LIFE IN TECHNICOLOUR
This would be the best way to describe my experiences during a visit to India in February 2017.
The sights, sounds and tastes of the Indian State of Rajasthan were a feast that our group consumed in large morsels. If only I could stay longer.
Women wore brightly coloured clothing: saris, head scarves and tunics of tangerine, red, mustard yellow, fuchsia pink, neon green and gold, decorated with shiny silver and gold embroidery; sometimes with tiny mirrors so they sparkled more. It was wedding season in Jaipur and we witnessed a groom dressed from head to toe in a white suit with turban, decorated with gold trimming. He rode to the reception on a white horse that was also immaculately decorated with flowers and multicoloured trimmings. Women in the wedding party wore red saris with gold thread embroidery and they were dripping in jewellery. Elephants and camels were decorated with patterned coloured chalk drawings on their bodies and floral garlands, as they also participated in many weddings. In fact we spotted elephants and camels heading to “work” each day as we drove in and around Jaipur in our tourist bus. Even the trucks and buses were decorated with multicoloured strips of glitter and flowers. “Why would anyone want to decorate a bus if all you did was drive around doing deliveries all day?” we asked. It was all part of the excitement of Life in Technicolour.
As “Westerners” we looked drab in our khaki coloured clothing, with practical brown and beige safari gear. My consolation prize was a multicoloured parasol decorated with elephants and tiny mirrors to shade from the sun.
For artists, the subject matter to paint and photograph is endless. Visits to forts and palaces showed that a wall was not just a wall under the Mogul emperors. It had to be decorated with intricate, multicoloured patterns, made with red sandstone or marble with precious stones to add the colour. If you looked through a window, the window was also a work of marble art with lattices of many shapes. Wild life was everywhere monkeys, peacocks, camels, elephants, stray dogs, the sacred cows that stood in the middle of major intersections, and more monkeys.
Time to stop talking and paint more!