Art Of Learning Madhubani


Art Of Learning Madhubani

Written by Ramya Udupa Nov 22, 2021
Online Lessons from Catterfly’s Hema Devi Is Filled With Technical Tips & Fun Stories About This Folk Art, writes Ramya Udupa

Rasleela is the divine dance of Hindu god Krishna. It translates to ‘Dance of Divine Love’ and is depicted by Krishna playing flute surrounded by dancing female devotees or gopis. This much-loved bhakti portrait is transformed into many Indian art forms.  Madhubani artists portray rasleela not just on canvas but on saris, dupattas and wall décor items.

I was eager to learn Madhubani from national award-winning artist Hema Devi. Madhubani painting holds a prestigious place among all the folk arts of India because of its unique styles - kachni and bharni. Kachni means to hatch and bharni means to fill. In the course of the rasleela painting, Hemaji took us through both the styles. This was unique and a great learning for all of us as we learnt both the techniques in one workshop.

The other interesting aspect  was Hemaji's  beautiful narration of stories behind each and every aspect of the painting. She would skillfully do this while taking us through the intricacies of the art form.

One of the enchanting stories narrated by Hemaji was about the time Lord Shiva entered the rasleela dance incognito. Krishna was dancing with the gopis and Shiva quietly witnessed the dance from a corner.

As the dance came to an end, Krishna felt something was amiss. To his surprise, one of the gopis mentioned to him that there was a new "gopi" in the corner and he had three eyes. Krishna understood that it was none other than Lord Shiva and had a hearty laugh at the entire scenario.

Such are the interesting narrations and interactions that we have with Catterfly artists and moderators. They very well know how to engage the audience and make them learn art in an amusing way. Thank you!

(Check out upcoming Madhubani Residency by Hema Devi on Dec 4-5 in Delhi. Sign Up Here.
For details: Nidhi +91 6393 897 910; email: )

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