Travel Shot: The 3 travelling painters

I love watching works of art being created. Be it a painting or a sculpture being made or an embroidery being done or a sweater being knitted or a pot being shaped at the wheel, I love to see creation happening. So when I saw this silhouette at the Kumbhalgarh Fort during my Rajasthan visit in winter last year, I just stopped in my tracks.Travelling Painter 1 It was a painter at work. He was seated on the steps of one of the many monuments in the Fort and painting the vista in front of him. It was mesmerising to watch him at work as he mixed colours, changed brushes and painted. His brush strokes were almost hypnotic – a dab of blue here, a swirl of green there, with some browns and yellows thrown in for good measure.

I would have loved to go and take a closer look at what he was painting and perhaps chat with him, but I sensed a “do not disturb” sign about him. I left after a while and almost stumbled upon another painter. Luckily for me, this second painter had a ‘do disturb’ vibe. πŸ™‚

This painter was humming a song and from time to time would break into a little jig as he painted. A cheery hello was sent my way when he noticed that I had stopped and was unabashedly looking at him paint and his interesting looking easel. The painter (I never asked him name) was happy to show me how the portable easel worked and how it could be folded into a little box that could be a slung on his back.

Travelling Painter 2

“That makes me a travelling painter, you know,” he grinned as I thanked him and waved a goodbye.

I came across the third ‘travelling painter’ on my first morning at Udaipur. I was out of my room at sunrise and decided to take a walk in the area near my hotel. At the entrance to one of the many ghats nearby was this elderly man painting furiously with both hands, trying to capture the morning golden light. He, too, had a portable easel. While I didn’t manage to see his face or talk to him, I did get close enough to angle a look at what he was painting. It was a gorgeous watercolour filled with shades of yellow and delicate pink.

Travelling Painters, UdaipurI have never come across such travelling painters anywhere during my travels. They remain a fascinating novelty for me.

Have you seen travelling painters ? Do share your experience here.

17 thoughts on “Travel Shot: The 3 travelling painters

    1. It is. And also so fascinating to see such painters at work in the open, oblivious to the surroundings and capturing the moment and colours in their unique way. Sometimes, I wish I could paint too. Sigh !

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  1. We saw a bunch of painters at Pattadakal, Sudha! They had studied at the JJ school of Arts together, about a decade back, and apparently went on a painting/ sketching trip together every year!! It was such a sight to see them… they were spread out all over the place, and each was engrossed in his/her own work. one sketched a gopuram, another painted the river, someone else was drawing the whole scene! I spoke to a few of them and they all said that this was their annual getaway from their jobs and homes… even husbands and kids werent allowed. this was for them alone!!! unfortunately i never clicked their photos or wrote about them, since they asked me not to post photos.

    BTW, have I ever told you that this has been my dream? to go with an easel like that and paint wherever i go?It has been a thought from my school days, when I actually remember carrying a drawing pad to a trip to Lonavla! Unfortunately, my drawing skills never improved beyond that level, and I havent bought hat easel yet…

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    1. I would have loved to meet this group of painters, Anuradha. I had a batchmate in University and sometimes, he would just take off for a couple of days and come back with sheets filled with pen and ink drawings of buildings, people, scenery, urban life and what not.

      As for your dream to sketch, why don’t you take some a sketch pad with you on your next travel ? You might just be surprised with the results. And do remember to show them to me πŸ™‚

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  2. What a wonderful experience !! I keep telling myself that one of these days, Im going to shrug off the daily grind and do it too, but that day hasn’t come yet..Meanwhile, I live vicariously through plein air painting demos on you tube πŸ˜€

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  3. What an interesting take. Unfortunately, I think for most part, I may have ignored the painters and scribblers who ve come my way! But now, I certainly am gonna try and peer (politely) into their works! Who knows, where I may see the next MF Hussain.

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    1. I may have seen a few in England, but didn’t really pay much attention. Here, the travelling painters stood out: they were all Westerners, had paraphrenalia I had never seen before (except in books) and were busy painting something that we take for granted. So yes, they were an interesting bunch.

      Surprisingly, I have seen them only in Rajasthan, though Anuradha in her comment has mentioned seeing them at Pattadakal.

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  4. Travelling is the best experience one can achieve in his life time. Especially, to kerala. I used to travel to Kerala at all my vacations. It’s an amazing tourist spot.

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    1. Welcome here, Shannon and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Kerala may be an amazing tourist for you and many others, but not for me. Personally, I find it over-rated.

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    1. Welcome to “My Favourite Things”, Grant Ray, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I don’t wonder where the painters get their imagination from, for it is right there in front of them. But I definitely do wonder about how they can concentrate in an open area with a lot of curious people looking on !

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