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. 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. 🙂
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.
“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.
I 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.