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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Henna 'n' Sarees

Felicia Follum Sketches and Hand Drawn Greeting Card
The past couple weeks I have been spending a good amount of time looking at henna designs and creating some greeting cards inspired by the women we saw in India. Both the shape on the cards (and several paintings) and the delicate henna patters remind me of the elegant beauty that Indian women possess.

As we traveled on the trains I kept seeing women in saris walking along side the road, in a field, or even thought a pile of trash. The women in their beautifully colored and elaborately detailed fabrics created a unique elegance. The saris, in most settings, stood out from the architectural or prairie landscapes. I absolutely loved the repetition of the shape.

When I came back and found a quick watercolor painting I had in my sketch book I was in awe. I sculpted, I drew, and I painted...and I still am creating more images based on that same idea.

In addition to the Indian Woman shape I love the delicate designs that India was covered in, especially those used to decorate women's hands a feet for weddings and other holidays. The patterns appear to be influenced by old Indian art styles such as miniature paintings of Gods and Goddesses that people use in their homes as a part of their pooja.

Felicia Follum Chalk Pencil Drawings
The begining of our trip was spent in Delhi, Old and New. In the Handi-Crafts Museum I spent a large amount of time in the miniatures section, just looking at the texture and patterns in the gutters and the various repeating shapes and symbols. Some that stood out included the peacock, snake and lotus flower composed of thin lines.

Throughout the trip and even upon returning to the US, I continued to see these shapes repeated on paintings, sculptures and in henna designs. The sketch in the photo above was inspired by henna designs. Though I am not sure what will come out of all these henna and pattern sketches, I am excited to continue designing as I am sure I will know exactly how to use the patterns when the time comes.


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