We are persistent clients. Seriously. We stop at Nothing. We even woke the painter up in the middle of the night yesterday. (I’m sure images of Garuda and Jatayu are going to haunt him in his sleep for many more weeks before he finds peace again!) Finally after many delays and rescheduled meetings, and braving the heat and the humidity, we got to meet the painter and work with him today. His name is Prakash Prajapati, and for those of you who are loyal to our cause, the name might sound familiar. This is because he belongs to the same community as the painter artisans we worked with the last time we were here.
We started off with a blue Jatayu – we had already got the lacquered piece done on the first day. I spent a good amount of time trying to orient him towards the style and quality we require. IT WAS HARD. Being in the trade for so many years, these artists get used to a certain rhythm and method of working and its very difficult to suggest otherwise. Some of the points I emphasized on were – the eyes and the beak had to be copied down to last curve, the lacquer finish had to be given equal respect and there had to be enough detail, patterns and textures on the figure.
He started by painting the first coat of the facial features and the feathers. His colour mixing skills are perfect as you can see from the photos below.
The eyes- phew! I had to take a pencil and draw out the curves for him to make him understand just how important each stroke is. He got fed up of my bickering after a while and told us to come tomorrow when he’ll have the finished piece ready for our scrutiny. I’m nervous!