Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kolam: A Threshold Art



Navarthri (the festival of nine nights/the festival of Goddess) started on Tuesday. All Hindus celebrate but with great variations across India. In South India, where I am from originally, it is celebrated with Golu, a doll and figurine display at home. It is also customary to draw in front of  the house large designs called kolam. A kolam is usually drawn using a mix of colored rice flour and chalk powder. It is obviously an ephemeral art not meant to last more than a few hours. Typically, a new kolam is made every day.

Here in the US, it is not very practical to draw kolam just using flour and chalk powder. I wanted it to last a little longer than a day. So, I made it with craft acrylic paints. The cement surface was rough and gray. I applied a coat of white gesso first to make the colors come out bright. I improvised using a typical mandala design and adding a few decorative elements here and there. The drawing did not flow smoothly because of the rough surface and it took me about 3 hours from start to finish.





Right now it looks bright and cheerful. Come winter, with ice and snow, most of it will peel away.

It is getting chilly here and sweater and glove weather is predicted for this weekend. Undeterred, the squirrels are still running around hoarding their secret stash.  I caught this one in action from my usual perch aka as the kitchen window. Enjoy.







Thanks for visiting.



12 comments:

  1. Love your threshold art, what a wonderful welcome! Great photos too. It's got cold here as well! Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

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  2. I love the Squirrel. They are great little creatures. Interesting threshold art. Blessings, Janet PPF

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  3. Your kolam is bright and lovely! Happy PPF!

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  4. Very beautiful 'kolam' and so sweet photos.
    Happy PPF.

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  5. Your Kolam is beautiful...I saw a viral video with someone making one that was gorgeous but what a lot of work and beautiful for such a short time! Glad you made yours with acrylic! Enjoy your celebration...adorable squirrel too! They are so fun to watch

    Hugs Giggles

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  6. What a beautiful tradition! I love the vibrant colors you've used for yours (and that you created it to last a little longer)

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  7. A lovely tradition! I think it is nice you have brought it with you. Happy PPF

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  8. your sidewalk art is really beautiful. I hope it lasts awhile and brings smiles to anyone that comes across it. Those squirrels are fun to watch!

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  9. Ohhh I love this!!! Yes the winter will dull it out but then you can repaint it next year. This is one of the nicest weather months of the year here in Florence, OR. and as I say this it started to rain. LOL
    Have a nice weekend
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  10. Your Kolam is stunning. Such a welcoming and joyful artwork for all who come to your door.

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  11. I love the idea of threshold art. How clever--and what an adorable little squirrel.

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  12. I LOVE the kolam mandala design!!! colorful and festive!

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