Lights is celebrated in India and by Indian diaspora all over the world. It is a five day festival around the New Moon day of lunar month of Karthika (October/November) observed by lighting of rows of Deepas/ Diyas/lamps, puja/prayers/worship, exchange of gifts, wearing new clothes, sharing of lots food and sweets, and of course getting together with family and friends. The festival is a celebration of good over evil, knowledge/enlightenment (light) over ignorance(darkness), While the stories behind the celebrations vary from region to region within India, the essence remains the same - cherishing the inner light, hope and restoration.
It just so happens that I am lucky to have been born on one of the days of Deepavali festival- and in addition to my actual Gregorian calendar birthdate, my family also celebrated it on one particular day during Deepavali. So it is a very special festival for me! I sketched a festive ‘rangoli’ on the page using the age old dot system (this one has 5x5dots scheme)
Rangoli for Deepavali by Meera Rao
The photograph in the Smithsonian Engagement Calendar 2020 for that week is of William James Aylward’s American Schooners, Old Harbor Marsellie, 1919 Charcoal and Watercolor on paper. ‘Aylward was one of eight artists commissioned by the U.S.Army to join the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War 1. Having grown up around the docks and shipping of the Great Lakes in Wisconsin, he here adeptly captured American schooners docked in the harbor of Marseille, France.