Artist Profile: Rinal Parikh

Originally from India, artist Rinal Parikh uses a traditional style of painting to create complex images that tell stories. We spoke with her about her technique and studio practice.

 

"Surkhaab" (Kalamkari style) Gouache on handmade paper, 22" x 26" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Surkhaab” (Kalamkari style) Gouache on handmade paper, 22″ x 26″

 

ABI:  Tell us about the history of the different techniques of traditional Indian folk painting you use.

RP:  India is a diverse country with many traditions, and religions. It is the only country where each state has their own distinctive style of folk painting – some of which dates back to 10th Century AD. Out of these hundreds of different folk styles, my primary interest is creating paintings inspired by the Warli, Madhubani and Kalamkari style of Indian folk art.

 

"Riverside" (Warli style) mixed media on canvas, 21" x 27" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Riverside” (Warli style) mixed media on canvas, 21″ x 27″

 

Warli is the tribal art and primarily done to decorate the outside walls of houses in a rural part of India. Similar kinds of mural paintings have been found in UNESCO’s world heritage site Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, in the state of Madhya Pradesh dating between 500 and 10,000 BCE. Painting is done with very basic vocabulary – circles and triangles, and it depicts day to day life. I enjoy portraying paintings depicting my childhood memories back in India though Warli style.

 

"Madmast" (Madhubani Style) Gouache on paper, 24" x 31" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Madmast” (Madhubani Style) Gouache on paper, 24″ x 31″

 

Madhubani painting is primarily done by women of Bihar (eastern state) in India and in Nepal. Figures in this style of painting are primitive looking and in this style of painting, they do not leave any negative space on the canvas. This style is almost a complete opposite of Warli. While Warli is more monochromatic, Madhubani is equally colorful. Main subjects of this style are mythological stories, flora and fauna, and wedding.  I enjoy this style of folk art for portraying birds and other animals as it gives me the freedom to use as dynamic of a pallet as possible.

 

"Owls" (Kalamkari style) Gouache on handmade paper, 22" x 26" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Owls” (Kalamkari style) Gouache on handmade paper, 22″ x 26″

 

Kalamkari is the more decorative style of Indian folk art. It originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The meaning of Kalamkari is Pen-like (Kalam = pen, Kari = like) because the brushstrokes are as fine as a pen. Traditionally, this style has been used for textile designing. However, I have adopted this style for much wider subjects. The decorative elements of Kalamkari help me transport my landscapes to the fantasy world.

 

Artist Rinal Parikh with some of her paintings. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

Artist Rinal Parikh with some of her paintings.

 

ABI:  What are the steps in creating a painting in the Warli style?

RP:  Warli is a storytelling form of folk painting. I enjoy portraying stories from my childhood and relive them through these paintings. Traditionally, women paint day-to-day scenes using this style on exterior walls of houses. To mimic the effect of stucco, I start with heavy texture on my canvas using sand, hay, and grass. I then paint my characters with acrylics.

 

"Dancers" (Warli style) mixed media on canvas, 24" x 24" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Dancers” (Warli style) mixed media on canvas, 24″ x 24″

 

The vocabulary of this style is very basic; circles and triangles. By joining two triangles at the tip, the body of an animal or a human is formed, which sometimes is challenging as well as intriguing. Often times my painting simply starts with a title. Stories and memories associated with that title/theme are what then I portray on the canvas. There are times I find myself stuck, and light conversation with my family back in India does the trick. Stories start flowing again.

 

"Vaad" (Kalamkari style) Goauche on khadi paper, 32" x 40" by Rinal Parikh. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

“Vaad” (Kalamkari style) Goauche on khadi paper, 32″ x 40″

 

ABI:  How does your story make collectors fall in love, and want to buy or commission a piece of art?

RP:  I feel joy and happiness when I paint. I am most expressive through my artwork, and that is what helps me and my work connect with potential collectors. With no formal art education, I paint through my heart – less logical thought goes into my work. In other words, I paint what makes me happy, thoughts that make me smile, memories that intrigue me. The colorful stories that I am able to achieve through my paintings are what my audience enjoys most. And soon, a patron becomes a friend, and a friend becomes a collector.

 

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