Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY: Calendar art inspired Wall : Part 2

Continuing the living with calendar art story, here are two other niches.
These smaller ones are painted in contrasting parrot green and citron orange colours.  Although calendar art remained an inspiration in doing these two also, the theme is distinct from the first larger niche (story here)- in that, broad elements of a typical calendar have been used on blank backgrounds as opposed to a dense montage of images culled from calendars.

For the first of these niches, I started with a base of aged mirror for a bright reflective surface. My  local glass vendor cut a chor bazar buy  into neat squares, which we pasted onto ply with silicone.

A few touches of paint in different colours, a  few popular motifs  that recur in calendars ( the garland bearing elephant, the Devanagari letters reading `Shubh',  lotuses and a  decorative landscape), successive layers of modge podge and viola,  we had the niche! 
I sanded down areas  that I wanted to reflect more between layers of the sealant, although it is perfectly possible to have a glossy mirror surface.

The second one, was going to house an old brass Ganpati, a gift from my grandmother. Hence the choice of a color that contrasts well with the colour of the Ganpati. Here I just magnified a single motif- the lotus,  and printed it in varying sizes.  Colouring in with water colour pencils and acrylic colours to defined the blooms :

I wish I had a better picture, but the entire wall is just too wide even for my widest lense.  But if helps give a sense, here is the whole deal :

Monday, May 6, 2013

DIY : Calendar art inspired wall.

A good part of what I, like  countless Indians growing up in the 70s and 80s small town India know about art, culture and religion comes straight from a bright, kitschy calendar, or bazar print : the colour saturated, mass produced representation of deities, religious themes alongside chubby babies, freedom fighters, movie stars and romantic and idyllic landscapes.  These  psychedelic prints of benevolent Gods and Goddesses smiling down their blessings  on to living rooms, shop floors and street corners have  fired popular imagination and visual culture in the subcontinent for over a century .

Much of how we imagine our deities as, is coloured by years of  exposure to the generously proportioned Gods and Goddesses rendered in rich jewel tones in one too many calendars. I have always wanted to hang a few at home.  The problem with wanting to frame calendar art is that there is way too many attractive, fascinating and confusing options to choose from!

So while scouring the local flea market for appropriate prints ( as in, those that evoked memories of  other calendars in other homes )  I landed up coming back with a stash!  With some amount of thought, all of the 11 crumbling and yellowing  prints I found, landed up in a single niche right at the entrance of the house. 

Although the prints were mostly whole they had aged considerably, making  the paper very amenable to being decoupaged. So decoupaged they are, embellished with sequins paints and mirrors. Have two other niches to go. Will come back with them later. Until then, hope you enjoy these. 

It all begins with a single niche  hand drawn in the shape of a Jharokha and cut out along with two others near the entrance.

Cutting, priming, texturing  the wall and painting the Jharokha.

Croping and cutting from Calendars, pasting selected images  on a piece of ply cut in the shape of the Jharokha.


 Going over the pasted images with layers of any good quality sealant . I used modge podge. It is a good idea to allow the surface to dry out completely between applications.

Finally, getting Hem Singh to secure the finished  ply onto the wall :)


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