While the monsoons are considered a ‘season of romance’, I personally find it a drip (literally and figuratively) what with the slush that it ushers.
And then one day the rains came alive with a splash of colour in the form of Ritika Jhunjhunwala’s UMBRELLA PAINTING which altered the way I regarded this wet blanket of a season.
Ritika is an Art teacher with Sophia’s Polytechnic, Mumbai, and is the proprietor of her own company, Iteeha which is but six months new. Based at Matunga, Iteeha works towards promoting Indian folk art in a bid to revive the art of India.
With a well-appointed crew, she presents workshops that come equipped with paint material, setup, cleanup and manuals not forgetting light bites as well.
That it is not limiting in terms of its participants’ age is its singular feature, with adults indulging themselves with as much amusement as the children. The high point is to be allowed to take away your own hand-painted umbrella. A brand, of your own.
To give you an overview, allow me to lead you through this activity which begins with
- A white umbrella being dealt out together with acrylic colours, props and brushes.
- Pop open the umbrella, all of a virgin white.
- Pour a single pre-diluted colour from the umbrella’s pointed tip so as to let the colour flow down in meandering little rivulets. Say, blue.
- Follow it up with a second colour, say yellow. Or pink, and grey. Or red, and blue. There are no rules here, simply let the imagination soar.
- Use a broad brush to create a border, preferably matching with one of the two (or three) colours used in the freshly painted umbrella.
- Let drip dry on a terrace when the sun peeps out.
A watchout tip:
Avoid wearing your best at this workshop.
If you didn’t have the presence of mind to wear/change into an ordinary garb, throw on a plastic topcoat as the paint stains are there to stay. For a lifetime.
If you’re one of those vexatiously flippant types, trash the attire.
Umbrella painting is outmoded well so I hear. Oh, d(oo)de! That doodle umbrella workshops is among Iteeha’s recent exploits. Restricted to merely pens and umbrellas the results are as striking. Clearly no pain(t)ful experience.
Moreover, Doodle, as you know, is gaining momentum as a relaxation therapy. It allows for exploration of self in the world of textures and patterns. Doodle dee dum.
Tee Shirt Painting
For the ones who dig brandishing their own, tee-shirt painting is as popular as it comes. For all ages alike – ranging from the 20s to the 70s – having your very own tee brand lends a sense of self-worth :-).
Folk Art (Traditional Fabric Painting & Block Printing)
The recent promotions emerge in the form of Shibori and Gond painting. A well-known art form of M.P., Gond has done especially well bringing vision to life.
As if we haven’t had enough of art, there’s more to come in the form of Madhubani, Bithora, and Batik. Not just batik but organic batik where you get to work with organic colours on fabrics.
BATIK employs wax-resist dyeing techniques common to Asian countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore among others.
MADHUBANI is archetypal of Nepal, done with twigs, matchsticks, pen nibs etc. utilising natural dyes.
SHIBORI is a Japanese art of stitched and bound resist.
It’s a time-consuming craft followed by multiple dyeing processes. Its uniqueness is defined in the variations in tension and pressure in its construction.
If you have a penchant for it, I suggest you take up this art learning in its basic, intermediary as well as advanced courses. No measured hours here, no idle workshop this.
Block printing is yet another activity, arranged under the expert hand of a master craftsman. Resist block painting is the term. Their reach extends to 230 artisans hailing from various villages from across the country, Rajasthan, U.P., Bihar, M.P. who come to trade their artistries for promotion/exposure.
Commissioned Projects, etcetera
If you wish to lose yourself in various modules of folk art and commissioned painting projects on wood, canvas and fabric, wall murals … Iteeha is the way to go about it.