Last Piece Made and Last Day In India….Sorry to be Leaving!

Posted by Sermarr

DSCN5312 Devena 2 The last few days have seemed a jumble as I have tried to figure out how I'm going to get all this into the suitcase.  In fact, it didn't fit!!  Too many blocks, too many pieces, and too many presents for friends.  So Jaykirti organized a rescue box and we packed blocks and pieces into it.  Now there is a need for another one. So bye bye money straight to FedEx but I am so glad to be able to get these things home.  I have two huge 50 lb suitcases to go with me to Delhi today.  And let me say that clothes are not a very big piece of it...most of my clothes are worn out and are being left behind.

So I had a very nice meal in a restaurant with Jaykirti...it is restaurant that is over the block printing workshop and I have been wanting to see what restaurant food is like!! And last night Devena had my favorite dish, okra!!!

Yesterday I had my last fun in the workshop.  They were madly printing things for friends that hadn't gotten done before and finishing off hems etc.  And I hadn't helped because I forgot about some things that I wanted to take...like a scarf for my mother in law!  And then I got to work with Gopalji, one of the master printers, on my final piece. A huge tablecloth for my round table at home.  I had dreamed of having it made of hands running all over it.  The hand blocks had not been shipped and so I went to work.  Jaykirti picked the border of leaves and so here we are making it.  Another thing to be shipped!! I will so miss this workshop of creativity and the great freedom that I have been given to create things that seemed strange compared to the other things being made there, but which created great synthesis as some of my forms flowed over into their work and some of their forms flowed over into mine. And the great generosity of the workmen there who fixed the paint boxes that I didn't know I was leaving messed up till the end, who washed and reshelved the blocks, who pinned things for me, who consulted with me on how to print things right.  And to Jaykirti for the great generosity of letting me have free rein of her blocks and her dyes and for our collaboration which taught me a great deal and brought me great joy.  It is a heart sunk memory and I feel very blessed by life to have had it.

Today is final packing.  My plane is taking off later than scheduled originally  So I leave the ArtInn at 1pm for a five hour trip to catch a plane in Delhi at 1:45am (that means five hours of sitting in a car and then 8 hours of sitting in a airport before a 14 hour flight to nyc.!! Enough sitting to let my legs atrophy!!

And I will be leaving the ArtInn where Devena arranged for me to see many of the artisans of India that I was interested in, introduced me to Jaykirti's workshop, and let me be part of her family and see India as few tourists do.  Another very hard goodbye.  And also I will miss the taste the mangos fresh from the ArtInn tree as they are only pea sized!!

And now on to NYC and the next phase of my ever surprising, ever consistently inconsistent journey through life.  Last printing in Jaykirti's block shop 81DSCN5617 DSCN5634



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Holi Water Party…..Or Why I Have Purple Hair, Pink Face and Yellow Feet

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We went to Devena's cousin's for Holi day two festivities.  We knew to wear our clothes that could get color on them.  Because Holi is about throwing bright pigments on your friends and family. So what we didn't know was that this family believes in using their fountain as a dunking place and source of water to throw on everyone.  So we all went into the water fight and everyone ended up thoroughly colored and thoroughly wet.  And all about ten years old.  It was great....join us!  Let's import this festival to the US

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American Cinderella…Off to the Palace for Holi Celebration!!

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It is Holi here for two days.  Holi is a Hindu spring festival which requires the wearing of red and white....and on the second day requires that you dump pigment on your friends and family and be generally silly.  However, on the first night we were beyond dignified and went in our red and white dress up to the City Palace to a party given by the Princess of Jaipur who had graciously invited us artists to attend.  It was a wonderful night with the almost full moon and with dancing and music and great food.  Many of the people there knew each other/ or were related.  It was fun to get to meet so many people and see this gathering.  The food was great too.  I had a red top with silver edging and a red and white scarf thanks to Jaykirti and I added white leggings.On the way home we saw some of the bonfires that accompany Holi.  Here are some of the festivities. Put on your red and white. Enjoy!!

