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'Oh! I am sad that it is the last day of the training' said Sunita while leaving for the third day of the Kerala Murals Workshop held recently at Dakshina Chitra. Normally this happens on a minimum 3 day workshop where people get know the others better than an 1-2 day workshop, or when the participant numbers is minimum and most importantly when the people in the workshop share the same passion & feel strongly towards the art. We had an eclectic mixture of people from all walks of life - housewife / IT professionals / Students / Chennai settled foreigner and a couple of NRIs who shared the same levels of intrest. In this post rather than writing about technicalities of Kerala Murals, let me write about how I came across these Kerala murals for the first time.

Page 1

In the year 2001 I went to Trivandrum & visited Padmanabhaswamy Temple for the first time, I noticed the different styled paintings on the shrine's outer wall. At that time I was clueless about that painting but could appreciate the different style. Later when I visited the other temples like Chottanikkara & Thodupuzha I noticed the similiar styled paintings and realised that it has something to do with Kerala. Later on 2004 when I visited Madurai, I saw the cloister around the Lotus Pond being repainted with the style of painting I had seen in Kerala.

Our classroom at the workshop... Standing middle is our teacher - Vasuki Ma'm

Sunita is actually posing to paint... Ha! ha! This is actually her painting but this shot at the start of the day, she poses as if she is painting

This is Mr. Ian... I told him that he is an Indian in UK body. It is really nice to see somebody who likes India even more than Indians do...

Page 2

When I saw the painter's name my belief that it was Kerala style painting got confirmed. Even though I didn't know its legacy / history I can make out what is a Kerala styled painting then. After I started learning Tanjore painting in 2008, I even considered of making the Kerala style painting of Meenakshi Kalyanam into Tanjore styled one. Atlast in the later November '09, I got to know about the Kerala Murals - its history, tradition, style structure and its heriatge formally during this workshop. More about the Kerala murals in my next post, but posting just few cherishing moments in our workshop.

This is Mahesh No.2, again he is also posing...

Vasavi preparing for the day.. Among the lot I am impressed by her work and looking forward to see her finished painting

Group Photo of our batch... Since I shot this photo, you can't find me in the frame

Page 3

This is the Krishna Kudumbam mural done by Vasuki Ma'm

My Ganesha mural in the first stage

My Ganesha mural is still a long way to be finished