Gesso, Messo and Tanjore, a journey!

I’m on day 6 of a new art piece and despite my normal pace of learning, it’s been slow with my new Tanjore painting, Everything is novel in this journey, and if you know me, I am always looking for something new to re-wire my brain and keep me interested.

2.30am work on the dining table (thanks to jet lag)

I’m making a Balaji painting for our puja room at home and I’m learning to do it with Tanjore Collective, a Bangalore based studio that offers these class online to a worldwide audience. I met Vibha last month at her studio and she showed me some of her and her mum’s Tanjore painting work. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of a visual treat that morning!

My training in visual art and design has been more in the contemporary practices, and as I enter my 40’s, my interest in the classical styles have been very endearing. This draw also has forced me to slow down a lot more and I’m soaking up this quiet pace and enjoying the journey.

My hope to to have a central piece to my puja room setup, a piece that brings happiness, peace and prosperity to our family and home. Can you tell that a personal art piece can put some pressure on the artist?

I’m going to focus on the work, practice my skills and do my best. The class has been fun, I take inspiration from folks who go all in with the practice and don’t overthink it, something I need to learn to do! 🙂

I shall leave you with some pictures of the process so far, and I’ll update in a few weeks!

Thank you for reading along.

February 4th update:

On the Tanjore learning whatsapp group of about 30 students, there are but 2-3 folks (me not included) who are in track with the class coursework. Meaning, a majority of us (me included) are yet to catch up and we are holding each others hands and moving along slowly.

What this means to me is to stay the course, put my head down, make some gesso embossing paste and paint/craft away.

Much needs to be spoken about how the Tanjore painting technique is not just art, but is a craft, an essential skillset to understanding many aspects of Indian Culture.

I leave you with today’s progress while I eat cheese sandwich and coffee to help me move along this painting to take on more in the future!

February 5th progress.
Next week is gilding of the pillars! Eeek! Ive got a lot to catchup!!

February 11 embossing milestone and beginning of gilding.

Today, I am a happy artist who reached a significant time stamp on the Tanjore with the embossing complete. See below! I’m quite chuffed, to be honest!

Now, there is gold sheet glueing involved in the technique and I’m nervous about it. Nervous not because it is 24k gold sheets but the technique involves dainty work, see at the bottom left for more details!

February embossing milestone is above!

I leave you with a version of the embossing complete stage. Allowing the paste to dry while I muster guts to continue gold.

March 5th Tanjore progress

3 responses to “Gesso, Messo and Tanjore, a journey!”

  1. I am looking forward to seeing the finished project! Thanks for sharing. 😎

    1. Thank you for your interest. I should have an update next month! 😊 will post here again!

  2. […] I mentioned earlier, I started my first ever Tanjore painting and have reached an important milestone in the embossing. Click on the line to read on. I hope you […]

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