Lok Chitrakar/Folk Painting of Madhya Pradesh

'The folk art of Madhya Pradesh is well-known and the ceremonial and ritual art here is distinguished by the variations between the crafting in different areas as well as that practised by different tribes. The folk painters of Bundelkhand have a flair for ritualistic and auspicious wall paintings and floor decorations. Ceremonial decorations in flour are also made on almost all auspicious occasions. The drawings of different idols are made on Nevala Ashtami, Sheetla Saptami, Radha Astami, Sanjhi, Maha Laxmi, Mamulia, Karwa Choth, Gahoi Ashtami, Bhai Dooj, Deepawali, Ekadashi, Makar Sankranti, and a whole range of other festive, religious, and auspicious occasions. The colour schemes and patterns are related to traditional beliefs, conceptions, and faiths. These paintings are now being done on paper and board also.The artistic expression and aesthetics of Malwa's folk painting are remarkable. These paintings area also made traditionally on festivals and auspicious occasions. However, they are also made for commercial purposes. Traditional themes are related to festivals, rituals, and other religious motifs. Traditional paintings include wall paintings, floor paintings drawn in ochre or chalk paste, ceremonial squares of coloured chalk, hand-prints made with turmeric or saffron paste on Deepawali, wall paintings of pitora or pithori and also pictures depicting worship of the river Ganga. Professional paintings are made by members of the chitera caste. These paintings are known as Chitravans. The themes include mythological characters, and social motifs. The chiteras of the Malwa region are unparalleled in door decorations and the portrayal of auspicious figures.The colours used are indigenous and are prepared by the artists out of locally available clay. The main colours used in folk painting (the canvas is the floor) are red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white. The brushes are made by tying up cotton balls with fine bamboo sticks. The colours are prepared in a coconut shell. The designs are composed of dots, lines, triangles, squares, and circles. The motifs include flowers, foliage, tulsi, discs, conches, swastikas, elephants, horses, peacocks, parrots, snakes, scorpions, and other birds and animals. The figures are symbolic more than realistic. The styles of these paintings are known as either Patua or Chitravan. The art is usually practised by women, and is passed on from mother(s) to their daughter(s).The Bagheli folk-painting tradition is an artistic expression of Bagheli folk life. The womenfolk make traditional wall and floor paintings which depict mythological stories and other beliefs. The painted surfaces are wiped periodically, and new paintings made on them. Drawings of snakes are painted on Nag Panchami, Lord Krishna's life is depicted on Krishna Janmashtami, and pictures of Ahai are painted on Ahai Ashtami. Figures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh are painted on Deepawali. During weddings, gobhar wall paintings, floral patterns, jhumar, oil lamps, and other auspicious symbols are made. Folk symbols are the main form of expression in Bagheli paintings, which are derived from pre-historic traditions in the area.The Nimar region has a rich and old tradition in folk painting. There are different types of floor ornamentations and wall paintings, rituals, stories, and legends for each festival. The colours, lines, and figures of the folk paintings of Nimar resemble the cave paintings of the pre-historic period. The tradition of wall paintings here is passed on from generation to generation. Mythological themes are common.

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