DSCN5383 DSCN5388 Holi Party at the City Palace 17 Holi Party at the City Palace 8 Holi Party at the City Palace 11 Holi Party at the City Palace 23

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Taking The Show Down!

Posted by Sermarr

So after the days were passed it was time to take the show down.Devena posed with her favorite picture.  WE posed with my favorite picture and then...  So here they came again, the unhangers, the rickshaw guy and presto it was gone.  But definitely not forgotten.  And on Monday the write up in the paper came from some of the newspaper people there.  I was also interviewed by a television reporter but it was so impromptu and unexpected that I forgot to see which channel!

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Lots of Interested People Came Through Over the Next Two Days

Posted by Sermarr

I had a great time sitting there for the next two days.  Lots of people of all ages came through.  I let them walk all around and then asked if they had any questions.  Almost without exception they wanted to know what the work is about.  And so I told them the stories behind them.  In addition Hari, the taxi driver who takes me to the block maker and who speaks English, brought his family.  Also, Raju, the block maker came to bring some more blocks and to see the show.

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The Work….or the Reason For The Show!!

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Here are the pieces that went on display at the exhibit., in the order that they were displayed.  The largest is 6 feet by four feet.  The smallest is  30"X22".  All have traditional blocks combined with contemporary work, except for the black and white ones. And of course they all have stories

.India (28 of 49)India (29 of 49)India (30 of 49)India (31 of 49)India (32 of 49)

India (21 of 49)India (22 of 49)India (24 of 49)



India (25 of 49)India (23 of 49)India (26 of 49)


India (27 of 49)







The Opening!!

Posted by Sermarr

So, with clean fingernails and an outfit that Jaykirti made for me with one of my blocks as the imagery, we opened!! Five o'clock till seven with tea served. Here is the lamp which was lit for propitious times. And a picture of me with the two women without whom I could not have made this work and show happen - Devena Singh on the left the Director of the ArtInn and Jaykirti Singh on the right the designer and owner of the block printing workshop that I work in. It was great fun!



India (12 of 49)

India (8 of 49)

India (16 of 49)

India (41 of 49)


Getting the Show Up!!

Posted by Sermarr

On Saturday, the day of the opening at five o'clock, we went to the framer/stretcher who had finished the stretching of the twelve paintings. We had given it to him on Thursday after striking out on trying two other people to try to stretch it. So they were loaded on a open flat bedded bicycle propelled rickshaw. Then taken around the corner to the Gallery and put up by the gallery's guys. It took me about forty five minutes to get them all where they should be hung and about 20 minutes for them to hang them! They were very experienced and quick. And then of course there was the problem of my blue cuticles!! Since I've found it impossible to work with gloves as I move from one color to another. So off to the manicurist! and then after she scrubbed me with what looked like an industrial soap and a brush they were finally clean! So on with the show!! DSCN5261






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Odds and Ends…on heads and on foot

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All over town there are unusual (to my eyes still) things to be seen...here are a few:DSCN5047






people carrying t hings-moving them 1

people carrying t hings-moving them 3

people carrying t hings-moving them 2

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Hither and Thither…Paper Making, Block Making, and Sugar Cane Juice Machine!!

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Today we did a lot of hopping around with everyone wanting different things at different places. We went to the paper making factory in Sanganer near the block maker. This is the same one that I saw in the beginning of my stay. And then to the block maker who is going to make the blocks for the other artists and I will pick them up when I go tomorrow. While we were there, the sugar cane machine came by. This is a green cart which uses the motor to crush the sugar cane that is strapped to it and turn it into sugar cane juice. (It also then can attach the motor from the crusher to the wheels and drive along.) Also Devena and I went to the framing shop to get the work framed so it can be hung on Saturday. And then I went back to Jaykirti's shop to try to work, but didn't. I got Gopal to give me a lesson on the layers of cloth and how much paint you need for each type of impression for each amount of detail. DSCN5231


Block Maker's shop 3

Block Maker's shop 5

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